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Web Site Spotlights Local Authors’ Works

The growth of the Internet and desktop publishing may have expanded access to the written word, but the distribution and sale of books has become more limited.

An El Cajon-based Web site, LocalAuthors.com, hopes to change that situation.

Francine Philipps, a veteran editor and writer who launched the site a few years ago, says she’s added about 20 new authors to the site since April, just about doubling its membership.

The books and authors cover the gamut from politics and business, to fiction. “We have everything from novels to cookbooks, with many hard-to-find books,” said Phillips, who co-authored nine books and wrote one book of poetry.

Besides providing local writers with a direct sales outlet for their work, the site also offers free classifieds, author profiles, book signing listings, and other features.

Phillips collects a 25 percent commission on whatever books are sold, but isn’t exactly raking in millions.

“I probably won’t make a profit until I get about 500 authors on the site,” she said. Phillips estimates there are more than 1,000 authors with published books in the area, and wants to list at least half of them before branching out to other cities.

In the meantime, Phillips is still pounding the keyboard, working on several projects, including the memoirs of the Rev. George Walker Smith.

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