Authors, Inc. Closes Equity Funding To Deliver StoryFIt(TM) Technology, The New Standard In AI Media Analytics

Authors, Inc. Closes Equity Funding to Deliver StoryFIt(TM) Technology, the New Standard in AI Media Analytics

Growth Through Investment, Resale Partnership, Data Science Hires, and Board Additions

August 2, 2017 | Austin, TX — AI startup Authors, Inc. has raised financing from LSC Communications. Authors, Inc. and its StoryFitTM technology combine machine learning and natural language processing with sales performance and text-driven marketing insights to increase per-property revenue for the publishing and movie industries.

LSC Communications joins Techstars and local angel groups in their investment in the Austin-based media tech startup that will use the new funds to continue its machine learning model development and dynamically expand its business.

“We are thrilled to have the new backing of LSC Communications, whose investment in Authors, Inc. demonstrates their market leadership in delivering cutting edge technology solutions to the publishing industry,” said Monica Landers, CEO of Authors, Inc.

“In our continued journey to invest in new technologies, we are thrilled to be making an investment in Authors, Inc.” said Thomas J. Quinlan III, Chairman and CEO of LSC Communications. “Machine learning and AI are positively impacting many industries and we are excited about these new products and solutions we are bringing to publishers.”

In addition to LSC Communication’s investment in Authors, Inc., the companies have collaborated on a business level to directly integrate Authors, Inc. technology into LSC’s existing digital distribution platform and bring new services to market for their publishing clients.

Authors, Inc., also adds two new members to its board of directors: Bob Nelson, EVP, Publisher Services at LSC Communications, and Gordon Daugherty, Managing Director at Capital Factory.

“Authors’ StoryFitTM  products perfectly complement LSC’s legacy publisher offerings and come at a pivotal time in the industry,” said Nelson, who supports LSC Communications’ strategic efforts to expand and diversify the multi-billion dollar company’s product offering through acquisition and development of technological innovation. Nelson’s experience includes machine learning company CognitiveScale, and publisher service companies LSC and Baker and Taylor.

“Having worked with the Authors Inc., team for the past two years since joining the Capital Factory accelerator, I am excited to be involved in this next phase of growth,” said Daugherty, who has been advising startups for more than 15 years and is a Managing Director for Austin’s entrepreneurial center of gravity, Capital Factory. “Artificial intelligence will dramatically revolutionize most industries and Authors, Inc., is well poised to be the leader in AI innovation for the entertainment industries.”LSC investment spurs Authors, Inc., data science development with new hires Grace Lin, Lead Data Scientist, PhD and Mark Bessen, Director of Product/Data Scientist

Two top data scientists have joined the powerhouse media and technology team to grow the StoryFitTM  technology: Grace Lin, PhD, a former NASA data scientist whose dissertation explored building predictive algorithms from scripts using NLP; and Mark Bessen, former data scientist at Apple who worked on iBooks and iTunes Movies & TV.

“As a company, we’re passionate about merging art and technology to champion great story-telling. It’s an incredible time to be in AI with a great team, great partners, and secure funding for growth,” said Landers.

 

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About Authors, Inc.

Authors, Inc. is an Austin-based technology company that brings innovative technology to the publishing and film industries through artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP). Their StoryFitTM technology delivers contextualized data directly from the text that supports editorial, marketing, and sales efforts with audience psychographics, story-arc comparative data, and audience accessibility statistics.

Media contact:
Christen Thompson
Director of Business Development
christen@storyfit.com
(843) 509-4648

 

About LSC Communications, Inc.

With a rich history of industry experience, innovative solutions and service reliability, LSC Communications (NYSE: LKSD) is a global leader in print and digital media solutions. The company’s traditional and digital print-related services and office products serve the needs of publishers, merchandisers and retailers around the world. With advanced technology and a consultative approach, LSC’s supply chain solutions meet the needs of each business by getting their content into the right hands as efficiently as possible.

