WEbook Project Leader Guide
Starting Your Project
Inside Your Project
Spreading the Word
Getting Published
What is a Project Leader?

A Project Leader is anyone who starts a project on WEbook, or anyone who has Project Leadership transferred to him or her from the original Project Leader. Every WEbook project has one – and only one! – Leader. Project Leaders have a whole bunch of responsibilities and privileges, which you can read about here.

What's a WEbook project, anyway?

A WEbook project is a collection of writings posted to WEbook. It can be a novel, a collection of short stories or poems, a cookbook, a children's book, a history of medieval France, or a group of essays celebrating the virtues of Silly Putty. A project can be written by just one person, with or without feedback from the community, or you can invite other WEbookers to contribute to a project.

How do I start a WEbook project?

Here's how it's done:

First, you'll need to click on the orange button that says "Get Started Now," in the "Start Your Own Project" box. You'll find it on the right-hand side of the screen on most pages once you're logged into the site. Enter a title, a short teaser (that's the 1-2 sentence blurb that appears with each project on the homepage), and a more detailed overview.

Next, choose whether your book will be fiction or non-fiction, and a collection (like a collection of short stories of an anthology of articles) or a continuous work (like a novel or a non-fiction book arranged into chapters). You can also choose one main genre, and a secondary genre, and enter as many keywords as you like to help people who are searching for projects find yours.

WEbook recommends uploading a cover image – your book will get more readers and better feedback if you use a good picture. Anything you own the rights to is fine. And fear not, if your work is selected for publication, we'll have a chance to design a complete cover.

You can also choose to designate a portion of your royalties for people who give feedback to your work. Find out more about this here.

Next, you get to choose who can participate in your project. If you want to write the book by yourself, but you want feedback from the community, click "All WEbook members" under PARTICIPANTS and "I will be the only writer" under WRITERS. If you want other people to contribute writing to your project, click "All participants" under WRITERS. You have a whole bunch of other options, including not letting anyone see your project, and inviting only the friends you want to participate. Please note that if you start a private project, you can make it public later, but if you start a public project, you can't later choose to make it private – so choose wisely.

When you're done, click "Start writing" to go to the book home. If you're writing a collection, click "Add an article / story / poem" to start writing. If you're writing a continuous work, click "Add a chapter." You'll see a pop-up where you can give the chapter a name and write a brief, optional synopsis. Click OK. When you're ready to write, click "Start Writing," type or paste your text, and click "Submit for feedback." To add a new chapter, click "Add a Chapter" in the right hand column.

When I start a project, it asks me what percentage of royalties I want to share. What does this mean?

You have the choice to share some of your project royalties with significant feedbackers – folks that offer substantial insights and comments on the work while it's being written. This can be a great incentive to get people more involved in your project. If you do offer a percentage, it will be up to you to fulfill your promise if your work is published. If it's too early to decide this now, don't worry: you can do it later.

What should I write in my project overview?

It's up to you how much detail to give in your overview. Keep in mind that this is where you "hook" readers. The casual browser coming across your project will decide whether to read your work largely based on the overview, so it should be compelling and well-written, but not so long that it's overwhelming. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are very important in the project overview. You can also use this space to state specifically what kind of feedback or help you're looking for.

Another important focus area is the teaser you write. That teaser will appear in various places on WEbook.com, so be sure that it's tantalizing and engaging, or at least useful.

I don't really like other people. Can I write by myself?

You sure can. If you don't want anyone else to see your writing, click "I want to choose who can participate" under PARTICIPANTS – and then don't choose anyone! That'll show ‘em! When you're ready to go public or even stay private and invite a few friends to join you, you can always change this setting.

I started my project, then changed my mind about it! How can I change my settings?

After you've started your project, you can change your settings by going to the project and clicking "Edit Settings" under my TOOLS. Using this menu, you can change the project's title, its teaser, and its overview. You can also change who can participate in your project. If you originally set your project to be private, you can make it public. However, you can't make a public project private again – that wouldn't be fair to all the folks who have contributed their time and energy to your project!

I like my project, but don't want to lead it anymore. Can I give the role to someone else?

