Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spotlight: Leebre.org


Music was really the first entertainment industry to have to tackle with the digital revolution.  In recent years it's been film.  Nowadays it's the publishing industry's turn.  The advent of tablets and dedicated eReader devices, spurred on by giants like Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, have turned the book world inside out.  Print isn't quite as dead as some might lead you to believe, with such companies as Lulu and CreateSpace using new technology to advance the physical side of publishing with print-on-demand and self-publishing options, but eBooks are certainly the wave of the present.  Even once-staunchly opposed JK Rowling has (finally) released the Harry Potter series in eBook format.  But print vs digital isn't the only battleground in this war.  Social networking, cloud storage, and updated permissions systems like Creative Commons also play a role in how people buy, share, and sell their work.  And that's where Leebre comes in.

Leebre.org will be a community for authors and readers to share and read Creative Commons-licensed books.  Manuscripts can be uploaded in several file types and will be formatted automatically; similarly, covers can be designed right away, on screen.  Attributes can be added to the project, along with information like suggested donations or purchase links to hard copies.  Books will be available for download on a number of devices, or read right there on the computer screen.  Features planned for the future include attribution-ready Creative Commons images for cover designs, crowd-sourced editing, and other community-based additions.

Print-on-demand and eBooks have no doubt revolutionized the publishing industry, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Leebre position itself in a equally-pivotal role.  Sites like Jamendo have seen incredible success and as all forms of entertainment stray from the old guard way of doing things, Leebre could easily find itself at the head of the pack in innovative, open publishing.  The site is still in beta right now, but be on the lookout for when it goes live.  Who doesn't want to be there for the beginning of the next big thing?

Check back here for a full review of the Leebre platform once it goes live.

http://leebre.org/

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