Envision a city wherein the citizens are renowned authors, first-rate publishers, brilliant illustrators, a dedicated government agency and you? Imagine a city with unlimited possibilities, all with the click of a mouse.

That city is more than an imagination now because the National Book Development Board has made it tangible.

With the agency’s mandate to promote Filipino authorship and book development, they have come up with the Virtual Book City (VBC). This website will be an online source of information serving as the communication link among stakeholders of the Philippine book publishing industry, the Philippine authors and you. Designed literally as a virtual city, you can gain access to the website’s features by going inside buildings or establishments.

Sounds good, right? NBDB has loaded a lot more features to these buildings that we all can enjoy.

A forum will aid virtual discussion among book lovers and industry players. Site visitors can post messages, create an electronic group, discuss with authors, book publishers and others through electronic mail. The forum will also include a buy-and-sell section wherein you can actively take part of. There is also an interactive online survey wherein you can have a say on current reading preferences, books, and other issues concerning the book industry.

To top that, the VBC will also include a comprehensive list of award winning books that you can download. These are categorized according to award-giving body, authors, publisher, topic and other details.

But VBC is more than that, authors who are looking for publishers can gain access to NBDB’s large database of accredited publishers. What’s also good about the website is that it is very interactive that you can actually send and receive messages to which ever you’ e doing business with. VBC will also provide tips on how to secure an international serial book number (or the ISBN), a copyright and how to publish, market and distribute your book. Talk about a larger chance for having your work published and appreciated locally and internationally. Published works will be uploaded as e-books and can be accessible to anyone and anywhere. Becoming an author will then be as competitive as becoming a doctor, lawyer or a nurse. Not only do you get well-paid but your published works well then have a wide reach. As high-strung as it may seem, VBC will encourage more Filipinos to write.

A search facility will be contained in the website that will allow a common search of all the contents of NBDB website and an advance search for a specific category. This will provide a faster means of accessing information.

A landmark in Philippine online milieu, VBC will be integrated into the NBDB’s existing website and shall be accessible in its homepage. The website not only targets job creation, investments, and education for all but at the same time creates the best condition in supporting Filipino authorship and book development.

The launching of the website will coincide with the celebration of NBDB’s tenth anniversary celebration and the Philippine book development month this June 2006.

VBC is more than a mind’s eye now, an actualization that is larger than life.

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