Book Country – Beta Squared?

Penguin’s author site, Book Country, is undergoing yet another refit. Now, I know there are many of you out there who were not too impressed with Book Country when it first started. Yes, the terms for using it for publishing your book were not the best, but for me (novice writer guy) that was inconsequential. I had to write a book first.

Penguin kinda let their site languish for a while in private or limited beta, then last year made a big push to bring it back to the fore as a beta “redux” application. Earlier today, Penguin took the site down, and will reopen it tomorrow for a relaunch as a public beta.

Last time I saw this many betas, they were in a fish tank.

But hey, I like Book Country. And I look forward to the new version coming out tomorrow!


I’m still not ready to publish a book. I’m at 10k words on Blood Lust. Probably 80k more to go. But publishing is not why I like Book Country. I use the site to post snippets of my writing for comment by other writers. And the cool thing is – the commentary has been salient, pertinent and generally on target. Sometimes I did well, other times not, but the critiques were all in a positive tone. Constructive, I think they call it.

At one time I used Writer’s Cafe, but it was heavy on poetry and my inbox flooded with people asking me to review their poems. There were a few short story writers, but it was more a showcase, not an avenue to improve writing skills. Social media? Facebook isn’t the place for posting chapters. Twitter? 140 characters only go so far. This blog would be an okay place to offer chapters, but I would rather post completed stories. Check out the short story links to the right if you are interested.

So I use Book Country, and hope to keep doing so. I’ll post more on the update once I have a chance to look at it.

In the meantime – Do you post your work for critique? If so, where? 




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