Happy birthday ideas4writers!

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

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5 thoughts on “Happy birthday ideas4writers!

  1. Hello, thanks, well done, congratulations – and you certainly don’t suck!

    I joined I4W in 2004 just after I was made redundant from a job I hated. I suppose I had dreams of inspiration to write great fiction and never have to work again. I4W gave me the inspiration but I sadly lack the commitment. I love the site, I love the small, but perfectly formed community. Most of all I love that Dave gave up his job in IT and made a success of the venture. So here’s to the next 7 years… … cheers!

  2. HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY I4W!!

    The Fastest Way To Write Your Book is still one of the best-thumbed reference books on my shelf. I refer to it often. The thing I like about it most, is that all the chapters are broken down into bite-sized chunks that you can dip in and out of, even if you’ve only got a spare five minutes. These nuggets of wisdom motivate and inspire the writer – and most importantly – help you get more done in less time. Can’t be bad!

    Oh and the Mind Map section is a revelation – I use it all the time now for all my projects.

    Cheers, Dave & Kate!

  3. In the Land of Ideas that you inhabit, Dave, and where you invite us to join you, there is no such thing as time. Seven years, seventy times seven years, it’s an artificial marker. What is real is the wealth of ideas that you’ve shared with the world, and the inspiration to make lazy boneses like me buckle down and DO it. Thanks to you, Dave, I did it and I shall always be grateful, as I’m sure Carys is grateful in the parallel universe where our ideas take flesh.

    I’ve nearly finished my childhood memoirs (0-19yrs) and I’ve already exceeded the word count of Aranrhod, so I’ve no intention of publishing them in printed book form! This is a record for my family, and close friends who would like to know me a little better by visiting my childhood.

    Then I look forward to getting back to Aranrhod’s sequel. I feel the rest from it will have done me good. In light of my shocking memory, I could probably read Aranrhod now and notice all the lousy bits that familiarity had shielded from my critical faculties! Perhaps I’ll leave it a few more years …

    Thanks again Dave, and keep chasing your dreams!

    Geoff

  4. Hi, Dave.

    I’ve been one of your lazy lurkers for many years – have forgotten how many but my dog, Archie, when a puppy, featured in the weekly photos. I’m a better reader than a writer but thanks to I4W I am still writing. I check in to the forums regularly and learn an enormous amount there, too, Like Kaz my Fastest Way is well thumbed. But mainly I’m inspired by what you and Kate achieve. Many congratulations and thanks to you both.

    Anne

  5. Happy Birthday and hi Dave, Kate and everyone else who works really hard at I4W. I’ve not been a member for that long but you have certainly inspired me to work a lot harder at my writing. Through your book Fastest Way… I was inspired to enrol at university on a creative writing course, and here I am starting my second semester and it’s all down to you so keep up the good work. I’ll probably carry on being a silent admirer, so congratulations on giving birth to such a great idea.

    Ann-Marie

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