This post, from Brian Scott, originally appeared on the Book Publishing News blog of BookCatcher.com on 7/20/09.
New changes to an already popular website for readers and writers are proving to be a big hit. www.worthyofpublishing.com was created by Kiwi entrepreneur Aaron Cook, to give writers the chance to gain free feedback on their manuscripts from the general public.
Book lovers can preview and vote for what they would like to see published and available for sale on bookshelves, and leave comments to help authors improve their writing.
One of the most recent upgrades to the website was the message centre, which allows members to communicate with each other directly to share tips and ideas. This compliments the already popular comments section, where members post comments about a writers work for the public to view.
The website has also been made more transparent, so when a reader rates a book their rating is displayed beside the comment they have left for that book.
Cook says the new upgrades have proved to be very popular amongst members, and have definitely brought a more community feel to the website.
The overall concept originated from China around a decade ago. Since the establishment, it has helped numerous authors become recognized by the public and achieve dramatic success. It was mentioned at the most recent Frankfurt Bookfair that the world’s eyes are on the growth of China’s publishing industry, which has been driven by the internet.
Last year twenty percent of China’s bestsellers originated from the internet, many of them have been [from] previously unheard-of authors discovered on similar types of websites to worthyofpublishing.com in China.
Just one of the many examples of a Chinese author becoming a huge success through the internet is Tian Xia Ba Chang, who wrote a book called “Candles Blown by a Ghost" which is a thriller/adventure novel. Over time this book reached over 3.6 million hits online and once finally published sold 500,000 copies in one year.