Guest Blog: Top WEbooker Sarah on How to Write a Good Project Overview


As the project leader of Ex-Pat
, one of the most active projects on WEbook, today’s guest blogger, Sarah, knows a thing or two about
attracting readers and writers to a WEbook
project. The first step? Write a good overview. Here’s what Sarah has to say about that
all-important introduction to your WEbook

-- Melissa


project overview is the first thing potential writers or contributors see when
they click on your WEbook project, so you
want it to be good. It should be inviting, inspiring, informative, and possibly
even fun. Here are some tips for making the most of that introductory page.

  • Be Broad. If you’re looking for other writers to contribute to your project, you'll want to start off by being as broad as possible. It is important to attract as many writers, readers, and critiquers as you can, because the more active your project, the better the published result will
    be. To get top notch writers, phrase your subject matter in a way that intrigues people; that way they'll immediately think, "Yes, that's happened to me, too! I should tell my story about that time . . ." The more people who can relate, the more potential writers and readers you'll have. A project overview about the carpet cleaners in Southwestern Washington is probably not quite broad enough. "Love" might be a more universal topic.

  • Be Narrow. Once you've established how widespread your project is, you'll want to narrow it down, and give it a distinct slant. "Love" is a topic that many people can speak to, but you might want to ask some follow up questions or propose ways writers can interact with the subject—remember, your project overview does more than just tell about your book. It also acts as a prompt or springboard for great ideas. You might want to suggest a few ways writers can interpret love:
         bouncing back from a break-up, the first time, or even internet dating.

  • Use Specific Details. Nothing makes writing come alive like plugging in some good concrete
         details about your subject. Whether it is bagels on a platter arranged in concentric circles or a faded orange t-shirt that reads, "Hugs, not drugs," using real-life details makes even a project overview interesting.

  • Be Concise. You only have so much space, so it is important to get your message across in the fewest words possible. Once you've written a draft, go back and tighten it up. Writers can tell at a glance if a project is right for them, so make that glance worthwhile.

  • Ask For Help. If you’re looking for a specific type of contribution or feedback, say so in the
         overview! Do you want writers to submit articles on a particular facet of your topic to help round out an anthology? Are you writing the first draft of a novel, and you want readers’ first impressions of your characters or plot, or help figuring out what happens next? Are you submitting a more polished manuscript, and looking for intensive editorial guidance? The project overview is the place to establish what kind of collaboration you’re in the market for.

-- Sarah

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