The BookRoar Newsletter — December
This newsletter is slightly different to usual, in that instead of updating you on BookRoar’s progress, we want to instead reflect on the past months and give you an idea of what we have in store for 2022. But first things first, if you are celebrating the holiday season, then we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and if you are not, then we wish you all the best as we see out 2021.
Important Update — Genre Filtering
OK, this is a piece of news that just couldn’t wait until January. The most requested feature on BookRoar is finally here and we are delighted to say that filtering books by genre is now available in the Review Pool. In preparation for this, we have removed the previously displayed genres from your books as well as your saved book preferences, so you will need to log in to BookRoar and update them with your choices from this list. We know this could be a pain but it’s the best way to ensure your book is matched with the right readers. Plus, when everyone else does it, it will save you time when selecting your next read. If your book’s genre cannot be found in the above list, then please contact us and we will update our genres to include it.
2021 — A Year in Review
We first discussed the concept of BookRoar in late 2020. Back then, our unnamed passion project was just an idea, a planned combination of our skills in computer programming and self-publishing, and it took us a long-time to work out the logistics of how it would all fit together. We knew from these early days that BookRoar could be a great resource for authors, but we had to make sure it worked as we expected and that it delivered something useful for those who signed up.
Fast forward to August 2021 and BookRoar launched with only a handful of authors who had volunteered their time to trial our service. As they were busy reading and reviewing each other’s books, we were actively searching for new members in any way we could (mostly by sliding into your DMs). As word spread, BookRoar built up traction and we grew much quicker than expected, with the number of users crashing our systems on more than one occasion. We have been overwhelmed by the positive messages we have received and every day we continue to see new members signing up to BookRoar and new reviews coming in.
BookRoar is free to use and the only money we raise is through our very limited subscription service. We want to give a special thank you to those who donated to our site, as with your help we were able to increase our server capacity to handle more traffic, upgrade our automated email provider, and make our database quicker to search (bringing books back to you at a greater speed). This may seem like small steps but they certainly help make the BookRoar experience smoother and more reliable.
In the meantime, at BookRoar HQ, we’ve been acting upon your feedback and implementing changes wherever we can. We botched introduced the controversial minimum word count to maintain the credibility and integrity of our reviews, amended the random book searching engine in the Review Pool so it now rewards those who are most active on our site, and have ironed out the kinks which have been found as you’ve explored the website. Some larger projects we’ve taken on include the My History page where you can see all the reviews you’ve left and received and the Genre Filtering function as mentioned above.
We genuinely thank you for using BookRoar and we hope you can see the website getting better each and every day. There are some really fantastic books and authors on our site and we hope that we can help them get the recognition they truly deserve. BookRoar is all about authors helping authors, and that’s why we love it!
2022 — What’s Next?
We have plenty of ideas of how we want to improve BookRoar. Some of them are in the pipeline already, and whilst we are not ready to deliver them yet, they are well on their way. I’m sure you will notice the new features and improvements soon enough. Also, don’t be afraid to get in touch with your suggestions as we would love to hear what you think would make BookRoar better.
One thing we want to do next year is author interviews with some of our members. Here we can learn all about you, your books, your writing style, and anything else you want to talk about. We’ll then publish the interview as a Medium article and send it out on our social media pages. It will be a great way for your audience to learn about you and for you to get some extra exposure in a very competitive market. We’ll give you all the details at the end of January (please note there may be a small fee for this service).
Next up, merchandise. That’s right, BookRoar branded merch. We have some coffee mugs on order and are looking at some t-shirt designs too. And, to make our gear extra special, we are also going to infuse them with some magical powers that make you write 20% quicker when you use/wear them (legal disclaimer: they won’t actually have any effect on your writing skills, however you will be the envy of all your writer buddies and you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing your supporting a small but growing project).
We’ve always disclosed that we want BookRoar to become a viable business for us. The core aspect of BookRoar will always be free to use, however we are looking to introduce a paid option for those who want to take their reading and reviewing to the next level. We have no immediate plans to do this and cannot give you a timeframe, but please stay tuned for more information at some point next year. As per our promise, we will always endeavour to make BookRoar as cheap to use as possible.
Most importantly, and our request to you as we see out the year, is that you continue to help BookRoar grow. We are collectively stronger the more members we have, so please continue to spread the word. You can blog about us, email or tell your writer friends, or mention us in writing forums or on social media. Whatever you do, the more times BookRoar is mentioned then the more we can grow, and the more we can all achieve. Also, don’t forget to leave us a review on TrustPilot. It goes a long, long way!
So that’s a wrap for 2021. Go and put on your Christmas pyjamas, drink your favourite festive drink, and then spend all the time you can with your family and friends. The books can wait; the fun times can’t.
The BookRoar Team