Media Contact:
Janet Halpin, Senior Vice President, Treasurer & Investor Relations
investor.relations@lsccom.com
(773) 272-9275

Capital Factory

Capital Factory is the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Austin, the number one startup city in the U.S. Last year more than 90,000 entrepreneurs, programmers and designers gathered day and night, in-person and online for meet-ups, classes and co-working. We meet the best entrepreneurs in Austin and introduce them to their first investors, employees, mentors and customers. According to Pitchbook, Capital Factory has been the most active investor in Texas since 2013.

Media Contact:

Kate Trumpower

marketing@capitalfactory.com 

LSC COMMUNICATIONS ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC EQUITY INVESTMENT IN AI-DRIVEN TECHNOLOGY: AUTHORS, INC.

July 24, 2017

This collaboration creates new solutions and products using machine learning and artificial intelligence to drive discoverability and deliver actionable insights for the Publishing Industry

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– LSC Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LKSD), a leader in print and digital media solutions, announced today an equity investment and the signing of a definitive reseller agreement with Authors, Inc., an Austin, Texas based developer of machine learning and artificial intelligence applications for the Publishing Industry.

“Romance Me” Novel Writing Contest Winners Announced

“Romance Me” Novel Writing Contest Winners Announced

Judges from Top Romance Imprints Select Winners of Romance Writing Contest for Prizes, Promotion on Romance Junkies

AUSTIN, TX | FEB. 14, 2017  — Submission Platform and Publishing AI and startup AUTHORS.me today announced the winners of its “Romance Me” Novel Writing Contest, open to original romance novels not previously published by a traditional publisher. First place went to Time’s Firebird by Rachel Mannino; second place to Stripped Bounty by Dorothy F. Shaw; third to Not Even Death by Emerson Clarey.  

The winning novels represent the diverse breadth of the Romance genre. First place winner Time’s Firebird is historical romance with elements of science fiction. “Taken captive by a Viking, time-traveling anthropologist Fiona Dale must find some way home,” reads the hook. “She falls in love with her amorous abductor, but if she stays, she’ll destroy history.” Maninno has published two novels: Love or Justice (Limitless Press), and Fractal (eTreasures).

Stripped Bounty is a romantic thriller/suspense exploring the complicated, harrowing relationship between Rosie Santini and the bouncer of the club she dances after her drug-running husband gets himself killed. “Badger finally got Rosie in his bed, but in order to keep her there, he has to figure out how to save her life,” reads the hook. Shaw has published nine novels, including three with Samhain and one with Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Books.

Not Even Death is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance “inspired by what it means to love in the face of unexpected tragedy and how to move past crippling loss. ” said Clarey. The novel centers around the friendship between two girls–one living, one dead–who vow to “help a troubled boy with a death wish find his way back to hope.”

Mannino has been awarded a cash prize of $200 and will see the first chapter of Time’s Fire Bird excerpted on the popular romance book website, Romance Junkies. Both runners up received a cash prize, and Shaw will receive a professional query consultation. All three novels will be featured on the AUTHORS.me acquisitions platform and highlighted in the company’s February newsletter sent to the publishers and agents who use the platform.

For more information on the winning novels, click here.

Over 300 writers submitted original novels to the contest, which was open to submissions from October 15 through December 15. Judges for the contest hail from some of the top Romance imprints in the country: Lexi Smail, Editorial Assistant at Forever and Forever Yours (Hachette Book Group); Marissa Sangiacomo, Marketing Manager at St. Martin’s Press, specializing in all Swerve, SMP and Griffin Romance titles (Macmillan); and Katherine Pelz, Associate Editor of romance, women’s fiction, and mystery at Berkley/NAL (Penguin/Random House).

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ABOUT AUTHORS, INC.

AUTHORS, Inc. is an Austin-based technology company modernizing the creative discovery process. They bring efficiency and machine intelligence to submissions, providing smart tools for writers, agents, publishers, and producers with a content acquisition platform and predictive analytics.

Direct Matching Added To Submission Platform

Direct Matching Added to Submission Platform

Matches Made in (Publishing) Heaven

On September 15, AUTHORS released Matching, its most transformative update to its submissions platform since launching last year. The update shows writers who among the participating agents and publishers their work matches.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our writers at AUTHORS.me is ‘Who else can I submit to?. Our writers are eager to reach as many potential publishers as possible. And why not?” said David O’Brien, co-founder of AUTHORS.me. David communicates directly with the writers using the AUTHORS platform on a regular basis and fields their concerns. “But the question could, and maybe should be, ‘who should I submit to?’” Matching is the answer to such concerns.

