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Welcome to Self-Publishing Review 2.0

The new site is finally live. Spent the last couple of weeks living on the WPMU and Buddypress forums to get this set up. Users now have the ability to:

  1. Join groups
  2. Participate in forums
  3. Add friends

Additionally, the coolest part of this new set-up for me is that anyone who registers has the ability to add blog posts to the site. If you look at the header, the site is separated into Blog and Magazine. The Blog page consists of all the posts on the site, but all blog posts won’t automatically go to the front page, otherwise people could write, “My book is great, buy my book,” and the site would quickly become useless.

So: all new blog posts are moderated to maybe add an image and to be consistent with the purpose of the site. So someone can’t just post their review of The Lost Symbol because it’s not self-published. We’ll see how this works, but think it could be cool to give more people a voice. Certain blog posts will be bumped up to the front page. If all you want to do is cross-post from your own blog, that’s fine.

Full instructions for blogging are here.

Second thing that’s good about this site is Groups. One thing I’ve learned is I can’t possibly cover all the different wings of self-publishing. So if romance writers or readers want to start a group, they can – a huge segment of self-publishing, but not something I’m particularly passionate about. They should still have an outlet. Self-publishing’s only going to grow, and this new site is better equipped to grow with it.

My hope is that this can bring in new reviewers, as writers can connect with each other and maybe even review each other’s books. This has the potential of people gaming the system and writing mutual back-scratching reviews, but pure puff pieces aren’t going to be approved. There are far too many books being released for one blogger, or even a staff of bloggers, to handle, so maybe this can increase the site’s review output.

Another thing I’ve found is that self-publishers tend to not buy each other’s books. They like to hang out on self-publishing sites and send a link to their personal site, but not a lot of book-buying goes on. My absolute fantasy for this place is that it helps people sell more books. Sort of like Cursor, but without the printing model – just a way to create specific communities where writers and readers can connect.  That’s where a social network can be more effective than a blog entry with a list of comments. If people create niche groups, readers and writers can more-easily find books they want to read (ideally). First, of course, people have to be active.

All told, I think the new site can be consistent with the old one, but be more of a daily destination, as people can create their own content. As it was, the old site could be fairly dormant between posts.

Big thanks go to Greg Eland web design for helping me get this set up and the WPMU Dev site <—-That’s an affiliate link, but I wouldn’t have been able to do this without shelling out some money. Buddypress has some great capabilities, but it’s also pretty early on in its development, so it has some problems. Let me know if there are any issues – I’m fairly confident there will be, as many, many little tweaks went into getting it to this point.

All right, get registering.

  • http://www.theBookDesigner.com Joel Friedlander

    Henry,

    Terrific job, the new site looks great and it looks like it’s fully functional. I think the DIY blogging is a neat idea, it will be interesting to see how it develops, and how much overhead for you it involves.

    Great luck with the new community, I hope to be a part of it too!

    Best,

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/henry-baum/ Henry Baum

    Thanks a lot, Joel. Excited about what this can become.

    The inaugural Member Post is now on the site: http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/blog/2009/12/29/the-daunting-task-of-marketing/

    Think Member Blogs will be both more work and less work. Less pressure to keep this site moving if I don’t feel like blogging (happens), but I’ll have to keep it all organized.

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/mattyoungmark/ mattyoungmark

    I like the idea of self-publishers supporting other self-publishers by purchasing each others’ books. I started with this one: http://tinyurl.com/ydjrr6d

    Henry works his butt off to run this site, so if you’re looking to check out some of your peers’ work, I figure The American Book of the Dead is a great place to start.

  • http://www.TheBookDesigner.com Joel Friedlander

    Actually, I’ve been watching my mailbox for my copy of Henry’s book that I won in the Backwords Books contest. I know it’s gonna arrive soon…

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/henry-baum/ Henry Baum

    Oh, it’s coming. I was waiting for the Christmas rush to pass before sending it out. And I’ve been knee-deep in this place.

  • http://willentrekin.com Will Entrekin

    Dude, this looks amazing. The user-generated content is a rather brilliant stroke.