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Penguin USA sets up home in BookCountry for slush-pile
27.04.11 | Bookseller Staff
Penguin USA is to launch a community website for genre writers called Book Country (bookcountry.com). The site began a public beta test this week and describes itself as "a place where readers and writers of genre fiction come together to read original fiction, post work or comments, and make a name for themselves".
According to the New York Times, Book Country will allow writers to post their own work and receive critiques from other users, who can comment on points like character development, pacing and dialogue. In the future, the site will also allow authors to self-publish e-books and print books. The NYT says the books will bear the stamp of Book Country, not Penguin, and the site is considered a separate operation from Penguin.
Penguin hopes the site will attract agents, editors and publishers scouting for new talent, and allow writers to produce work with more polish and direction than they could otherwise. The project has been spearheaded by Molly Barton, the director of business development for Penguin and the president of Book Country.
The site is slated for an launch in late July. It is not known if a UK version will be launched but Pearson, which owns Penguin, is registered as the holder of the domain BookCountry.co.uk.