Since launching the service last year, the company has aimed to not just streamline the submissions process for writers, publishers, agents, but to help make it a more efficient and enjoyable experience. This updated is an extension of that goal.

“A lot of the time, when a writer–myself included–asks who else they can submit to, they’re really trying to figure out everyone they can possibly submit to,” said O’Brien. “It’s an understandable desire, given the effort they’ve put into their work. Unfortunately, that thought results in publishers and agents having to wade through submissions they’ve said they explicitly don’t want or are at best poorly targeted. This makes it even harder for those that are submitting to the relevant companies to get noticed.”

The matching system addresses this industry-side concern as well. Publishers and Agents outline exactly what kinds of projects they are willing to review from genre and minimum word count to target audience and author qualifications.

“We want our writers to connect with the right agent and publisher, not just anyone. There has been a lot of thought and tech put into our process,” said O’Brien.  “We have streamlined a century old process down to 3 steps.”

Those steps are: Build. Match. Submit.

1. Build
Writers build their profile and project using simple forms. These get stitched together into a media-rich submission.

On the other side, agents and publishers input their criteria of what they are looking for from a writer.

2. Match
Once the projects’ minimum fields are completed, the matching technology gets to work.

The system grabs the writer’s data and cross-references it with the agents’ and publishers’ requirements. The results are matches that satisfy both sides of the submission equation.

3. Submit
The last step is the Submitting Process. Writers are given the option of following through on the matches and submitting their work. We encourage them to research the agents and publishers we present to them before we release the submission.

Since launching the update, submissions are up and we are hearing back from a lot of happy writers. The upgrade results:

  • Gives writers many more choices to submit their manuscript
  • Streamlines the process
  • Assures the writer and agent/publisher a higher probability of success
  • Keeps the cost to the writer at zero

The second most frequently asked question we hear from our writers is, “Why didn’t someone think of this earlier?” We are happy there is no answer for that.

Announcing The “ROMANCE ME” Genre Novel Competition

Announcing the “ROMANCE ME” Genre Novel Competition

Three Winners to Collect Cash Prizes , Publicity, and Consultation Services in Romance Novel Contest

AUSTIN, TEXAS September 26, 2016 – AUTHORS, Inc., creator of AUTHORS.me, the revolutionary query and submissions service marrying traditional publishing and intelligent machine learning, announced “Romance Me,” a novel competition for romance writers.  The competition will award three prizes that include cash, query review consultation, and more. The first chapter of the winning manuscript will be published on lead romance blog, RomanceJunkies.com. The winning manuscripts will also be sent directly to the inboxes of AUTHORS.me’s’ more than 40 partners, including agents at Trident Literary Management and acquisitions editors at Hachette Book Group and Penguin Random House.  The competition opens September 26 and ends December 15, 2016.

“The Romance competition discovers and amplifies voices in this powerhouse genre,” said Monica Landers, CEO of AUTHORS.me. “Romance has consistently been one of the most dynamic genres in the industry, so we’re beyond thrilled to see what this enthusiastic community has to offer.”

Eligible writers can submit their manuscripts through December 15 using the AUTHORS.me platform which enables them to quickly add all the pertinent details concerning themselves and their work, resulting in a consistent, media-rich output that will be available for the judges’ review. Submission is limited to one manuscript per email address, must be original to the submitting author.

The distinguished panel will include three experts in the Romance publishing industry: Katherine Pelz, Associate Editor at Berkley/NAL, an imprint of Penguin Random House, Marissa Sangiacomo, Marketing Director for St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Swerve, imprints of Macmillan Publishing Group, and Lexi Smail, Editorial Assistant at Forever and Forever Yours, imprints of the Hachette Book Group.

 

Real Summer Reads, Or: How Reading Affects Your Sex Life

Real Summer Reads, or: How Reading Affects Your Sex Life

SURVEY STATSAt the approach of summer, we did a fun poll among readers. We wanted to know what books people were really reading on their summer vacations.  Like a good elementary student, I built my hypothesis:

  • Summer/beach reads tend to be lighter than regular reading
  • People read more on vacation

Wrong and wrong. Turns out that people generally make the same choices of book genres during vacation as they do during the rest of the year. Well, what about train reading? Same choice. What about nighttime reading? Same choice.  We read what we want to read.

