ideas4writers is 7 years old today. Happy birthday to us!
7 years ago . . .
. . . the ideas4writers website was launched, and looked more or less the same as it does today. We’ll probably give it a revamp sometime next year though. We’ll be adding a lot of new products (all created by us), so at the very least we’re going to need a shopping cart. We actually started work on the website in October 2001. It took around 9 months to develop because there’s a lot of complex programming behind our writing engines (they automatically generate stories and characters for you). The engines may look simple, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes – and they generate fantastic stories and characters!
. . . there were just 96 ideas, rather than the 5,000+ we have now.
. . . we only had 3 members, rather than the 1,000+ that we have now. (Member #1 is myself of course. Strangely, Kate is member #16, not #2.)
. . . membership cost £29.95 a year. It’s currently free if you buy The Fastest Way to Write your Book. But not for much longer as we’re going back to charging a fee for membership shortly. (Though it will be a one-off charge rather than an annual subscription – it will remain free for existing members.) Free membership vouchers will be removed from the next print run of the book. (So if you want one you’ll need to be quick.)
. . . we had a monthly newsletter (free) and ezine (fee-based). But due to the near impossibility of actually delivering them to you, we replaced them both with this blog a couple of years ago. That made things much easier.
. . . we didn’t have any books to sell. We now have The Fastest Way to Write Your Book, The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers, and the Date-A-Base Book series that lists forthcoming historic anniversaries for you to write about. And there are lots more coming soon – we’re working hard on those right now (and several other exciting things), which is why we’ve been a bit quiet of late.
. . . we hadn’t published any books for anyone else. Then, by popular request from our members, we launched our ethical publishing service. We now have Geoff Anderson’s The Legend Of Aranrhod, Marion Athorne’s Wizard’s Woe, Katherine Reynolds’s Born to Dance, and the follow-up Safe for Life which is due out in October.
. . . we were entirely a subscription based ideas service for writers. After a few years we ditched the subscription and became a publisher and publishing service, while continuing to provide an ideas service as a free bonus to those who bought our book.
From next year we’ll be both a publisher and a fee-based ideas service. Things are sort of going in a circle, but in a slighly different way!
As for the publishing service part, well we might bring that back one day . . . if we ever run out of books to write. We’re continuing to publish books by our current authors, but we aren’t taking on any new authors – we don’t have the time at the moment, sorry.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts or comments please post a comment beneath this message on our blog. Do you have any interesting memories of the early days of ideas4writers? Have you met us? Do you have any photos? Did you have any big successes from using our ideas? Did you make any friends in our forums? We’d love to hear from you. Go on, say something, even if it’s just ‘Hello’ or ‘Thanks’ or ‘You suck!’ – we rarely hear a word from most of you.
(By the way, we’ll be deleting any messages that say we suck. We work extremely hard and we do our very best for you, and everyone who meets us says we’re very nice – so keep it positive please. After all, it’s our birthday!)
Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk