This article first appeared on @SimonCocking ‘s blog 

This is a great Irish tech success story. Nestled in the cosy environs of the Fumbally Exchange on Dame Lane is Lawrence O’Bryan’s bustling online business. Helping a rising number of people to realise their dreams of making a living from their writing.

LoB

For everyone who has that book inside them, and has actually got to the point of writing it, O’Bryan has developed an online solution to give them the opportunity to make money from it too. A published author himself, with a long history in the publishing business O’Bryan was aware of the massive interest people have in telling their stories. Almost every one you speak to, with more or less seriousness, talks about a book they want to write.

O’Bryan zings with enthusiasm as he tells his own story and the evolution of his idea into the business that now keeps him so busy that he is scrambling to hire more people to help deal with the level of online interest. With hard to contain excitement he gave me the figures about 250,000 books self published in the US in the last quarter alone. Potentially 1 million within the next year, not even counting all the other English language markets, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some of South Africa

Bryan offers low cost, high value. Previously self publishing was called vanity publishing and was an expensive an option to follow. It was also seen as not a legitimate route if you were a ‘real author’. However the massive success of books like 50 Shades of Grey, and numerous others, initially self published books has shown that it is a perfectly viable and potentially very lucrative path to pursue. There are lots of authors out there making enough money to live on from their online ebook sales.

His website services4authors.com is for helping authors to sell more of their books. It gives a good, well written, no bulllshit overview of what it takes to make it. He doesn’t soft soap the risks, pointing out it is a difficult business to make a living from. The faq’s  page is useful too, answering many of the potential questions people might have. The fact that he has almost 300,000 followers on twitter suggests that he has tapped into something that a lot of people are interested in.

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The BooksGoSocial.com website is where the books are publicised, you can see the first page of the book, and decide if you want to read more of it.

It’s a great idea, and a classic demonstration of how, with the right idea, you can set up anywhere. O’Bryan has members of his team working from India and the US as well with him in the Fumbally Exchange. His enthusiasm was impressive, and one of his biggest challenges may be how to work out how to continue to scale the business without stretching himself too thinly.

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