Penguin Random House Dabbles in Direct Sales With New Book Country Bookstore

Related: Book Country Adds New Features

Penguin Random House’s manuscript workshopping and ebook publishing community site Book Country has launched a series of new features, including an ebook store where members and general readers can purchase ebooks published through the site’s publishing platform.

While not a full-fledged ebook site selling a wide selection of Penguin titles, the new Book Country store is in line with Penguin’s playful dabbling in book retail this year. In the spring, before Penguin merged with Random House to become Penguin Random House, Penguin sent a truck full of books for sale on a tour around the country.

“We’re launching a bookstore because we wanted people to be able to sell books on the same site that is workshopping them,” said Book Country president Molly Barton.

In addition to the new bookstore, Book Country added an enhanced “genre map,” which helps authors organize their work by genre, and a direct messaging feature so users can communicate privately with each other.

Book Country now has nearly 9,000 users who submit and workshop manuscripts. Each manuscript is submitted an average of six times and each workshopped manuscript receives an average of six reviews.

“What’s really exciting is that the proposition is working and that’s why we’re bringing it to a wider audience,” said Barton, referring to the level of workshopping activity on the site.

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