Guest Post: Leebre.org – Liberate Fiction With Free Social Publishing By Rebecca Carvalho
Hello, my name is Rebecca Carvalho, I’m a Brazilian novelist living in Madison, WI, and I graduated from Lawrence University last June, with a B.A in English. Writing is, basically, my life. In fact, I believe I write compulsively about my daydreams, characters and stories I see constantly in my mind, and about everything that has to do with the field of creativity and the voice of youth. Today, I speak on behalf of the Leebre Team. If you haven’t heard of it – or if you did, and is interested in supporting it – I’d like to tell you a little bit about Leebre.org, a free online platform for independent authors and avid readers interested in expanding their libraries.
Along the years I’ve been on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, I’ve met many other authors also on a quest to get published, and together we’ve exchanged stories about successful and frustrated querying, about our dream literary agents and publishing houses, about the authors / thinkers / books that inspire us, and the people who support us to continue writing. If you’re wondering, Frances Burney, J.K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman are my favorite authors. Thank you, also, for everything.
Unfortunately, though, for people who are seriously interested in living by their pen, the same amount of time they spend writing is also dedicated to finding publishers. The publishing industry is very competitive, and the quest to get someone interested in your work always feels endless.
There are, though, many other writers out there who decide to publish their work independently. I admire these guys a lot. The way I see these independent writers is as if they were explorers looking for new lands. They are brave, and confident enough to go about sailing, trusting that they are going to reach their goal — a place they only see in their dreams. And once they reach it, they have to explore it without maps, because there aren’t maps describing the world of independent publishing. At least not yet.
What if, though, these pioneer writers didn’t have to go on adventures on their own? What if they didn’t have to fight occasional sea monsters alone? What if there was something that supported them, some place where they got advice from other pioneer writers just like they are, some place where they didn’t meet hostility, where they didn’t have to wait, where they could be just as prepared like other authors under the guidance of publishing houses? This place could be Leebre.org.
I humbly believe that Leebre.org is an innovative platform in the sense that it offers tools and a free, safe gathering place for independent authors who might be feeling lost and lonely in this vast publishing world. Up until now, some of its features were only made available for authors working directly with publishing houses. For instance, Leebre.org will allow authors to format their work with beautiful, professional looking typesetting — and, guess what, if they know nothing of design techniques, they don’t have to worry about it, because the website will do this for you.
Everything about Leebre.org is to make publishing, formatting, engaging with audiences as easy as possible. The website is being designed to be completely community-oriented, and to allow an easy exchange of ideas between authors and readers. Yes, because Leebre.org is also aiming at empowering readers with a more complete library of books they can easily download, discuss about, and even help edit (if that was the author’s wish).
Another special feature Leebre.org will offer is the donation button for authors. Once they publish their work with Leebre, a donation button will be made available for readers to support their favorite authors’ works. In a way, it’s like arts patronage back again. There is also the option to associate your work with an NGO or some other cause, which means that everything that people donate will serve philanthropic causes of your interest. We’re hoping that this feature will attract already established authors as well, in case they’d like to support a cause.
Everything published with Leebre.org will go under a Creative Commons license (authors, of course, will be able to pick which aspects of the CC license best suits their interests). But why? Because we want these authors’ works to be immortal. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that many works out there can’t be released anymore due to expired copyrights that don’t interest publishers anymore. The CC license also functions for educational purposes, in the sense that more readers will be able to improve their libraries and have access to more thinkers.
Please, check out the Creative Commons website for more information about their licenses.
Finally, Leebre.org is also thinking about international communities. We’re hoping to translate it first into Portuguese, and then into other languages. Other features will make it easier for graphic novels and picture books to get published with us, and we’re planning on starting a creative writing forum that should allow writers and readers hone their skills.
In order to fund Leebre.org, we started a Kickstarter project a few weeks ago. This is our last week to fund-raise, and we’re 61% funded. We need your support to make Leebre.org happen, and the way you can contribute is by pledging on our Kickstarter page, writing about us on Facebook and Twitter, telling your friends about us. If you have a blog, you could write a quick blog entry, too. So far, many people have showed interest in this project and we’ve given interviews about it, but it’s really with the help of our future writers and readers that we can achieve our goals.
Thank you, and happy writing.
Feel free to contact me about Leebre.org or other writing projects. I write literary fiction, YA novels and children’s books, and for years also worked as a journalist. I co-authored the war memory anthology Operation Legacy, published in 2010 by Old Glory Honor Flight and available on Amazon.com. You’ll also find my work available on Soul ‘Brasil’ Magazine. If you don’t mind my existential talk on writing, you might find my blog interesting: rebecca-carvalho.blogspot.com.