My second assumption was based on my own preferences—I dream of leisurely reading the latest and greatest. My book club friends talk about reading at night before falling asleep or relaxing on Sundays with a good book. Conversely, my only chance to read is on vacation. As it happens, I am   very much an outlier in this sense. 99% of respondents read for pleasure, but almost 10% don’t read on vacation.  

Furthermore, 51% said they either read every week or every day for pleasure. But only half of those say they always read on vacation.The people who answered sometimes to both questions were pretty close, at 35% for pleasure 40% on vacation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paperback beat out ebooks, hardbooks and audio on vacation, with 52% of readers preferring a soft-cover title to a hefty hardcover (17%) or less-than-water-resistant ebook (29%) and audiobook (2%).

Be warned that there are ramifications for reading on vacation. 41% report that they stay up late to read. Perhaps more dangerous is the 25% who reported sitting out in the sun too long because they were engrossed in a book. Good news?  Only 11% report ignoring their significant other on vacation because of a book.

That made me wonder what  impact books have in the bedroom — so we asked. According to our survey, 7% said that reading a book in bed affects their sex life, and (thankfully) the majority says it improves their sex drive. Whew. We can all keep reading.

So what do people read on vacation? By genre: Mystery, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, were at the top, followed by Thriller and Literary Fiction.

The shocker? People have the same preferences whether they are reading for fun, reading before bedtime, or reading on vacation. This is against everything the book industry believes—that people are looking for fun beach reads in the summer. Turns out we want our fun books all the time!

In all reading situations on this poll:

  • Romance, Biographies, and True Crime were in the middle.
  • Inspirational, business, and self-help were at the bottom.

I don’t have an explanation for why this doesn’t exactly reflect the market size. Maybe it’s the season. Maybe it’s the weather — who knows!

AUTHORS.me Hires New Marketing Director

AUTHORS.me Hires New Marketing Director

Authors_Christen-5

Christen Thompson Joins AUTHORS.me to Run Marketing, Expand Author Outreach and Account Development

AUSTIN, TEXAS May 1, 2016 – AUTHORS, Inc. is pleased to announce its recent hire of Christen Thompson, who joins as the Marketing Director of AUTHORS. Christen has been an advisor to the company since March of 2015, and will now be working to expand both author outreach and development as well as continued brand and editorial development.

“Christen is the perfect blend of publishing expertise and entrepreneurial drive,” said AUTHORS CEO Monica Landers. “And to top it all off– she’s been with us as an advisor since early days of the company, so she understand both the big vision and all the iterations it’s taken to get us here.”  

Christen comes to AUTHORS with experience in both acquisitions and as a bookseller. She worked as a Senior Acquisitions Editor with The History Press and Arcadia Publishing, acquiring and ushering through publication over 100 books; some of which have been featured in USA Today, Southern Living, the Huffington Post, American Library Journal, Austin Chronicle, National Writers’ Festival, The Texas Book Festival and South by Southwest Interactive, among others.

Christen could be considered a book junkie. She has been inspired by and committed to the promotion of book publishing her whole career. This deep love of books, stories, and their connection to readers led her to create a versatile new bookstore in Charleston, South Carolina called the Itinerant Literate bookmobile. She and her co-owner spend weekends bringing the bookstore to the readers at local events. She is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from Agnes Scott College, where she worked as a managing editor for the decade’s old Writers’ Festival and contest.

“I’m thrilled to bring my knowledge of publishing to the start-up world. I knew the moment I saw the AUTHORS.me prototype that this would be a great tool for writers, agents, and publishers.” said Thompson. “I’m excited to share it both with the writers eager for an entry into the traditional model of publishing and with agents and publishers who need good technology to support their efforts.”

Christen has already had a tremendous impact on the writer’s experience. The company has experienced a spike in growth as a result of her marketing initiatives.

