If you’ve been following F-flat Books on social media, I have no doubt you know my sister, Sarah. You may have noted her oft added title “Co-Founder of F-flat Books.” And, those of you who are of a curious sort may have wondered “Wait… ‘co-‘ means there’s another founder. Who is this F-flatter in the shadows?! Intrigue!” Well, that’s me, David Allen (nice to finally meet you all, by the way). I thought it time I stepped out from behind those shadows and introduced myself.
So, wait… You don’t know anything about music?
Ok, that’s not entirely true. Sarah and I (along with our sister, Rachel) grew up in a musical household. And, growing up I played a little clarinet, bass clarinet, and enough piano to know I wanted to play the guitar.
Sarah, however, was the one who actually practiced. So, here we are — Sarah with a PhD in Music Education, and me with just enough skill to play Wonderwall on the guitar and make my family sing along. Oh, and not to mention enough knowledge of music to come up with the “F-flat Books” and “Every Good Boy Deserves Funds” puns (yes, I’m ashamed to admit those were both my ideas).
So, why are you here?
Whoa, hold your horses. Let’s not skip to the end. First, let me give you some context by way of my background.
Originally, I went to college as a theology major. After dropping out of college to focus on video production and graphic design, I decided to become a strength coach. And, after deciding to no longer be a strength coach, I went back to college. This resulted in a Masters degree in mathematics. In fact, it almost resulted in a PhD in mathematics, but my wife and I decided to move to France.
Abruptly ending my doctorate, I had to call upon my weirdly diverse skill set and find freelance work. I ended up finding work in graphic design, web development, writing, and video production. Basically, I started taking any job that could be done remotely. Also (and here’s a shameless self promotion) I became an art photographer.
So, when Sarah realized that she wanted to publish an eBook, but there weren’t any author-centric platforms that suited it, she called me. I figured “Surely someone has done this already.” And, so, I told Sarah, “Surely someone has done this already.” “Search,” she commanded as someone who had clearly already searched. I searched. Nothing. I was on board — it seemed something that should exist.
The next step was to research existing eBook websites to get an idea for what I should build. I realized that there was potential for more than just and eBook marketplace. Looking at other sites, I decided that we should have a place where authors could be free to post articles, comment, and be a community. Sarah was, of course, on board with this. If you notice, we’ve put a lot of effort into our blog section as well as our book section. (If you’re a music professional who’d like to use our platform to write, just contact us!)
You two must get along!
For the longest time, we didn’t get along — I, being the oldest child, and Sarah, wishing she was the oldest. All joking aside, it has only been recently that we’ve become actual friends. Yet, surprisingly, we were very like-minded going into F-flat together. We both immediately agreed that authors should get the lion’s share of a sale, and that we should devote a portion to putting music in schools. Basically, we’re probably horrible business-people and I’ll have to take up busking to offset our costs (note to self: get The OZ Guitar Method and learn to play more than just Wonderwall)
The response we have seen in the early days of this platform have amazed me. I wouldn’t have helped found F-flat if I didn’t believe it could work. But, I honestly didn’t believe we would get this kind of traffic, interest, and participation in the first few months. I’m excited to become a part of this community, even if I feel I don’t exactly belong. I’m excited to see where F-flat will be in 5 years. And, most importantly, I’m excited to have a platform where I can make bad music puns for years to come.