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Open collaborative book writing platform

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jul 04, 2021
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The idea is to create a platform where anyone can start an open-source book. Every book would have many authors, so the person moderating the book would be best described as the editor.

The editor would describe what the book is about and keep publishing the curent version. Anyone would be able to suggest edits, contribute chapters, paragraphs.

All contributions would be attributed to the author. Every author would own percentage of the book according the word count they contributed relative to the total.

When the editor decides the book is complete it could be printed and sold (amazon, etc). All earnings would be split among the contributors.

Platform users could browse currently open book projects and contribute their best content. Each book's editor would decide whether to accept or reject contributions. The contributions could also be voted upon to help the editor with other people's opinion.
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Chapter bounties

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jul 05, 2021
I love this idea, it's definitely something I would participate in.

One alternative approach could be to have the editor either provide an outline for the book, or simply write the first chapter and then accept submissions for every subsequent chapter. After each chapter is completed, the book up to that point goes live again for the other writers to read and they then get another opportunity to submit the following chapter. You then either receive a set bounty for every chapter that you submit that is accepted, or, as you suggested, you end up with a percentage share based on how much you contributed.

The reason I suggest doing it chapter by chapter is that it keeps the project linear and would save a lot of time and effort curating the content. It also allows the editor to have more control.

I'm just worried that if people were to be allowed to edit freely, small differences of opinion could cause books to never be finished. Working chapter by chapter means that as soon as the editor picks a chapter, that is done and the rest would have to be written from there.
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Fiction: One mystery, multiple endings

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Jul 05, 2021
This idea can benefit writing fiction, too. I read a murder mystery and after understanding the plot thought of a great ending to it. Then I read how the original author had ended the story and thought that my ending was equally good.

Therefore, I suggest that,

The editor of a murder mystery can develop a plot and then share it on the open platform. The editor can place a maximum word limit and a time frame to submit amazing endings to the book. Writers can then write how they feel the story should proceed. The editor can select the best ones and publish them together as a single book. The book will start with the original plot and then have the selected second-halves of the story one after the other.

A mystery is best suited for this type of collaboration but other forms of fiction can also be written using the method. For example, the fate of two people involved in a romantic story. The writers can submit what they think should happen.
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Povilas S
Povilas S3 years ago
This is great. I was often thinking while watching movies that I could do better (according to my taste) with how the plot turned out :D Of course with movies this is way more difficult to achieve, it would require sophisticated interactive software, but with written stories, it's entirely feasible:)
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Open collaborative writing as an educational tool

jnikola Jul 08, 2021
The idea is to implement an open source book writing in education!

Primary education
It could be just for fun, but it could also help children understand different ways of thinking, religions, perspectives of the specific problem, or the basic thought process of their classmates.

Adult education
The same principle could be applied to adults (college, university). One example - people could share stories in front of the class and then each teammate would be asked to write one part of the story. That way people could enhance their presentation skills by getting instant feedback on how people understood their stories.

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 years ago
I understand its importance in primary education. What do you mean by "stories" in adult education?
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jnikola3 years ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni True, when I thought again about it, it's doesn't sound clear.

What I wanted to say is that open collaborative writing could, for example, be used as a tool for poetry and proses research in related study programs. If you want to understand all the possible explanations of certain stories, people could collaboratively write a review or feedback, cover many view perspectives and understand the piece better.

It could also be used in problem-solving by presenting people a specific actual problem, splitting it into many smaller ones, and give each student one to solve it (or write about it, depending on the problem). As a result, you get deep and thoughtful information on a specific problem.

Also, if we take an example of journalism, students can collaboratively write articles, rate and vote on which parts to include and which ones to remove, and build authentic, evidence-based stories.
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Open book writing with a twist

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jul 05, 2021
Such a platform should have some kind of reliable quality rating system. Then it would be interesting to bundle together a few equally rated writers who don't know each other and can't communicate between each other. The only thing they knew about their collaborators is that they are rated with equal quality.

Thhe selected ones would be the only people able to contribute and would each be required/encouraged to freely edit other people's sentences/paragraphs as they feel.

There would be no moderation. Whatever the selected people edit, goes live immediately. Contributors would not be notified when their content is edited.

Only when all of the participants mark their work as complete would they learn who the other people were and what they added or edited.
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Remixes of books

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 09, 2021
The open collaboration could facilitate publishing remixes of already published books. The remixes could simply be change in a few pages or chapters, in the ending, add a twist, etc. and change the story beyond a certain threshold of words (to call it a remix that is significantly different from the original). After reading a novel, we, sometimes, feel that a story was great but could have been better with a few changes that the original author might not have thought of. You could add those and create a remix. Readers could then decide which one is better. Similar to songs, certain remixes (or covers) could be more popular than the original.
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Too many cooks spoil the broth

Daami A.
Daami A. Jul 25, 2021
As good as this idea is, there may be some glitches that we should anticipate. The fact that the profit will be shared between contributors can potentially pose a problem. Too many lazy writers will jump on the ship and wreck in the bid to salvage it and make some dough.

What if there's a system that is partly open source where writers send ideas to the moderator (more like on this platform where the moderator can filter out ideas that do not necessarily follow the guidelines) who gets to choose whose ideas can be allowed into the book after some questions have been answered and the writing requirements met?

This, I think will help to weed out many money-hungry writers who don't actually have ideas that can give life and flesh to the book.

SO the idea is;
  1. It is partly open source
  2. It is partly moderated
  3. There are set guidelines to guide contributors.
I believe this would greatly change the dynamic positively.
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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 years ago
I love the idea, Darko Savic ! Here are a few plus points I think the idea has:
1. This way, only the best and the most relevant content will be published. Anyone can come up with great and apt content and the editor does not have to rely on the opinions of the invited writers. People have experienced that when an editor invites several authors to contribute, the authors feel obligated and the content is affected. The idea you suggested solves this problem. Even a single beautiful quote by a non-expert can be considered to be published in the book.
2. The editors, today, either have to accept the subpar content or have an awkward talk with the authors (renowned people) and ask them if their work can be edited to fit the context. This can be avoided.
3. Budding writers get a chance to be noticed (when their contributions are published along) with experts from the field. Although Kindle has made publishing very easy, the authors need to work on the part where the book reaches influential people and experts from the field. The current idea helps them publish with the experts who may then notice their work.

Some downsides I could think of:
1. Huge material will land with the editor, most of which will be useless for them. the screening will be a daunting task.
2. Content in a single paragraph may be of higher quality than an entire chapter from the same book. Paying the authors by the number of words contributed may not be justifiable. For example, there are one-line quotes from books that stick around and become famous, further contributing to the sale of the book.
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