One day, three women in publishing were on a conference call discussing a book project for a publisher all three of them were involved with in various ways—editing, designing, shepherding—really, all ways except writing the book. Reviews were brought into the conversation, and the topic changed from “this book” to “all books.”
These three women have a combined sixty years in the publishing industry. They were lamenting the necessity for books to have reviews now. A book or author has to have a certain number of reviews to be eligible for some promotion platforms to even consider accepting an ad. Many retailers have analytic triggers for auto-promotion that require a number of reviews before going into effect. Some purchasers won’t even bother to read a book description unless that book has some arbitrary number of reviews.
Then, the book review blogs were mentioned. These wonderful people accept books from authors but are inundated with requests for reviews. Some have backlogs months long. Some have “closed” their signups for reviews because of the sheer number of authors needing reviews. Not all book bloggers are interested in all books—some will not even consider books outside of their chosen genres—but that doesn’t stop authors from sending their book information to them. It takes time to read all those emails and either delete, ask for more information, or send a decline email.
Light Bulb Time
They had an idea to make a clearing house, so to speak, for authors, publishers, bloggers, and readers. Authors need reviews, bloggers need to step back from the flurry of review request emails, and everyday readers want to get books to review.
Sounds simple, right?
Not so much.
They had to come up with a name, research, figure out the parameters of the service they wanted to provide (and do it as cost-effective for authors as possible). Then, the three women had to build the membership site and go on a hunt for reviewers and bloggers. But they needed books to offer to these readers.
Needless to say, it’s been a lot of work, but it’s work these women enjoy. After all, their love for the written word, for books, and for authors fuels their work and personal lives.
We hope that you will stop in, find a book and in doing so find that next ‘always-read’ author for your bookshelf.
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