Bombadil Publishing frequenters know what our core is all about: helping young people write, without blocking creativity. And many know how we do that: by guiding the creative process through mentors rather than editors. Unlike in the case of traditional editors these mentors are not Bombadil employees nor is their primary goal commercial success.
This approach has proven to be successful; over the past few years over sixty books written by young people have been published by Bombadil, and many more manuscripts are in the making but haven’t reached the publishing stage yet. However, the process also requires a lot of manual input from the side of the authors, mentors, and Bombadil Publishing, due to the fact that many tasks, such as author-mentor matching, manuscript commenting, or manuscript version tracking haven’t been automatized.
Of course creativity can’t be automatized. But it can be facilitated, and automation can play a big role in that. Bombadil is in the process of creating an online collaboration platform that will take care of some of the technical and practical issues that authors are facing, so that the can focus more on their actual writing. It also allows authors to create a ready-to-publish work in a shorter time frame.
A few of the main elements of the collaboration platform are:
- Automated author-mentor matchmaking based on similar interests, experience, locality, etc,
- All work is securely being saved in the cloud, so availability of content doesn’t depend on where you are – and data loss is a thing of the past,
- Version tracking makes sure that multiple people are always working on the same version of a manuscript,
- In-line commenting and resolving of comments makes is much easier to keep track of mentor input,
- Authors will have full freedom to share their work with multiple people and assign rights individually (reading, commenting, editing, etc),
- Intelligent monitoring of statistics allows authors and mentors to keep in touch with trends,
- Advanced WYSIWIG layout editor will allow authors to quickly turn a flat-text manuscript into a professional looking e-book,
The collaboration tool will be rolled out stage by stage, and will be partially based on available open-source software, and partially custom developed. Since its purpose is to make the author’s life a bit easier, we’re open to suggestions about its functionality. So what would you like as a part of this tool? Post your idea in the comments, and stay tuned as we’ll be releasing more info about the tool as we’re developing it!