Yep. Project Leadership can be transferred using the "Assign New Project Leader" button under my TOOLS, on the left side of your project. Be sure to write to the new Leader to ask permission before you transfer it to him or her.

What are ratings all about?

Ratings are a way for readers to let writers know what they think of their work. As Project Leader, you can use ratings to gauge reader response and to make decisions about which submissions should stay or go. WEbook does not make publication decisions based on ratings. If you want more details about the ratings in your project, click on "Manage Submissions" under my TOOLS, on the left side of your project. Below the rating for each submission is a link for more details. This will tell you who rated each submission and what they rated it.

As a Project Leader, what special privileges and responsibilities do I have?

Project Leaders get to decide which written submissions get to be included in a project. They also can re-order submissions. To change the order of your submissions, or to remove submissions, use the "Manage Submissions" button under my TOOLS, on the left side of your project. You can use ratings to help you decide how to order your submissions, and which submissions to remove.

Project Leaders help shape their projects by giving thorough feedback to outside contributors; posting in the project forums to discuss issues about the project; organizing and structuring the submissions; and making choices about what gets included in the final project.

Project Leaders also get to decide when to submit their projects for publication. If you think you're ready for the big leagues, click "Submit your Book" under my TOOLS. If WEbook isn't accepting submissions for publication just now, this will tell you when the next publication cycle will begin.

How can I let all my friends know about my WEbook project?

Use the "Share" button, at the bottom of every project, to send a link to your friends, or to post the project on any social media sites you use, like Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Stumbleupon, etc. The more people who know about your project, the more active and popular it will be!

You can also post a WEbook badge to your Facebook profile, MySpace page and blog, letting friends know you are a WEbooker. You can link the badge directly to your project. 

How can I find WEbookers to write, review, illustrate, and generally help out with my project?

The best way to find WEbookers to help out with your project is to read other content on the site and find people whose work you appreciate. When you do, offer feedback! The favor likely will be returned. Another way is to use the "Invite People to Join" button under my TOOLS, on the left side of your project. Or, visit their profiles and send a personal message inviting them to check out your project.

You can also post about your project in the Help Wanted section of the forums. If you belong to any WEbook groups, you can start a thread in that group's forum.

How can I spread the word to friends not yet on WEbook and get lots of new readers, writers, and/or reviewers?

Invite friends to WEbook to read and comment on your work. Send an email to friends and/or use the "Share This" tool to update your status with a link to your Project on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Or reach out through actual face-to-face contact. Whoa. That's radical.

Here some other top tips:

1)   On Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, MySpace, etc. or anywhere else in cyberspace, join active conversations, groups and forums that are related to writing, reading, and your project topic. People in these communities love to share their experiences and hear about others' thoughts and opinions. Listen to what these users have to say, reply honestly, and invite them to share their stories on WEbook. To find these groups and forums on sites such as Twitter and Facebook, use the search functions and input keywords that relate to what you're looking for; for example, if you're looking for people who simply love to read and review writing, try using "reviewer" and "reader" as keywords.

2)   Send individual and personalized messages to WEbook users who seem like they would be interested in your project. To find these people on any site, search their interests; for example, if your project focuses on teaching abroad, use "writer," "teach," and "abroad" as keywords. Once you find these people, don't be afraid to tell them that you discovered them through their interests and that you may have something relatable and entertaining for them! Try to avoid mass messages; make sure you let them know that you want their particular involvement.

3)   Update, update, update! Keep people informed as your project grows and develops by posting excerpts of new submissions. Remind them that your project is still thriving and just waiting for their involvement!

4)   Overall, get involved and be proactive about promoting your project! Let people know that you had this great idea and that you want their help in making it happen. But don't forget that these users are friends, and while these social network sites are great tools for promoting your project, people are still interested in you as well! So make sure you complete your profile, include information about yourself that isn't related to writing, and take full advantage of the main purpose of these sites: to make friends, writers or non-writers.

How can I get my project published by WEbook?

1)    Submit your work to an agent through our author-to-agent service AgentInbox. By using AgentInbox you are connecting with a literary agent and taking a more traditional path to publication (via the online tool).

2)    You can also enter your project into PageToFame, our writing competition that provides you with feedback from the WEbook community and literary agents.