Looking for Feedback

bookpile1Hello.  I’m Sarah Zettel, and as you may, or may not, know I’m the Project Manager for Book View Cafe.

Book View Cafe launched roughly three months ago.  So far, we have received a tremendous response,  and we have a lot of plans we want to put into action in the coming weeks and months.

But all these plans are heading toward a very short set of goals;

1) For Book View Cafe to be a go-to place for people looking for something good to read.

2) For the process of acquiring a good read to be convenient and flexible.

3) To keep our readers happy so you will keep coming back.

Now, obviously, we can’t give you chocolate and comfy pillows, but we would like to hear what you would like to see from the site.  For instance, what download formats would you most like to see made available?  What (if any) changes to the look, or the navigation of the site would you find helpful?

We’d be interested in some blue-sky feedback as well.  If you could design your idea fiction access site or system, what would it be?

Do you have any questions about our plans for the future?

We are, of course, interested in compliments, but we need (polite) complaints as well.  We want to make Book View Cafe useful and interesting to you, after all.

So, here’s the place and now’s the time to speak directly to us about the site.  Please let us know what you think so we can continue to make Book View Cafe the best fiction site on the web.

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Looking for Feedback — 7 Comments

  1. pdf are defacto, however do not EVER consider Adobe’s DRM’d pdf – inflicting this on your readers would qualify as cruel and unusual. Watermarking with username/email is much better for users and content providers.

  2. I would like downloads to be available in .mobi or .prc format for my Kindle. My eyes aren’t good enough to read novels off of a computer screen… while I get my news and blogs online I don’t read books/stories there.

    Also, I’d like whole novels available, in one file. If it’s good, there’s a good chance I’ll buy other stuff from that author (just like using the library).

  3. Rosemary: Thanks! So glad you’re enjoying it. We will be starting our downloads with PDFs, but other formats will be following as soon as we can make it happnen.

    PBH: As it stands, our PDFs are being lovingly handcrafted by our own authors. I think you will find them audacious with notes of chocolate and pencil shavings and a nice mellow finish.

  4. I’m not much into digital content yet, so I mostly buy books from your authors, but have you seen the Dear Author essays on your questions? Of course their site is geared toward the romance reading reader, but I think their ebook observations are applicable everywhere.
    http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/02/01/what-an-ebook-file-should-contain/
    http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/01/25/why-epublishing-needs-to-grow-up/
    http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/02/22/fear-of-free/

    They keep regularly writing about new information on digital reading and get healthy discussions.

  5. Estara: Thank you for these links. They are very interesting and straight to the point.

    BVC has a lot to offer the romance reader, and we most definitely want to increase that segment of our readership. Romance readers not only read a lot, they are at the forefront of the ebook revolution, so what appeals to, interests and affects Romance readers, is important for BVC

  6. I don’t own a reader, and will not read an entire novel off my computer. My eyes tend to glaze over after a chapter or two, not to mention that I do so much other stuff sitting here, that if I’m going to read, I want to plop down on my bed or sofa with the real thing in hand. That said, some things to possibly consider to draw the non-ereader folks (like me) here:

    1. Serial format. I wish there was more experimentation with this, or could be that I just haven’t found much, but the chapter a week or certain number of pages per week format might hold some appeal.

    2. Include some value-added content with your pdf books. My personal opinion on e-pubbing, such that it is, is that the more successful authors or the ones trying to get their work noticed above the vast quantity of titles out there, will include addition content along with their book. This could be author interviews, artwork, character bios, maps, glossaries, or what have you depending on the genre of book you are talking about. Established authors may not need this so much, but for me, it could be that extra little nudge to have me picking up one book over another.

    3. Contests. Nothing seems to draw folks in like a decent contest. Signed books, hats, t-shirts, etc., it doesn’t really matter. People like to win things. If the authors here are putting up work that is online only (I assume that’s the case), having contests related to it can be a big draw, i.e. coverart, maps, character drawings, and so on. Some people really get into it, and many will come to check it out, vote on it, etc.

    4. Critique contests. NOTHING draws writers (aspiring ones anyway) to a site better than having someone review anything related to their work. It can be queries, first lines, first page, or virtually anything that will garner some feedback, especially from pubbed authors or others in the ‘know’ regarding the industry. Whether folks here at the site are willing and/or able to take on such a task is another question, but I believe they are certainly doable in a way that doesn’t overwhelm.

    5. Regularity. Whatever you do to draw in readers, do it on a regular and consistent basis.

    6. Reviews. I don’t know if the site is specifically for the authors who are members of the site or if you will be offering a bigger range of e-content, but establishing solid, worthwhile reviews of the work offered here would be good. There are SO many review sites out there which are basically crap. Yes, reviews are merely opinion, but being considered an informed opinion is something else entirely.

    Anyway, my two cents, such that it is.

    J Duncan