Christen will work to expand AUTHORS’ reach to writers and to develop partnerships with publishers and adjacent industries, as well as expand and nurture the company’s editorial footprint and original material. You can reach her here.

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ABOUT AUTHORS, INC.

AUTHORS, Inc. is an Austin-based technology company dedicated to making the process of discovering new manuscripts better for the writers who write them and easier for the agents and publishers who publish them. AUTHORS has created a breakthrough service that puts everyone on the same platform for better communication, discovery, and submissions.

AUTHORS.me ANNOUNCES YA! 2015 WRITING CONTEST WINNERS

AUTHORS.me ANNOUNCES YA! 2015 WRITING CONTEST WINNERS

AUTHORS.me ANNOUNCES YA! 2015 WRITING CONTEST WINNERS

Three standout first-time novels win YA! 2015 Contest

AUSTIN, TEXAS February  3, 2016 – AUTHORS, Inc., creator of AUTHORS.me, the premier online platform for queries, manuscript submissions and acquisitions discovery, announces Jessica Kelley of Virginia Beach, Virginia and her winning manuscript entitled The Mercy Killers as its winner for the YA! 2105 Young Adult Fiction Writing Competition.

A dystopian fantasy romance in a futuristic society, the winning novel follows a young gypsy girl on a quest to save her people from a terrible plagueand is filled with complex characters and high drama. Ms. Kelley enjoys bringing her stories to life. “The worlds inside my head are a mix of Victorian styles, Greek aristocracy, and Bohemian beauty,” Kelley said. She calls writing her “glorious addiction”. The judges were unanimous in their selection calling Mercy Killers “absolutely fantastic with a strong cast of characters and expert plotting.”

Second place finisher is Lara Dunning with her novel, Aleutian Pearl, a modern day tale of selkies, mythological, shape-shifting creatures. After watching her selkie father die of Land Sickness sixteen-year-old Lula is desperate to avoid the same fate. With her father’s ashes and a mysterious inherited pearl, she leaves the Pacific Northwest and heads to Alaska’s Aleutian Chain determined to find her clan and get the selkie skin she should have been born with. One judge commented, “This is a wonderfully nuanced, original fantasy that boasts suspense, romance, and numerous complex and memorable characters.”

Third place has been awarded to Catherine Hogarth for her novel, Dora Finching, a captivating story of courage set in Dickensian London of the 1860’s. Left disabled by the same train crash that killed her parents, 13-year old protagonist Dora takes charge of two bull terriers bred for dog-fighting while convalescing. Together the orphaned girl fights for their survival and hers.An engaging and skillfully told story with a wonderful cast of characters good and bad amidst an authentic setting.”

Ms. Kelley has been awarded first prize of $750 along with line editing of her full manuscript provided by co-sponsor BookLogix of Alpheretta, GA. In addition, the top three winners receive a one-year subscription to AUTHORS Discovery. The two runners up also receive cash awards and prizes, one of which includes a session with published author and book coach Carolyn Cohagan.

Asked what Ms. Kelley has in store for her follow up novel she said, “My next project focuses on a young lady in 1800’s steampunk France and India, and the world involves perfumes with magical effects that only the rich can afford.”

The panel of four judges included John B. Bryans, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Plexus Publishing, Inc., who said, “The overall quality of the entries was impressive and the winners are exceptional—I expect to see all three successfully published in the near future.” Bryans added, “The contest was my introduction to an innovative system for managing the editorial acquisitions process, and I’m hooked. Kudos to AUTHORS.me for encouraging new writers and helping agents and publishers discover their work.”

The other YA contest judges included Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary, Jackie Lindert of New Leaf Literary, and Christen Thompson, Acquisitions Editor and Bookseller.

“All the judges reviewed at different times, but thanks to AUTHORS, it was easy to collaborate and enjoy a few healthy debates,” said Thompson.

AUTHORS.me will continue to offer opportunities for writers to test their skills in other writing competitions, including a thriller contest running now through March in partnership with Reedsy.com.

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ABOUT AUTHORS, INC.

AUTHORS, Inc. is an Austin technology company dedicated to making the process of discovering new manuscripts better for the writers who write them and for the agents and publishers who publish them. AUTHORS has created a breakthrough service that puts everyone on the same platform for better communication, discovery and submissions management.

