Paul Graham, Eric S. Raymond and Ray Kurzweil may be prolific thinkers, but if they hadn't bothered to write down their ideas, many of us would have never found them. All of us have stories to tell, and Fast Pencil offers us a chance to format and publish them.You could write a novel in binary, but it's hard enough getting people to pay attention to your words in plain English. Futurists and programmers like
First launched mid-summer, Fast Pencil began as a basic outline tool for novelists and has since added a number of cool project templates. In addition to being able to create novels using the template tool, members can also add memoirs, photography, recipes, children's stories, coloring book pages and blog posts. Users can upload a completed PDF, write directly into the template or import blog posts and images. From there, you can drag and drop your content into editable chapters and preview PDFs of your work. One of the great features of this service is that you can contact your friends when you've updated your content. This means that rather than waiting on feedback, you can invite editors and reviewers through FastPencil, Facebook and Twitter.
When you're ready to publish, you can create a print copy, PDF, Kindle-formatted book and DRM-free e-publication. If you'd just like to save the book as a PDF for yourself, that's free; however, you're required to purchase a premium package if you'd like to publish it to the FastPencil marketplace, Amazon or Barnes & Nobel. Packages range from $10 to $100, depending on the quantity and format of your book. A complete list of pricing is available here. Users can also purchase custom review, editing and multi-channel distribution consulting for between $400 and $1000.
In the past, ReadWriteWeb has covered a number of DIY publishing options, including Tastebook and Lulu; however, only FastPencil offers the same formatting features and range of e-publishing formats. Regardless of whether you're writing your magnum opus or simply explaining it in brief to others, Fast Pencil is a great tool to keep you on track. To try it, visit fastpencil.com.