Bibliofaction short story website needs a new home

Free to a good home
Free to a good home

Would you like to run Bibliofaction.com?

Despite our best efforts, Andrew and I are no longer finding the time to properly look after the Bibliofaction website and community. So it’s time to find someone new to take care of it.

It’s going free to a good home (though it has some costs involved and would benefit from some technical work).

We’d like the website to be run by someone who supports the original goals of the site – to encourage everyone to have a go at writing a short story. It should be a welcoming, inclusive and inspiring place – but we won’t have ongoing involvement in the site, so really it’s your call!

Here are some top-level facts that might be useful to you:

  • 3,500+ published stories
  • ~10,000 visits per month (it was a bit higher when we were actively running competitions etc) – see stats screenshot below.
  • The Bibliobucks virtual currency system doesn’t make us any money (but did a good job encouraging conversations when it was launched)

Beyond that, have a look around the site to see how it works. If you can’t spare the time to look at the site now, you won’t have the time to run the site in the long run. I say this from experience.

Technical bits:

  • The website is a bespoke platform, developed in ASP.NET, in C# with a MSSQL database.
  • It was written for ASP.NET 2.0
  • It’s a 3-tier application (Website, BLC, DALC) so has a pretty solid code structure
  • It was best-of-breed in 2007 – you wouldn’t write it quite like this today, but it won’t cause a new developer too much panic to look at it now.

What’s included:

  1. Transferring ownership of current Easyspace VPS hosting to you (including billing)
  2. All source-code and database files
  3. Google Analytics account including 7+ years of historic stats
  4. The bibliofaction.com domain name – it’s an old domain name now, so good for search engines
  5. Social media accounts (@bibliofaction, Facebook, G+)
  6. Any artwork files I have (logos, PSDs etc)
  7. Transfer of any copyright (logo, brand, code etc)

What’s not included:

  • Tech support. I wish I had time to spend on this, but if I did, we wouldn’t be looking for a new owner. You will need access to the appropriate development skills (whether you are them, know them or buy them).
  • Existing email provider (only because this is tied up with some other services I use). You’ll have to set something new up and point the DNS records.
  • Any form of guarantee, warranty, liability etc ad infinitum

Some immediate opportunities to improve the site:

  1. Integration with social media
  2. Short story apps for tablet and phone
  3. Build on the existing platform, or migrate data to another platform
  4. Anything else you can think of!

I’m interested! What now?

  • Send us your proposal, in any format you like to press [at] bibliofaction.com
    • In an ideal world, we’d like to see someone who can offer ongoing community management, and the technical investment to bring the site up to scratch.
    • The closing date for applications is 31 May 2013
  • Post  questions in the comments below, as we won’t be providing feedback on the proposals or replying to individual questions by email (too little time, sorry).

Thanks and good luck!

Stats for Bibliofaction.com
Stats for Bibliofaction.com

Punk rock (self) publishing

Digging through Google Reader this evening I found a mention of Open Site Explorer (posting link here for my own reference). Did a quick search to see who was linking to Bibliofaction and found an old article titled: This is Why Self-Publishing isn’t Taken Seriously.

I was worried I’d find a critique of what we’re trying to do with Bibliofaction, but was pleased to find an article that pretty much agrees with what we think is important in self-publishing.

I loved this note on Punk rock publishing:

“The ethic of: anyone can do it.  Just learn two chords and you can start a rock band.  It was revolutionary.  Self-publishing most certainly has the potential to have that same kind of attitude and purpose, and until that happens it’s going to be perceived as a self-released slush pile, rather than a place where innovative writers use the new, innovative technology because traditional publishers are too timid to take a chance.”




Everybody smash up your seats and rock to this brand new beat…

Business vs. Charity

Andy and I have been reviewing our last 5 years or so working on Bibliofaction and we’re thinking about what shape the site will take going forward. Lots to consider – no decisions made yet. 

If I review the site as a business (which in legal terms it is), it’s an embarrassing failure. But, as a social enterprise designed to encourage creativity and the arts, then I’d like say it’s going really well.

I’d rather be a patron than an investor anyway.