The Wisdom of Others: Turning Your Favorite Quotes Into a Book

Most of our cultural tales, traditions, and legends started as stories that were handed down orally, generation to generation. The sayings and phrases that we think of without thinking were engrained into our consciousness by years of repetition, saying and hearing the same phrases over and over. Sometimes it might seem like it’s hard to think of something that hasn’t been said.

For all of the collective wisdom of the ages, though, it’s easy to forget those special things that the people closest to us say. We can remember what the president or a character in a movie said, but what about that bit of advice your grandma always gave you? The Wisdom of Others is a web app that helps you preserve these memories and more. You can collaboratively create a book of quotes, whether famous quotes you love or special advice from your loved ones. Let’s take a look and see if you’re up to the task of creating your own quote book.

Hey Guys, Wanna Write a Book Together?

The Wisdom of Others was designed to make it easy to collect your favorite quotes or the special things your friends and family want to tell you in a book. Founded after making a similar book manually for a friend’s wedding, the app is designed to help you collaboratively create a book where friends and family answer questions about some topic of interest, or add their favorite quotes on that topic.

It’s a pretty straightforward service. Once you’ve created an account, you add the basics to get your book started, share the collaboration link with friends, colleagues, or whoever else is contributing to the book, and sit back and watch everyone chip in. When your book’s filled with thoughts, tips, quotes, and more, you can download it as a PDF or ePub eBook, or get it printed as a real paper book.

The Wisdom of Others's Homepage

The Book Building Experience

So let’s get started. Once you’ve created a free account, you’ll be ready to jump right in and kick off your book writing experience. To keep your book focused, The Wisdom of Others has you specify who you’re writing the book for, the occasion the book’s for, and the last date people can contribute to your book. Then, on the bottom, you’ll need to enter a question that everyone will answer with their tip, advice, quote, poem, or whatever else they want to share. It’s a unique approach that will make your collaborative book much more cohesive.

Tell who you're writing for, add a due date, and a launch question.

Now, it’s time to add your own answer to the question. You can enter your contribution in up to 180 characters, just a tad over the length of a tweet, and then enter your name below in up to 40 characters. Feel free to be as creative as you want; there’s tons you can do that’s still very meaningful in this small of a space, but just like on Twitter, you’ll need to really think it through. Finally, from the top, you can pick from 4 clean styles for your text font, color, and positioning. This same style will be used throughout the book, and you can always change it later if you want.

Add your own favorite quote, and choose from 4 clean styles

You can then add a Dedication and Introduction for your book, with up to 400 characters in each section. This give you plenty of space to tell that special person the book’s for why you went to all the trouble to make it for them. Plus, it’s rather fun to actually have a chance to put a dedication in a book of your own, no?

Add a dedication and introduction for your book

And that’s it. Your book is now officially started, and already has the first several pages filled. All that’s needed now is for you to get everyone else involved, proof the book, and get it printed or turned into an eBook.

You've got the first part behind you now.

That’s Where Everyone Else Comes In

The Wisdom of Others makes it easy to get your family and friends to help you out with their own thoughts and quotes for your book. You can send out a customized email to select people or everyone in your Address book, or you can share a link with your Facebook or Twitter friends. You can also customize the collaboration link to make it easier for people to find your page. And, if you have some friends who don’t use computers (say your Grandma wants to chip in, too), then you can manually add their contributions and still give them credit.

Invite others to add quotes via email or from your social networks

For everyone that’s adding their own contribution, they’ll be able to easily see what the book’s about and add in their own thoughts, favorite quote, or whatever else they want. The Wisdom of Others makes it easy for anyone to figure out how to chip in. And if they want to see what you’ve already added, then can do so with a simple click on the link under the digital book.

Contributors can quickly add their own additions to your book

The only thing that makes it a bit more tricky is that all contributors have to create an account from the simple form under the book to save their contribution. It doesn’t really make it that much more complicated, but it is one extra step that some people might find frustrating. It’d be nice if it included Facebook or Twitter integration so you could signup in a click without entering your info. Still, though, creating an account has its benefits, since all contributors can login anytime and edit what they wrote, or see the completed digital book.

Your quote isn't set in stone, and can always be tweaked

Wrapping it All Up

Once you’ve got at least 25 contributions, either once you’ve manually entered or those added by others, you’ll be ready to wrap up your book. You can preview what everyone added, complete with their names and email addresses, and edit any of the contributions you need to get them to look correct.You can even send a group Thank You email to everyone who contributed, right from The Wisdom of Others. That’s a very nice touch that makes the app an even better tool for making a gift like this collaboratively.

See what everyone's added to your book

When it’s all finished, you can preview the book in full rendered digital glory in the site. There’s no way to share or embed this digital book view, but the collaborators can all preview it from their accounts. If the book looks like you want, you’re now ready to get your own copy. You can purchase a PDF copy of it for $9.95, which you can use on your own or share with others however you want. The digital copy prices may seem a bit high, but since you can share it with anyone you want, as much as you want, it doesn’t work out that bad and could even be a nice way to make a PDF eBook for your next conference, non-profit organization fundraiser, or for your blog readers. Alternately, you can get an ePub copy for your Kindle or iBooks, or purchase a printed paper copy for an elegant gift or a coffee table conversation piece. Either way, there’s plenty of options to get your book the way you want.

Your finished book in rendered digital elegance

Want to check out our finished sample book with quotes from some of our writers, friends, and Twitter followers? Check out the PDF in Reel below, or download the PDF to see how it looks.

Conclusion

Truthfully, there’s a number of ways you could make a collaborative book with thoughts and quotes from your friends, family, and more. You could share a Google Doc, correlate what everyone said, lay out the book in InDesign or any other page layout program you like, and get it professionally printed or saved as a PDF. There are also dozens of photo book apps, and I’ve seen people use them for quote books, too.

The good thing with The Wisdom of Others is how easy it makes the process of creating a stylish book together. In a few minutes, you can get the project started, and it’ll only take a moment or two for everyone to chip in. And with the focus of answering a question and having a limited space to write, odds are everything submitted will work great together. It’s simple enough to try out without any instruction, and since it’s free to try putting together a book, there’s no reason not to give it a run. In fact, you might decide to actually get your book printed after all!


Summary

Ever wanted to make a quick book of your favorite quotes, or get all of your family and friends to share their thoughts and suggestions? The Wisdom of Others makes it simple to pull them together into an eBook or a printed book with a collaborative web app.

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  • http://pictureverything.com Doro

    My God! From what you’ve showed us, The Wisdom of Others seems to be quite amazing! I’ve already written a huge part of my first book down. Now it would really be something if I’d find the courage to edit it and maybe even publish it…

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