Book Country Adds New Features

The old Book Country genre map

The old Book Country genre map

Book Country, the genre book workshopping and self-publishing platform from Penguin has added new features designed to further engage readers with Book Country and to help them communicate with each other.

The new features include a newly expanded “genre map,” one of Book Country’s signature features, private messaging between members and a cover designer tool — something that users were clamoring for, Book Country told Digital Book World.

The expanded genre map (a visualization of different genres, like paranormal romance and steampunk and how they relate to each other) now has over 60 genres for users to explore with their own writing or that of other users, including young adult and erotica, two of the hottest categories right now.

The new Book Country genre map. The "Romance" section is highlighted from rolling over with a mouse. Other sections have the same interface.

The new Book Country genre map. The “Romance” section is highlighted from rolling over with a mouse. Other sections have the same interface.

Private messaging and a cover design tool were both highly requested by users. The former could help Book Country become a communications hub for genre writers workshopping their work. The latter could help Book Country make its self-publishing tool more attractive to users.

According to an email sent out to users this morning, the update also includes newsletters to inspire writers in their craft, improved discussion forum functionality and a tighter integration with the Book Country self-publishing tools.

In January, Penguin added features to Book Country, following its parent company’s acquisition of one of the largest self-publishing services providers, Author Solutions, including a free ebook creation tool. Prior to this move, Book Country, like Author Solutions, had faced criticism from some in the self-published author community for its terms with authors.

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