In a Social Network for Book Lovers and Authors, where do aspiring authors fit in?

Edit – Quick update onĀ www.booksummit.com – we now have 140+ members, including 100+ kindle owners.

Stumbling around the internet I ran into aspiring novelist Aaron Crocco’s blog Copious Notes which chronicles his efforts to write and get published. One of the things I really liked was a sidebar listing of his novels and the status of each – Aaron’s basically listed the number of pages, the number of words and status of the books he’s writing (including one he’s testing with Beta readers; and one that’s done and on hold).

Just like I feel that the Kindle presents established and published authors with big opportunities to get early and valuable feedback on their works and connect with readers, I think there’s an opportunity for aspiring authors too and some of the reasons are

  1. Finding beta readers.
  2. Publishing a free chapter and getting feedback.
  3. Being able to release a book without having to actually get a publisher.

To this point I haven’t really thought fully of how our social network could help aspiring authors. However, I’m going to start putting some thought into it and see if there’s something we can do. There’s one other author’s blog I wanted to highlight – however, can’t recall the url. will add that in later.

New Features Added to the Network

There are two new test features we’ve added –

  1. A Map Wiki that you can edit. Mostly to let user graphically see what other users are near them. (very alpha – it works though).
  2. A Book Bargains section with deals and coupons for quite a reasonable number of book stores.

The latter is a community suggestion, and we intend to update it every week with great book bargains.

People are blogging on their own blogs in the network, joining groups, making friends – things look good.

BTW I had exactly 1,111 views on the blog yesterday.

Social network for Kindle Owners and Book Lovers

July 14th Update: Things are going … well rather surprisingly well.

  1. We have 50 members already. We now have 66 members (10:53 am PST). It’s 10:04 pm PST 14th July and we now have 88 members. We had a manual approval process and now we’re switching to ning’s standard registration and you can join up immediately.
  2. We’ve already had a poll on the features the community most wants (current standings are amazon store search; bookshelf feature; book bargains; book news; and so forth) and we worked in the amazon store search which to be frank was a gimme.
  3. We’re waiting for you to join and help us build out this network and community.

So on July 21st I’m actually kicking off the alpha for a book social network (currently at amazonkindle.ning.com, during alpha or beta will be moving to a more ‘book friendly url) which is

  1. Primarily for Amazon Kindle Owners and Book Lovers to meet and socialize.
  2. Focused on meeting people via shared interest in books.
  3. Secondarily for Authors and Publishers to tap into public opinion and connect with readers.

Timelines:

  1. PreAlpha – right now.
  2. Alpha Release – July 21st.
  3. Beta Release – Aug 21st.
  4. Kindle Network V1.0 Release – Oct 21st.

Why Join if you’re an Amazon Kindle Owner?

  1. Focused on your needs and you get to build the community from the ground up.
  2. Meet other Kindle owners.
  3. You can invite your friends even if they don’t own a Kindle.
  4. You can form your own Groups or a Book Club Group.
  5. You can have your own blog. You have your own page and you can add OpenSocial gadgets.
  6. There are loads of features including discussion forums, all the social networking aspects, sharing pictures and videos and much more.
  7. It’s all free and like this blog free of Ads.

Also, i’ll have a few incentives

  1. During Alpha (sign up quick because it’ll be limited to a 1000 or so users) – A free kindle given out – that’s 1 out of 1000 or so people getting a Kindle – pretty good odds. As far as signing up if there’s a rush then Amazon Kindle owners will be given preference.
  2. During Beta (again this will be somewhat limited) – 2 Free Kindles to be won.

Why join if you’re a Book Lover?

  1. All the reasons above.
  2. You get the best hands on information about the Amazon Kindle if you’re considering buying it.
  3. It’s a full fledged network with (to an extent) Facebook Integration possibilities.
  4. You get your say – we’ll literally build the features you ask us to.
  5. It’s new and we can keep it free of spam etc. Also you can form your own groups including private groups.
  6. Also – the Free Kindle Competition applies to you too.

Why join if you’re an Author or Publisher?

  1. First hand access to Kindle users.
  2. A bigger audience than just Kindle users.
  3. In Alpha this will be limited to 50-100 authors based on number of users. In Beta we’ll perhaps double or triple the number.
  4. It’s a gradually deeloping community with features and groups that you can work with and develop. Think of it as a joint community project.

Also there’ll be the following promotions for authors

  1. Two authors from the Alpha stage get Featured on the main page throughout the Beta. Also if you’d like you can get featured on my blog which gets 18,500 people a month according to Quantcast (approximate numbers) and Alexa rank of 123,318 in the US, and 65,716 in the UK. And the majority of that are Kindle owners (current and future).
  2. Two authors from the Beta stage get Featured through the first 2 months of the V1.0 release. And if you’d like also get featured on my blog.