The 'Write' business model - writers empowered

The 'Write' business model - writers empowered

6 June 2016 Life Writing Autiobiography Memoir Collaboration

How does it work?

Bookform is a website where one side enables anyone, especially non-writers, to easily and affordably create a print-ready digital book, and on the other side is a booking and payment portal to allow professional writers/editors to promote and facilitate writing workshops at times and venues that suit them.

Gone are the days when professional freelance writers and editors need to wrestle with the small business dilemmas of:

  • searching for the next job
  • pitching or quoting
  • job and scope creep
  • renegotiation of rates
  • quiet times
  • late payments

The Bookform platform is a business tool to enable any professional writer to post a profile detailing their qualifications, experience and expertise and start promoting writing workshops in their neighbourhoods, (plus other services as the platform develops).

Bookform already has some prearranged venue partners, however, writing experts can approach their own local libraries, RSLs, seniors clubs, or community venues to host life writing workshops. Usually these venues are free or provided at discounted rates for community-oriented activities, and are the responsibility of the facilitator to arrange.

The writing workshops are over eight-hours and can be configured to suit those involved, whether it is two hours once a week for a month, evenings, or an intensive weekend workshop. Flexibility is the key here; you may have a quiet month ahead of you, so create some workshops to supplement your income. Or, you have young children and can only work during school hours, create workshops during the hours you have free. You are in control of your schedule and have guaranteed payment at the end of the eight-hour workshop.

The facilitator can monitor the interest and attendance for every workshop and communicate with attendees through their Bookform dashboard.

Bookform customers can enter their postcode to search for writing workshops and see all nearby expert’s profiles and the upcoming workshops convenient to them.

Workshop attendees need to subscribe to the Bookform software at $29/month or $290/year and can book into and pay $99 for an eight-hour writing workshop online at any time, with the professional of their choice.

The workshop facilitator does not need to create a curriculum, but they are welcome to provide additional information as they see necessary, particularly if they have specialised skills in certain writing genres or techniques.

The facilitator can create themed workshops, to encourage ongoing repeat customer attendance. One workshop may be for memoir beginners and the participants would all be guided through the setup and beginnings of a their family’s legacy book. Subsequent workshops could focus on different elements of writing, such as sentence construction, active writing, and linking paragraphs, or genre specialisation, such as travel, therapy, or business writing. Through to more advanced writing techniques for experienced or ambitious writers wanting to have their book published and potentially sold in the mainstream.

The facilitator is encouraged to personalise their workshops and be able to manage the attention and work output of everyone in the class. The initial target customer demographic will not be writers per se, but ordinary people who want to document their life stories for their families. So, most writing classes will not be particularly onerous. Attendees will be asked to rate workshops and high-rating facilitators will be rewarded.

Workshop facilitators need to encourage customers to keep subscribing and creating books, and to attend many writing workshops throughout their writing journey.

The motivation to attend a workshop will be different for every customer; some may only be interested in socialisation while creating a feel-good legacy book for their families, while a more serious book about a health scare may be for therapy or inspiration, and a knowledge leader’s book needs to market themselves as an expert in their industry. This is where an expert writer’s specialties are important and valuable.

The Customer

The customer’s side of the platform offers three options to create their book in eight hours – although we encourage everyone to enjoy their writing journey and take a lot longer:

  1. Follow the templates and write at home: $29/month or $290/year
  2. Book into a writing workshop: subscription + $99/ eight-hour workshop
  3. Be interviewed for eight hours and the whole book will be transcribed, rewritten and created for $2,900

A customer may utilise one, two, or all of these options to create their finished book.

The website has four writing templates to choose from: Autobiography/Memoir, Travel experience, Health journey, and Business/Collaboration, and the customer can create as many books as they like with their subscription.

Bookform templates enable anyone to create a book as easily as filling in a form. The writer simply answers the questions with as little or as much information as they want and all their text and photos are collated into sections and chapters, front cover and contents.

All their text and photos are auto-saved regularly and the author can ‘preview’ their book at any time in their browser. Their digital book can be shared online through all of the social media platforms at any time, or downloaded as a print-ready PDF file as many times as they like. They can print their PDF file or send it to a professional printer to create one or many beautifully bound books.

The business/collaborative book functionality allows the book creator to invite many others to contribute stories, information and photos to their book. This is an ideal way for a business to generate a marketing book product, or for schools to create a Year 12 recipe book for fundraising or gifts. Minority groups may want to collate many various stories to express their culture and ideas, for example, refugee experiences, or aboriginal tribes in a specific geographical area. Perhaps even coffee shops in a suburb or a family’s commemoration of an event. The diverse applications are endless. This collaborative book functionality was launched as a niche product for the funeral industry: a Collaborative Memorial Book, please see: www.formbook.com.au.

Books have traditionally needed to be commercially viable products; able to generate enough income to justify the time and expense involved, but this is no longer the case. The Bookform proprietary technology allows the quick and easy creation of a print-ready digital book, plus, a platform to enable professional writers to market their services and pass on some of their knowledge to the people who need it.

The Bookform platform is empowering people who typically never thought they would be able to write a book, because of the time, skill and money required. The workshops have been priced to be as affordable as possible to the customer, but financially worthwhile for a professional writer to facilitate.

Every one of us is a time capsule of knowledge, experiences and perspectives, which all add to the rich tapestry of every country’s history and culture. Let’s get everyone sharing his or her life stories – who knows what we will discover!