Friday, August 8, 2014

On the Death of a Good Idea

A while ago, while searching for avenues to market Cover of Darkness, I came across a website called Compulsion Reads. Compulsion Reads had the idea that good books should be featured prominently by a reputable site. But to have their endorsement one had to pass a rigorous evaluation. They evaluated everything: plot, characters, writing technique, accuracy, grammar, etc. You get the picture. If you passed all of these criteria, you had to then undergo a book rating and review. 

All of this appeared to be a good idea to me. Book endorsements help sales, although I have not seen much in the sales department after receiving a glowing endorsement from Compulsion Reads. Albeit they reviewed the book on Amazon, Goodreads and other websites, including their own, there wasn’t much movement in the sales department. But the idea that they had was solid. Give the readers a website where they can find quality books without sloughing through a morass of self-published work being produced today. 

I was very proud of my endorsement, even putting their medallion on my book covers and graphics and touting it on my Facebook page. I did all I could with the endorsement, like I was instructed by the owners of the site while they promoted my book on theirs. 

And then there was none.

It seemed, as soon as I found the site, in less than three months, they had called it quits. They cited that they wanted to keep up the quality of their endorsements but after two years were being overwhelmed by the influx of books. The workload was so tremendous that their own authoring efforts were being neglected. They were self-published authors themselves and saw the need for Compulsion Reads, and filled that need, but they they were also writers.

So, with little fanfare, a wonderful site closed its doors, and was shuttered. How do I personally feel about this? Sad of course. These two women who started Compulsion Reads had an excellent idea. Their business was flourishing, and in time, I’m certain that they would have been a marketing force to be reckoned with. But, as with some great ideas, sometimes they simply implode. This appears to be what happened in this case.

I miss Compulsion Reads because it was a great idea. I’m looking for other sites with the same aim, and I’m certain that I will find them. A great idea is always copied. Most might feel that there are sites that do somewhat the same, such as Goodreads, but not quite. Goodreads is a good idea, but they aren’t really professional reviewers. Not saying that un-professional reviewers can’t have a good grasp on discerning a good book from a bad one, but we are all aware of the pitfalls of personal bias or the sheer desire of some to be negative towards an author or book. 

Not to compare Goodreads to Compulsion Reads, Compulsion Reads was outstanding, and I hope that there are others that feel the same, and will launch a review/endorsement site similar to it.

I can only hope.