Monday, 27 August 2012


Guest Post: Online Publishing with a Twist | Amanda Meuwissen of BigWorldNetwork


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Combining ebooks, audiobooks and eventual paperbacks in episodic eSeries, BigWorldNetwork.com may be the new television for books. Guest poster and Managing Editor at BWN, Amanda Meuwissen explains:



BigWorldNetwork.com is The eSeries Network, a new kind of publisher offering serialized online publication of fiction and non-fiction, audio versions of all eSeries episodes, and eventual compilations to turn our authors’ series into paperbacks, ebooks, and audiobooks. We also help create merchandise and sometimes artwork to accompany our authors' stories.


Unlike a traditional novel with a clear endpoint, series on BigWorldNetwork will continue for as long as their readers want more and new seasons are renewed (a season being 12 episodes in length). Our episodic format is also nice for those who do not always have the time to sit down and read a complete novel. The average BWN episode is between 5-9 pages and often less than 15 minutes of listening time for the audio versionsthe perfect length to sit back and relax while catching up on your favorite series.


We are now on our fourth major season, offering a wide range of genres from Science Fiction and Fantasy, to Romance and Mystery, Non-Fiction, and everything in between.

I got involved with BigWorldNetwork before its initial launch in November 2011, first by submitting my own eSeries to the site, The Collector, and then by offering my editing skills to assist the creator of BWN, Jim McGovern, since he did not yet have a staff. Together, Jim and I worked to gather a great team of editors, our eventual Creative Director, Mario Hernandez, to handle various design and other tasks, and a truly stellar lineup of authors and narrators.

What drew me to the site early on was the concept of serialized publication, the chance for eventual compilation as paperbacks and ebooks, and the audio option. As someone who has been active in fanfiction for well over a decade now, I was already quite familiar with episodic format, and the idea of including audio, since podfics—much like podcasts—have become popular amongst underground writing groups.

As Marketing Generalist and Social Media Manager for the digital marketing company Outsell by day, I have been able to add my skills in organization, social media, and my talents as a writer and editor to become much more than just a contributing author to BWN, but a partner, and I could not be happier with the commitment I've made.

I have been an online writer for years, writing articles for several online publications, as well as running my own blog in the past, my company website and blog, and managing screenplay coverage for a company in LA. Becoming Managing Editor of BWN is finally something that is much closer to my true loves—writing and editing.

While Jim McGovern has some background in writing, as well as two English teachers for parents, what really impressed me from the start was his passion for the ideas of the site, and his support of the modern writer. Traditional publishing can be brutal. BWN is dedicated to producing quality material, but we also feel that publishing should be a positive experience, where writers share ideas, less-polished work has a chance for additional editing before being rejected, and unknown writers can showcase their stories alongside veterans.

We have been blessed with over 35 series so far from new and already published authors alike. We offer an alternative to traditional publishing that can provide a new outlet for writers, in some cases allowing authors to produce prequels for their previously published works, take a break from the hassle of self-publishing, especially for those authors less familiar with it, and it can also be a great way to get a new author's name out there.

Even though BWN has been around for less than a year, we have grown exponentially each month in traffic and interest in publishing with our site, which couldn’t make us more proud.

One of the first eSeries we completed and published as a compilation was Homecoming by Heather Justesen, a very popular self-published author, who also has a book on print-on-demand and how to correctly typeset and prepare a manuscript for print, POD Like a Pro: An Author's Guide to Typesetting and Formatting a Print Book. Some of our initial authors with experience like Heather have been paramount in our early success, helping spread the word not only for readers and listeners, but for additional submissions.

Our biggest challenge is the same as it is for many in the indie publishing industry: bringing in revenue. We want to be here for the authors first, so it is our goal to provide our authors with payment for their series and adequate percentage on sales of compilations before we ever see a dime ourselves.

One way we are hoping to expand the site and better bring in revenue is by using an Indiegogo campaign to help purchase a dedicated server to support the large file size of audio, as well as our growing viewership, and to help create mobile and tablet apps to make reading and listening our eSeries even easier. You can visit and support our campaign here.

But we couldn't do any of it without the incredible support of our staff and the writers and narrators who provide our content. We feel truly blessed to hear some of their comments after almost a year of working with us:

"I love the idea of books in episode format online, and BWN has done an excellent job of creating exposure for literature on iTunes!  The world of publishing has definitely changed and BigWorldNetwork.com is helping to mold the future of literature!" -Trina Boice, author of How to Stay UP in a DOWN Economy

"BigWorldNetwork.com has given me a whole new way to showcase my writing and to reach more readers than ever before. This is a cutting-edge idea with fantastic people at the helm, and I've loved every minute of my experience." -Tristi Pinkston, author of Taking Out the Trash 

We really feel like we are doing something different, especially with our personal touch that we never plan to lose. We carefully look through every submission that comes through, which we request be a synopsis of the series idea and the first episode, and we take the time to offer suggestions for improvement even on series we don't feel are right or ready for the site. We also encourage repeat submissions, and in fact, some of our current series were initially rejected, but the authors came back with a more polished submission and have been a joy to work with ever since.  

We want to be an outlet for improvement in writing as well as for publication, because we love what we do, we know that true writers love what they do, and everyone deserves the opportunity to display their passions.

BigWorldNetwork.com is open for submissions and will work with accepted series for whatever upcoming season works best for them. Authors can give us an entire series at once, a season at a time, or episode by episode following our guidelines. We are also interested in additional narrators, editors, or people with graphic design and art experience, as all of these aspects come together at our site to create a truly unique experience for the authors and for their fans.



Amanda Meuwissen is the Managing Editor for BigWorldNetwork.com and oversees editing and series selection. She is also featured as a narrator for several BWN series.

Amanda Meuwissen - Photo by: Stephen Stephens



Amanda Meuwissen - Photo by: Stephen Stephens

She has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and has been writing and posting fiction and blog articles online for many years, including maintaining the company blog for the digital marketing firm Outsell LLC. Amanda spent a summer writing screenplay script coverages for a company in L.A. Currently, she is a Marketing Associate and Social Media Manager for Outsell in Minneapolis, and remains an avid writer and consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games.


About BigWorldNetwork.com






BigWorldNetwork.com began in early 2011, created to offer a distinct and entertaining way to read and enjoy both fiction and non-fiction in an episodic format, not unlike a television series. The concept is unique in today’s world of tablet readers and mobile devices, but not new. Series writing has been around since before the 1800s, and many authors have gotten their start by publishing with serialized installments (including Charles Dickens).


Unlike a traditional novel with a clear endpoint, series on BigWorldNetwork.com will continue for as long as their readers want more and new seasons are renewed. Our serialized format is also nice for those who do not always have the time to sit down and read a complete novel. The average BigWorldNetwork.com episode is between 4-7 pages, the perfect length to sit back and relax while catching up on your favorite series. We have also created an exciting, creative outlet for our writers. Many works published on BigWorldNetwork.com will go on to be published as complete eBook and print anthologies in the future.



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