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New Crowd-sourced Book Review Site Launching Soon – BookHunch

BookHunch is going to be a new way to connect publishers/authors with readers/reviewers.

I heard about this site from the developer a few weeks and I kept meaning to post about it. Don’t worry; it’s still in a quiet beta and you haven’t missed anything.

The way it works is that authors and publishers submit new or unpublished ebooks to BookHunch. The early access and fresh content will draw in book lovers, who in turn read, review, and share their opinions.

There’s a plan for readers to get points for participation, and those readers with a higher score will  get more privileges. They might be offered access to special content and at some point in the future they might get real-world rewards.

Readers can also invite their friends, share notes, and discuss the ebooks they’re reading. It’s also possible just to read the book and ignore all the community aspects of the site, so even digital hermits are welcome.

In exchange for offering the free content, publishers will get analytical reports of how readers interact with their titles, including time spent, pages read, and where readers stopped.

I’m hoping that publishers don’t decide to misuse the data they get. It would be all too easy to decide to shift an ending or rewrite a book based on this, and that would be bad.

let me give you an example. The movie Edward Scissorhands reportedly tested poorly when it was first shown to test audiences. A lot of viewers didn’t get the characters, motivation, or who was supposed to be the villain. Had the movie been rewritten based on the test audience it would have ruined what is now a classic of the genre.


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the rodent September 2, 2011 um 5:52 pm

Went to bookhunch. There’s nothing on it. I mean, you can’t see anything without signing up, and that’s by invitation. There isn’t even explanatory material or a teaser tour! Sent a request for an author/publisher invitation. Got one. Signed up. Logged in. There’s still nothing on the site, but apparently you can upload stuff. But, hmm… If you sign up as author/publisher, they don’t let you read as a reader! Nor let you access the "reader" side of the site. Huh? Useless. And the terms of use you have to jump through are also the typical modern draconian "perpetual irrevocable blah blah" and they can use your likeness/content for advertising, etc. Pffft. I told ’em to go ahead and remove my account.

Banrai LLC September 3, 2011 um 9:51 am

Rick makes some good points, which are worth addressing.

He’s right in that the publisher account needs more information, including a preview of how their books will look and be accessed by readers, and we’re working on adding that now.

Readers and Publishers are kept separate by design: we want to make sure that readers are not influenced one way or another in the reviews they write, and are free to express their opinions (the last thing we want BookHunch to become is some kind of cheap shill site).

We feel that not letting publishers participate as readers is important for the cultivation and development of a healthy community.

As for his complaints about the legal terms, we make no attempts to take over the rights to anyone’s work, and have no interest in doing so.

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