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Thread: [Display site] Book Country

  1. #1
    Luv's Conscript AyJay's Avatar
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    [Display site] Book Country

    Does anyone know what this is about?

    http://thesekritprojektbeta.tumblr.com/

    I follow Colleen Lindsay on Twitter. She left agenting to work for Penguin Books and is promoting this thing like crazy--launching a new on-line writers community? It piques my curiosity, especially since she's looking for genre writers, including fantasy.

    ??

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW maracalone's Avatar
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    At first it sounded like Authonomy run by Harper Collins to me, but now I don't think so.
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  3. #3
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    Right now it's in the beta mode and in dire need of some more members...

    You have to contact Colleen so she can set you up with a temp pass word to get in...
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  4. #4
    This hat is getting too hot Chumplet's Avatar
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    If you check the link she provides, you'll see that it's not like Authonomy. Shoot her an email if you fit the parameters.

  5. #5
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Everything I click brings me to the same page linked above. Where is the full description of what they're doing? Where is the TOS? I can't seem to get there from anything I've found here or by google, but I'm a bit dull at times.

    Sekrit Prokect? Sounds secksy. But it's not secksy or mysterious if it's been tweeted about. Tonight, these are my questions: What is YOUR GOAL? Who is the project looking for? Where is the TOS? What should writers expect? Why do they have to email CL for access? Is if because of the workshop nature, and if so, why is their work not being posted on a password protected secure server. If it is, why are they worried enough about it to post these restrictions? Especially at this stage in the game?
    Last edited by Giant Baby; 04-01-2011 at 07:36 AM. Reason: weird typos
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  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Hope it's not the next Authonomy. Or Inkpop. Or any other HarperCollins internet writer community.

    But it seems more life a giant, official community of beta readers to me.

  8. #8
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan Watson-Morris View Post
    Hope it's not the next Authonomy. Or Inkpop. Or any other HarperCollins internet writer community.

    But it seems more life a giant, official community of beta readers to me.
    It's a beta version, not beta readers, and it says right on the page that it's not a chance to be seen by editors or published, so it's not like Authonomy's claims at all.

    If anything, it sounds like a giant version of the Sandbox mixed with Share Your Work, but that's just a guess from that one page of introduction.

  10. #10
    I meant beta readers as in proofing people's work. And I know it's not like what Authonomy or Inkpop claim to be, they're very explicit about that on their webpage.

  11. #11
    Luv's Conscript AyJay's Avatar
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    It's not "sekrit" any more.

    From NYT---http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/books/book-country-an-online-site-by-penguin-group.html

    "A website for authors of genre fiction," writer-to-writer critiques, advice, and opportunity to self-publish print copies under the Book Country imprint.

  12. #12

  13. #13
    This is the worrisome bit from the NYTimes article:

    Later this summer the site will generate revenue by allowing users to self-publish their books for a fee by ordering printed copies.
    Of course, that statement is so vague that it could really mean anything. It could simply mean that the 'fee' is the ordering of the printed books, or it could mean that there is an actual fee for getting the opportunity to order printed books. And there's no word of distribution or warehousing through partners that would "make it available" at online resellers and/or make eBook copies available at places like the iBookstore.

    Hopefully, it's not simply Penguin's way of getting into the self-publishing business. While that sounds like it will be part of the package, I'd hope that the emphasis remains on building a community.

    I mentioned in another thread on a book display site that I thought there was room for a really well done social network devoted to the tier of writers not with a commercial publisher. While this site is aimed at newbies, it certainly can include those at a non-commercial small press or eBook press. Sounds like it could be a great way for writers to both hone their craft and get a little recognition.

  14. #14
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Bravo to Penguin for trying. I'll sniff around the site, maybe, but I don't expect to join until I see how well it functions. The idea is noble. I'm not sure how the implementation will work. Sure, Penguin wants this to be an incubator for new authors. Is that Barton's commentary on the defects of the whole publishers' slushpile and agents-as-gatekeepers system?

    I'm nervous about uploading whole works for review to a site where I have to rely on everyone's honor not to steal my work. I know, I know, there are no new stories -- but there are variations on themes. From various fan sites, I'm familiar with the outcry that happens when someone is lazy enough to post someone else's work as their own.

    And any time I catch a whiff of 'pay to publish', I become deeply suspicious.

  15. #15
    Undercover, sort of... hillaryjacques's Avatar
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    One thing that is nice about the site, similar to AW, is that there are published authors working in there, as well as Penguin editors.

