I’ve blogged about Book Country before, when they first launched and were in beta. But recently the site got a make-over, and now it looks slicker and has a few more features. First, the website now has better navigation. Once you log in, all the main features of the site are easy to find: read and review (books on the site), connect (with other writers), learn (blog posts about publishing), and publish (to multiple retailers). I think the biggest difference in this navigation bar is how easy it is to find the tools to publish and sell a book on the site. For anyone unfamiliar, there are plenty of tutorials and answers to commonly asked questions about the process.
In an email sent out to all current users, Book Country highlighted a few other useful features on the site. For example, users can now send private messages to each other. Also, instead of forcing everyone’s work to have the same covers, users can now design their own covers for their stories. Book Country has also redesigned the forums to make it easier to share and quote, and the site has integrated e-publishing tools so users can easily create e-books from stories they’ve been workshopping on the site.
Lastly, and what I think is the most exciting development, is the expansion of their genre map. I’ve always loved Book Country’s genre map, which is basically a cool visual showing metadata writers input into the site. But until recently, Book Country only allowed for genre fiction genres, specifically romance, thriller, science fiction, and fantasy types. Now, according to the email, the site has “over 60 different literary categories on the new Genre Map, including Young Adult, Nonfiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Erotica, War & Military Fiction, Horror and many more!”