Big Prizes For YA! 2015 Young Adult Fiction Competition

Big prizes for YA! 2015 Young Adult Fiction Competition

Calling all YA writers! AUTHORS.me is sponsoring more than $4,000 in prizes for top YA manuscripts. It’s our chance to support great writers who have knocked themselves out to create entertaining YA fiction. Three talented writers will be chosen to receive prizes including a complete line edit of their manuscript or a one-hour session with a book coach after a careful read; a free one-year membership with AUTHORS.me; and of course, cash. (Details here.)

I love the genre! I have written a couple YA mysteries of my own; raised 5 kids who surrounded me with YA books; and although I’m in the over-40 crowd, one out of three books I read today are classified Young Adult. I am currently reading The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon. Case in point, who in their right mind doesn’t love the Harry Potter Series?

We define young adult fiction as a story for a young adult audience, that is, a book for a readership between the ages of 12 to 18. The protagonist, story theme and POV should be within the same age range. Beyond that, your imagination knows no bounds.

The judges for the contest are top-flight publishing professionals. They include Danielle Chiotti from Upstart Crow Literary; John B. Bryans of Plexus Publishing; Jackie Lindert from New Leaf Literary and Media; and editor and bookseller Christen Thompson. Each has a solid footprint in the YA field and will readily recognize a talented YA author.

My advice to YA writers out there – be brave. Submit your work, not just to YA! 2015, but also to as many places that will take it. Get some feedback. Keep at it. If you do not happen to win this contest, so what! We grow and get better by doing it.

Keep in the loop with our contest on Twitter. Follow the hashtag, #AUTHORSmeContest. We’ll announce the winners here on February 1, 2016. If you are reading this before December 31, 2015, you still have a chance to enter! Click here for details.

 

Job Position: Director Of Publisher Accounts, NYC

Job position: Director of Publisher Accounts, NYC

Job position: Director of Publisher Accounts

AUTHORS.me has the best publisher partners any company could ask for. As we’ve grown, I’ve realized the value of these relationships more and more. We get important feedback and suggestions from them along with tremendous support and encouragement.

Our partners reassure us that we are on the right track making a difference for writers, agents, and publishers. This is a gift that makes our 12-hour workdays worth it!

Because I value these relationships over and beyond the simple monetary exchange, I want to make sure that this is still a core component of our company.

To that end, I need someone in New York who can work closely with our agents and publishers. Yes, there is some sales work involved, but more importantly, there is an on-going relationship that balances the publishers needs/wishes/goals for their writers with our fast-growing service.

The Director of Publisher Accounts will work closely with me as my counterpart in publisher relations. I am looking for someone who lives and breathes NYC literary publishing to balance my living and breathing Austin technology.

Below is the official job description. Please send me a cover letter and link to your resume so we can talk more. Contact me here.

Job Description

An Austin-based startup is looking for an experienced agent or publisher with wide contacts in the literary, journalism and publishing worlds, to be based in New York City.

AUTHORS.me is an online platform for queries, manuscript submissions and acquisitions discovery geared to simplify and accelerate the acquisitions process for agents and publishers.

The Director of Publisher Accounts will anchor and run our NYC office, acting both as brand salesperson and thoughtful support for our local agency and publisher clients. You’ll report to and work closely with the CEO.

This is the right job for you:

  • If you’ve wanted to try something new in publishing, take a risk, but just didn’t know how. (You’ll be joining an experienced team of entrepreneurs.)
  • You enjoy connecting people to projects
  • You are self-motivated, self-directed, and energized by leading new initiatives.
  • You are more about support than sales.

Basic Qualifications

  • NYC metro area
  • Experience in literary publishing industry
  • Deep understanding of book acquisitions
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Bachelor’sdegree

Responsibilities

  • Growing client base of agents and publishers: From introductions and first contact to follow-up and sales calls
  • Oversee customer on-boarding and support
  • Provide feedback to product team about feature requirements and usage

We will consider part-time offers, but prefer that you take this on full time.

Thank you for your consideration and time. Here is to great work, great writers and best of all, great books.

 

Monica Landers
CEO AUTHORS.me

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