Mission & Policies of LitRate!
Today on the blog I’m very very excited to have Ashley talking about her new brain child LitRate! I actually finally made an account on Kickstarter and I’ve already contributed to the KickStarter since I’m that psyched about this project, and I really hope that you’ll get excited about it too!
Hi everyone! My name is Ashley and I’m a book blogger over at Nose Graze. I can’t thank Anya enough for letting me make an appearance on her blog today. That girl rocks!
I’m going to tell you a bit about a new site I hope to create with my husband called LitRate. If we can get the funding to help launch the site, LitRate will be a new online community for book lovers. Imagine Goodreads but newer, a better interface, less spam, less drama, and more control (for you!). We want to make this idea happen!
What will the LitRate philosophy be?
When starting a new site, you have to think carefully about your philosophy. What will your policies be? Your values? What will you allow or disallow? These are some REALLY tough questions, but I knew I had to tackle them.
In particular, I’m going to talk about two things: marketing and rating books.
Authors and marketing
What’s your least favourite thing about Goodreads? For me, it’s the sheer amount of spam and marketing. Sometimes I feel like I’m being held up on a pedestal for authors and publicists to pitch their books to. I have authors recommending their own books to me, people requesting to be my friend who have 0 books on their shelves, or just tons of “read my book, I think you’d like it” spam.
Well, authors will certainly be welcome on LitRate, but we want to limit the aggressive marketing campaigns. Look, we’re readers and as readers, we freaking LOVE authors! But we don’t like being marketed to at every second of the day. There’s a fine line between marketing and spam.
LitRate will have rules in place that prohibit marketing outside of the designated areas. That means authors can’t send people private messages saying, “Hey, read my book.” They can’t create topics in the “YA Lit” forum saying “You’d love my book: check it out.” We want to try to eliminate unsolicited marketing.
So where can authors spread the word about their books? We will have designated areas where authors can do this, including:
- Their own profiles. Authors are definitely welcome to mention their books in their bios.
- In instances where someone has asked about their book or explicitly expressed an interest in it.
- In the designated “Author Promotion” (or whatever) forum.
- In forum signatures.
Ultimately, we just don’t want people to ‘farm’ our users to promote their books or sell their products. We’re readers and we love books, but we don’t want people throwing their sales pitches at us as we work through our TBR piles.
Please don’t rate books you haven’t read!
Now this is a tough one to police, but it’s something that’s always bugged me. On Goodreads, you can apparently rate books to show your ‘excitement’ for that book. Meaning, if you haven’t read the book but you’re really excited for it, you’re welcome to give it 5 stars. Or if you’ve read the first book in the series and hated it, you’re welcome to give the second book in the series 1 star because the first book sucked. Whaaaa?
Does that make sense to you? Not to me!
On LitRate, we want the average ratings to actually be an accurate representation of the book itself. It doesn’t matter how excited you are or how much the first book sucked. If you haven’t actually read the book, you’re not in a position to rate it!
As I said before, this is hard to police because unless the person comes out and says “I haven’t read the book but…” you can never know if they’ve really read it or not. But on LitRate we plan on making it clear that we don’t approve of rating books you haven’t read.
First and foremost, LitRate is for readers and book lovers
I read a pretty interesting quote the other day that was something along the lines of:
“When something is free, you’re really what’s for sale.”
I don’t want that to be the case on LitRate. We plan on making the site free, but I don’t want it to be a marketing platform or a sales platform. It’s a place for people to keep track of their books and share their love of reading with others.
Help make LitRate happen!
If you’re on board with our philosophy, consider checking out our Kickstarter campaign. In order to make LitRate happen, we need to raise $16,000 to pay for a licensing subscription for book data. Yikes! Hopefully we can raise the money, because we can’t wait to get LitRate out into the world. :)
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.