Guest Posts, Writing Markets

Guest Post: Books From Scratch (Lori Colbeck)


Hello to all, my name is Lori Colbeck and I am the begetter of Belinda and I found each other on Twitter awhile ago and after she signed up for early access to the site, she generously invited me to write a guest post for her blog. As you can see, I accepted!

By way of explanation, Books From Scratch is a website with the intention of creating community between readers and writers. Together, they decide what direction a story will take as it is being written. Ultimately, that collaboration will create a manuscript that will be published.

Essentially, a website member can choose to write, read, and vote for any of fourteen fiction genres. Anyone can share the first chapter of a fictional story they’ve written, and if the community thinks it would be a good starter chapter, then the author of that chapter becomes a co-author of the total story, and the chapter is published.

After voters have selected the first chapter, a call goes out to the community for the second chapter. When submissions close, voting begins. The chapter with the most votes gets published, and the author of that chapter becomes a co-author of the total story. This process continues until there is a completed novel, which ideally fits the Three Act Structure for fiction and ends at a point appropriate for the genre.

Finally, From Scratch Publishing will execute a contract with the co-authors and proceed with the manuscript editing, marketing, and distribution. From Scratch Publishing will only publish books by the Books From Scratch community.

The web developers hope to have the beta version of the site up soon. I have been working on finalizing the publishing contract and website terms and conditions with my lawyer, so that everything is ready to go when the beta opens. Even beta testers will have an opportunity to sign the publishing contract, if their chapter wins!

Speaking of the contract, it will be available for members to view before submitting their work. My highest priorities are that the author’s copyright is protected, that they are paid equitably for their words, and that they are not beholden to From Scratch Publishing or prevented from signing publishing contracts elsewhere.

I want to give new authors a leg up as much as possible. By connecting them with a publishing house, even after contributing a single chapter, they will have a better idea of how to work with other houses. They can put on their resume that they’re published! On the website, there will be a repository of writer resources, forums for various topics, guest speakers, and other challenges to keep things lively.

I have programs in the works especially for Books From Scratch readers. They are in development and will, hopefully, be released mid-2015. For now, I’m hoping that having fantastic writers will satisfy their needs.

I am currently seeking volunteers for forum moderators, beta reading of chapters, and in the collection of writer resources. Please sign up at the bottom of in the Contact Us form if you’re available to help. I am always updating Twitter, rarely updating Tumblr, and occasionally on Facebook (which goes to Twitter anyway). If you would like early access to the site, please submit your email at in the ‘Get Early Access’ field. If possible, I’d appreciate any donations at PayPal (scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click on the tiny credit card button), as this whole project is self-funded (and I have student loans for my Master of Science in publishing).

Can’t wait to collaborate,

Lori Colbeck
From Scratch Publishing

Author Bio

I love my family more. My house is lived in. I drive my dream car. I am an introvert. I don’t like being marketed to. I want a passport. I am globophobic and peniaphobic. I vote. I do not understand making sweeping generalizations based on one aspect of a person’s life. I believe that once you go Mac, you never go back. I adore clichéd commencement speeches. I revere trees. I do not collect friends, I select them. I despise hiccups. I never pass up an opportunity to take a nap. I am not done.


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