OffTheBookshelf.com is the latest self-publishing website generating interest online and in literary circles. Launched four months ago by a group of writers, the US-based website allows published and unpublished authors to promote and sell their books, connect with writers and readers, create their own cover art, and convert their books to epub free of charge.
The e-pub converter lets users upload a word document and cover which can be converted into an e-pub format and be available for sale within 24 to 48 hours.
The site also has an audiobook creator for members which can be customized to suit the genre and literary styles of their work. You can choose a male or female voice, give directions on your preferred style of narration or accent and a professional actor will read the book in an editing facility to create an audiobook.
Some features of the site have fees. Members pay a one-time set-up fee of $35 for a print book, $20 per 1,000 words for an audiobook and $45 for copyright filings. The paid features are optional.
Authors can set their own prices for their books. OffTheBookshelf takes 80 cents per e-book or audiobook and 99 cents per printed book.
OffTheBookshelf says their mission is to create a free community “where independent authors have the best opportunity to sell their books, market their books and discuss ideas that will enhance their craft” and where “readers can feed their sense of discovery, communicate with authors and support them.”
OffTheBookshelf founder and CEO Scott Weisenthal is a veteran NBC television, agency and web copywriter and author. He has won numerous awards for his work, and is highlighted in Essentials of Marketing, a college textbook published by McGraw-Hill. He has experienced firsthand the complexities of getting his work published and said he wanted to create a community where authors could work with each other to get their work out and hone their craft.
“We wanted to create a social network, where authors could easily monetize their life’s work and not have to pay ridiculous fees. As we developed the site, we knew we couldn’t just focus on the writer, so we set up the site to also feed readers’ sense of discovery. This, as well as our marketing initiatives, will give authors the best possible exposure,” said Weisenthal.
He added: “We hope that one day the next great literary master will be discovered on OffTheBookshelf.com. And we have partnership programs available for agents and publishers to help share quality work with the world.”
As of June 22, OffTheBookshelf had 907 registered members.