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Bookvetter

Ever needed an independent honest unbiased opinion of something you have created? Ever struggled to connect with the audience your product is created for? Ever felt like your work was not respected or your time was not valued? These are all common issues for authors and reviewers in the current literary environment.

Bookvetter is about connecting people, people who love books. The literary world is changing as both industrial literature and mass media are dying like the leaves on the trees that were once used to print books. As the traditional system withers we are still searching for the process that will replace it.

We have gone from printing 300,000 books a year to over 3 million books a year now that anyone can publish a book. Aside from seeing a massive amount of material that is not ready for a larger audience we are also seeing great books failing to find the right audience and getting lost in the chaos.

The Bookvetter solution is to crowd source books using two different communities; an author community and a book review blogger community. The process starts in the author community with anonymous peer reviews in order to avoid review reprisals or review trading. The content of the book and the reviewers reading interests will always match in order to ensure a book is given a fair review and the author is provided with relevant feedback that can improve the book.

If a books cumlative review score is high enough the book is then considered a Vetted Book and offered to the book review blogger community for additional review. Book review bloggers are the real stars of the literary world and the scarce resource (authors vastly outnumber book review bloggers).

The reviews created by book review bloggers are what spreads the word about books. Book review bloggers have followers who trust and want to hear what they have to say about books. Despite the obvious connection this group has with readers, both traditional publishing and many authors are still acting inappropriately and not recognizing the contribution this group is making to literature.

The Bookvetter concept is based on my own personal experience writing and then marketing a book. Writers need a broader and better source of feedback prior to publishing a book. Writers also need an independent and honest means of verifying their book is quality and deserving to be read by a larger audience. The final need of writers is to spend less time marketing their books (it often comes across as spam) and instead spend more time creating great content that readers want and will spread the word about for free.

It was searching for reviews that brought me into close contact with book review bloggers. Getting the first review was the hardest, after that it become much easier and I also noticed that my book sales were nearly totally dependent on this group spreading the word about my book.

Book review bloggers are also not treated with respect. Their independence is a threat to those with a vested interest in a book and because they are not financially compensated for their reviews many also view their time as less valuable. The Bookvetter system helps book review bloggers by filtering their review request (kills author spam) and provides them with Vetted Books so their time won't be wasted reading and reviewing sub-par material.

I started this project about a year ago and quickly encountered large roadblocks. To start with the bids to construct a minimal viable product that could be used to test the market and concept were in the $400,000 range. In addition most people are still skeptical of crowd sourcing or the power of permission marketing and tribes.

Luckily I was able to find some excellent cloud based web services that allowed me create the site myself for a fraction of the cost, plus I learned to code. I recently made the site live and have started attracting authors and book review bloggers from around the world.

The website address is Bookvetter and I'm fully open to any feedback that can be used to improve the website and concept. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your input.

Marc

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