Penguin Group (USA) launched an online community for writers earlier this year with the creation of the site Book Country. The goal of Book Country was to foster authors’ craft while providing them with information and networking opportunities.
Now, Book Country has unveiled a full complement of online tools for authors which include digital publishing opportunities, as well as the ability to increase promotion for authors’ works and their online presences. The successful beta launch in May has now led to public use of the site for Book Country’s 4,000+ members. Membership is free, but registration is required.
David Shanks, chief executive of Penguin Group (USA), said in a press release, “Penguin is committed to maintaining its leadership position in digital publishing and that includes offering self-publishing services that are consistent with our overall strategy of connecting a broad variety of writers to the reading public. With its focus on nurturing and supporting new voices, Book Country is the perfect vehicle for introducing a new kind of self publishing that offers a more professional product and provides guidance that isn’t currently available from other players.”
Some of the tools now available to authors include ebook and print edition formatting, cover art design options, and access to publishing industry experts who are available to assist indie authors with the creation of their books.
“Self publishing is a trend that isn’t going away,” said Molly Barton, president of Book Country. “There are a growing number of authors who simply want to go directly to readers with their books. We respect that new reality and the changed landscape that technology has brought to book publishing.”
This initiative makes Penguin the first of the Big Six traditional publishers to not allow tolerate the need for digital publishing, but to actually embrace it as a viable option that more and more authors are exploring. The site and its suite of options enables writers to publish their works without having to go it alone, a common complaint from authors who are still unsure about which option they prefer for the publication of their works.