The what, why, and how of Backstory


Learn a little bit about Backstory including what we are about, why we exist, and how we work.

Get to know us a bit

What is Backstory?

Backstory is a lot of things to different people, but to us it is an idea that provides a solution to an over-saturated fiction industry. The fiction writing industry is one of the hardest to succeed in. The barriers to market have become quite low so that just about anyone can try their hand at it.

This is fantastic because great quality content from all corners of the world can shine through and enrich our lives. But with such an overwhelming amount of content, finding those hidden gems becomes harder and harder.

“In an industry overflowing with content the hardest thing to achieve is being found and heard. The power of a collective voice can cut through the deluge and bring success to many instead of a few.”

Cal West

We realised that a collective voice is much louder than an individual one, and so its message (and content) can be found more easily. Working collaboratively results in a higher probability of success, which is why you're in the industry in the first place, success.

  • Collaborative worlds. Working on collaborative worlds means your chance of achieving success will come quicker.
  • Structured worlds. Our worlds have a management team and a creative team working in sync. Management keeps everyone on track and working towards shared success.
  • Analytics galore. It's not just reviews and ratings anymore. Rich analytics about who your customers are can help you tailor your content to suit your audience. No more "hit and hope".

The fiction writing industry is in need of a shake-up. We thought the self-publishing wave would achieve it, but it's actually caused more problems than solutions. A new way of thinking is necessary to see success find its way into the hands of more creatives.

What are we really about?

At Backstory, we're on a mission to prove that creatives have a greater chance of success by working together. We have high hopes for this and we hope you do too. As with any pioneering concept, the first task is to make a perspective adjustment. If you're curious about what we are doing don't hesitate to reach out.

Why we exist

Filling a gap

We know certain groups of people have tried to achieve the shared world concept manually. Unfortunately, without a suitable piece of software they have struggled and eventually fallen away. The concept is too complicated to achieve manually.

We searched high and low for a piece of software or a platform that provided teams with a structured way to collaboratively create and publish content. Unfortunately nothing matched our expectations. Shared worlds require unique software, and nothing out there currently exists.

Achieving desirables

We came to the conclusion that the way the industry works is counterproductive to success. As a writer, your aim should always be to see your content up on the big screen, because then you will get a return on your investment. To increase the probability of that we need to work in a way that is desirable to film studios.

Film studios and game developers are looking for canons & content that they can really squeeze to get at least 10+ years worth of content out of. Working as an individual it would probably take you at least 10 years to create that amount of content. Working collaboratively turns that into 1 or 2 years.

Changing perspective

Did you know that as a writer your readers and fans are not overly interested in your storyline? Harry Potter fans don't want to defeat Voldermort, they just want to be wizards and go to Hogwarts. Game of Thrones fans don't want to defeat the white walkers, they want to fly around on dragons.

The storyline is not the product or brand, the world is. Fans want to live in the world, not live out the storyline. This means that readers are customers of the world. Whichever storyline brings them into a world, they automatically act like repeat customers for all of the world's other storylines. And the one thing we all know about repeat customers is that it's 6 times easier to sell to them than to a new customer.

Worlds, brands and teams

How we work

We work in worlds, and each world that we build and populate is a brand in and of itself. We attach a collection of diverse creatives to each world, who work in teams to produce content for publication.

Teams work together on all kinds of content such as franchises and short stories, but also even in-character travel journals and diary extracts. The aim of the team is to create as much quality content of all kinds as possible, to keep readers interested and engaged.

  • Collaborate. Work in intimate 4-person teams on each piece of content, with each of you filling a specific role.
  • Publish. Feel the breeze of one-click publishing without having to worry about formatting for file formats.
  • Succeed. Sit back and effortlessly keep track of your sales and reading analytics to help guide you on your next piece of content.

Published content from all of our worlds becomes available to read on our unique cross-platform reading app at very competitive prices. No more getting lost on Kindle, Kobo or Smashwords.

Are you an indie publishing house?

If you have your own indie publishing house then we might be a great opportunity for you. Your entrepreneurial spirit makes you perfectly suitable for Backstory world management.

Imagine running a world with a team of 50 creatives all under your roof producing related content. Can you see the marketing and sales potential? Why not have a chat with us.

Join us

Whether you're a writer, an editor, a world-builder, an artist or a fiction entrepreneur we have a space for you at Backstory. Our success is your success and we want to succeed with you.