How it came about.
Authors OnLine Ltd was established in 1997 to allow authors to publish their work on the Internet. It was started as a subsidiary of a web design company, Managed Web Space Ltd., which is still operating to this day. One of its founders, Richard Fitt had tried unsuccessfully to publish a book in 1992, and when he was approached by his friend Derek Reece, in 1995 to see if he was interested in starting MWS, jokingly said, 'Only if we can have a website to publish authors who have been rejected by mainstream publishers.' The idea stuck however, and when Derek Reece went to Sri Lanka to visit a friend for 3 months in 1997 he decided to sit on a beach and design the UK's second ever e-book site. The website was subsequently launched in October of that year and the company incorporated a year later.
In 2000 the company came to hear of a revolutionary new printing and publishing system being launched by Gardners Books, the UK largest book distributor called 'Print On Demand', or POD for short (see below) and decided to incorporate that into its portfolio, little realising that it would be the first ever UK company to do so, thus securing its own place in publishing history with its first POD title, 'The Jet Stone' by Peter Townsend launched in January 2001.
Now Based in Gamlingay on the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire
boarder, England, , the company started life in Hertford, an
attractive county town some 20 miles north of London, in offices
over 'The Dark Horse Brewery' in Adams Yard, supplier to many
of the local pubs. A small independent brewery, it was on
prime building land and the landlord eventually closed the
building as the developers moved in. Unfortunately the brewery
itself failed to relocate and a great brew was lost for ever.
The company then moved a mere 30 metres away to a top floor office in Maidenhead Street, where it remained for a further 18 months before, again thanks to re-development, relocating its offices to new premises in Castle Street. Eventually the developers also found this site too tempting to miss and it too was turned into luxury apartments. So ended our relationship with this lovely county town and we relocated to the small picturesque village of Gamlingay, some 40 miles further north, where it is now surrounded by common land, a nature reserve and a wood - developers forbidden!
Since the idea came to us that the Internet offered new opportunities to authors to publish their work, Authors OnLine has built one of the largest UK based website of e-books of original work, and it is still growing to this day. We still believe that this is very much the future of book publishing, as more and more people become conversant with the instant access of the internet and the ability to download a book at the click of a mouse.
Now we offer one of the largest selections of new e-book titles of any UK Internet site, with more than 500 original titles from over 350 contributing authors.
'Print-On-Demand' - a new technology changing publishing
Since February 2001, Authors OnLine branched out into paperback publishing - not by the traditional method of large print runs, (which often leads to many wasted books being pulped,) but by pioneering in the UK a new printing technology, 'Print-On-Demand'.
Print-On-Demand, (usually shortened to POD,) is a revolutionary, economical new publishing system that allows print runs and distribution as demand dictates, from a single copy upwards. Using POD, we can turn your work into a high quality paperback available to order via any UK bookshop or Internet.
Print-On-Demand has been an instant success - we have already published over three hundred and fifty authors in paperback in the last five years, and a quite a few in hardback.