Authors on LitRate
I’m not an author and I don’t know a lot about what authors look for in a book cataloging site. But as I start building my own new cataloging site, LitRate, I’m really looking forward to working with authors to incorporate their ideas.
LitRate is essentially our idea for a new and improved Goodreads. Many people have been looking for an alternative to Goodreads for a long time (since they got bought by Amazon or since they started deleting reviews without warning) but many haven’t found a site that does quite what they’re looking for. My husband and I are hoping to create that site!
I can tell you right off the bat that LitRate will take less of a marketing approach than Goodreads does. I’m not sure if authors will see that as a step up or step down, but ultimately I think it’s something that readers appreciate. Not all authors are guilty of this of course, but when some people log in to Goodreads they’re bombarded with authors recommending their own books to readers, or sending them messages saying “I think you’d like my book, check it out [here]”, and so on.
We don’t want LitRate to be a place to sell or market books. We don’t see our future user base as a pool of consumers or potential buyers, and we don’t want them to be treated as such. Our main goal is to level the playing field between authors and readers. On Goodreads I see a bit of a separation. You have readers, and then you have authors with their different looking profiles. We want to bring those two together. Instead of having two separate ‘ranks’ like that, we just want to cater to lovers of books.
We definitely want authors on the site, but we don’t want them to view LitRate as a marketing platform. We want LitRate to be a place where book lovers—be those readers or authors—can come together because of their love of books. Authors can talk to readers on an informal, conversational basis, rather than some sort of official Q&A that might be used for marketing.
One feature we do hope to add for authors is the ability to edit their own books. This is one thing that I’ve heard authors would like to be able to do on Goodreads but are unable to do so. Although this probably won’t be available straight at launch, it is something we’re hoping to add as a feature later on. Authors would have to be manually reviewed to have their identity confirmed, but once that’s done they would have the ability to edit any books listed under their name. I think this could be particularly handy for self-published authors who may have to edit covers, publication dates, and other information more often than traditionally published authors.
As I said before, I’m not an author. I’m far from an expert when it comes to knowing what authors are looking for. That’s where you come in! I want to know what you look for and value in a book review/cataloging site. If you have ideas or a particular feature that you’d want on a site like LitRate, please let us know!
And most importantly, LitRate can’t succeed without your help. In order to get the site off the ground, we have to raise about $16,000 to license book data from a company. In order to raise this money, we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign. If you want to see LitRate come to life and secure your place in the closed beta, please consider backing the Kickstarter project. Hopefully we’ll meet our goal and then we can work together to create the perfect site for book lovers!
*Note from Theresa:
Without input from authors, Ashley and her husband can’t bring your ideas to fruition! PLEASE leave a comment with features you’d love to see incorporated! I can tell you now that their ideas for readers are brilliant, and LitRate could most definitely become the best thing since sliced bread for readers, but why not help them knock it out of the park for authors, too? Let them know what you’d like to see in a cataloging site, and please, if you have the ability, think about donating to their kickstarter campaign. Let’s help them make their ideas reality! 🙂