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An Aggregate Site for Reviews Wanted

I think an aggregate review site would be

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Some people see a need for an aggregate review site for all books, particularly digital and POD titles. While this would be a great service to a reader, the question is who would edit and maintain such a site and how would the contributors be compensated?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Amy
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 13:25:28

    Um, not exactly for digital or POD but a sample site:

  2. Kimber An
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 18:37:01

    Anything to help readers find the books they love is a wonderful thing. At Enduring Romance, we review books by the big houses, small presses, ePubs, and even self-published. Despite the title, we review everything, except Horror and Erotica. Good stories can be found anywhere and good stories are what readers want.

    As for setting up a blog, recruiting and compensating reviewers, I can’t imagine. Maybe find someone who already has a review blog and offer to help expand.

  3. Romancing Trashy Novels
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 18:54:40

    We have one for Romance! It’s Romancing Trashy Novels @

  4. Love Romance Passion
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 19:00:26

    I subscribe to RTN to get all my favorite romance blogs in one easy to access email. It makes finding out what’s going on in the blogosphere very simple. There’s no hassle to it. If everybody reviewed and rated the same the main page of RTN would be slightly easier to navigate but as all sites are unique and run by different people the point is mute. At a glance I can read the titles of everyone’s posts, a few words, and click to go to their website if the post looks interesting. Voila! :D

  5. Karen
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 19:57:55

    Of course, you could just use – this is exactly what the site is about (and they just hooked up with some physical libraries to provide this service to them).

  6. Jane
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 20:08:40

    @Love Romance Passion: I actually feel a little uncomfortable with your aggregating site since your site is solely content that is scraped from other people’s sites and without their permission. It’s not copyright infringement but a site that merely aggregates content makes me wonder about its value.

  7. SonomaLass
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 01:00:21

    So Jane, you’d be looking for something different in a aggregating site? One that had the consent, at least, of all the reviewers? That certainly makes sense to me. I actually prefer to have a summary and then a link to the original site when I get a review reference; it seems more respectful to the original author, and it also lets me get some context if the reviewer is someone with whom I’m unfamiliar. But a sort of clearinghouse of such summaries and links, preferably searchable by genre as well as by author, title, and date, would be a fine thing to have. And if you had to link back to the original site for the full review, there might not be such a big issue of compensating the contributors — they could reasonably expect their participation to be rewarded by higher traffic on their sites, rather than worrying that they would lose “business” to the aggregate site.

    Additionally, if one is going to dream, as long as someone is editing this thing, wouldn’t it be nice to have something along the lines of the “if you like” feature? I see, though, that it would be a lot of work, so there would need to be a way to make it pay.

  8. Kaetrin
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 02:36:10

    Sorry, I’m probably a bit dumb, but what do you mean by an aggregate review site?

  9. Ann Somerville
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 03:18:55

    It's not copyright infringement

    If they’re reproducing whole reviews, it sure is. Our site and most sites require explicit permission to reproduce that amount of material

  10. Some Dumb Guy
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 06:22:39

    I took a brief look at the agregate site mentioned… It does not republish the whole review… just an excerpt and it is always making proper attribution with followed links…

  11. Love Romance Passion
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 09:29:37

    The aggregating site does exactly what Some Dumb Guy said. It doesn’t steal anyone’s content just puts the headlines from the websites with a brief excerpt to introduce the post. All sites are properly linked to and given credit for the posts. After the excerpt is a link to follow through to the correct website to read the rest of the post.

    Though if you’re still uncomfortable with the idea you can read the about section to learn more about aggregating – what it does and how it works.

  12. Ann
    Oct 28, 2008 @ 19:48:22

    I popped over here to see why Here Be Reviews was getting traffic from here. :) I realize some of the expressions of concern were about the other aggregating site mentioned in the comments, but I just wanted to clarify what is about (I run that site, by the way): is opt-in only. That means book bloggers fill out a form to be included in the site. No one is ever added without opting in and the full reviews are never published because the point of the site is to drive traffic to individual book blogs. It’s a service for book readers and book bloggers to help them connect. The only way bloggers are “compensated” is through any traffic the site happens to attract. And yes, maintaining it is a bit of PITA.

    Its usefulness (or lack thereof) will be demonstrated over time.

  13. Kat
    Jul 23, 2009 @ 23:18:25

    Jane, two things:

    1. The poll question isn’t archived. It seems to be showing the current question (at the moment, it’s the one about authors reviewing other authors’ books).

    2. CindyS mentioned something similar in her blog a few months ago. I think a Rotten Tomatoes-type site for books is a great idea. I wish I knew how I’d even begin to put such a site together because I think it’s sorely needed.

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