    I haven't looked into the pay to publish function, but it's not a requirement of working in and benefitting from the critique and discussion sections.

  16. #16
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    I'm deeply disappointed in Penguin. Are they intending to compete with PA?

    Do we really need YADS (Yet Another Display Site)?

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  17. #17
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    We don't, Medievalist. But for the millions of unpublished writers who have no background in how publishing works, this is going to seem like a dream come true. Heck, I entered Suvudu's writing contest for the same reason, to get even a chance at Del Rey.

    Whether or not Book Country's self-publishing arm is currently connected to the community networking arm, I'm worried that it will be in the future. And as much as genre fiction is begging for outlets, this could turn into the literary equivalent of a multi-level marketing scheme. I want to know the published writers involved, and why they chose to do so. I want copyright safeguards and passwords in place, like AW SYW sections. And I want to see what Book Country looks like in a year.

    Is this why Colleen left agenting, to babysit this site?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    I'm deeply disappointed in Penguin. Are they intending to compete with PA?

    Do we really need YADS (Yet Another Display Site)?
    I wouldn't really consider it a display site, though that is certainly one aspect of the whole. And there is no doubt they are using that to build the community.

    Taken at face value, it seems to be aimed at creating a social writing community. Which is a good idea. If done right.

    Hopefully, it's not just a hitch for their self-publishing trailer to be released at some later date. Don't mind attaching self-publishing to it per sey, but certainly there is a tightrope to walk there.

    (No doubt, Penguin's end game is to make more money, but they join almost every other publisher on the planet in that regard.)

  19. #19
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herdon View Post
    Hopefully, it's not just a hitch for their self-publishing trailer to be released at some later date. Don't mind attaching self-publishing to it per sey, but certainly there is a tightrope to walk there.
    You might like to read this.

    Later this summer the site will generate revenue by allowing users to self-publish their books for a fee by ordering printed copies.

  20. #20
    braaaiiinsss... bohica's Avatar
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    I'll join and sniff around. Sounds like SYW on a larger scale.
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    You might like to read this.
    Later this summer the site will generate revenue by allowing users to self-publish their books for a fee by ordering printed copies.
    You might want to read earlier in the thread when I quoted that exact same bit.

  22. #22
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    I spotted the article in the Times (offline) this morning, been waiting to ask. I caught the self-publishing quote, too, and worried about it. Paying for it? Oh, dear. Particularly since their self-published books will not be affiliated with Penguin, or even with Book Country. Is that a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan Watson-Morris View Post
    Hope it's not the next Authonomy. Or Inkpop. Or any other HarperCollins internet writer community.
    Okay, I'm ignorant (I'm not a writer, anyway, but an artist). What's wrong with the above-mentioned?

    Also, I worry a bit about the (physical newspaper) article's opening, with its scare tactics about publishing and the slushpile. Color me doubtful.

  23. #23
    braaaiiinsss... bohica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    Also, I worry a bit about the (physical newspaper) article's opening, with its scare tactics about publishing and the slushpile. Color me doubtful.
    That part felt like a sales pitch aimed straight at the wallets of disillusioned writers, and salesmen fill me with blind, irrational rage. Still gonna nose around - it does have potential. Potential for what remains to be seen
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  24. #24
    I doubt it was a "sales pitch." But it was definitely a puff piece, and it seems Julie Bosman was quite willing to take liberty with the facts of the publishing industry in order to write a piece that reads better. (An online writing community not at all being the equivalent of a publisher's slush pile.)

  25. #25
    Have Harp Will Travel JSSchley's Avatar
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    I've been part of the beta test since the first post in this thread, so...a little under a month. I don't intend to ever use the self-publishing arm, but it's kind of a fun mix of forum, writer-facebook, and SYW-style stuff. Is it a bit of a prop for their self-pubbing venture? Sure, but I haven't seen anything that indicates that Penguin is trying to pitch that at people as the answer to the slush pile. There are enough commercially-published authors and commercial-publishing hopefuls who are willing to talk seriously about the business and who have this community in perspective. So far, it seems the goal is to build a community, first and foremost. I completely agree, however, with herdon's comment about the Bosman article. Sounds like she has no idea what's up.

    I'm technically not a genre writer so I don't have my stuff up there yet, but it's been pretty fun nosing around. If you'd like to connect, I'm under the same username.

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