(Announcement: the Tall Poppy Writers Group joins Meet The Author program! 40+ all female bestselling authors!)
Bookship is a social reading app – essentially, a virtual book club app. Thousands of reading groups have used Bookship to stay in touch digitally, and we were shortlisted for The Bookseller’s Book Tech Company of the Year awhile back. Bookship is primarily a virtual book club app, but people also use it to read informally with family members, in more formal settings like classrooms, or simply to track their own solo reading. You can read more details about Bookship at the bottom of this page.
With in-person meetings on hiatus and the rise of everything virtual, we are introducing a Meet the Author! program to highlight authors who are available to meet (virtually) with Bookship reading groups.
How it works:
- Bookship’s Browse feature will highlight authors who are available and their works.
- Where possible, we’ll also feature those authors in our newsletter (thousands strong and growing).
- When a reading group starts one of your books, we’ll get in touch with the reading leader, and separately yourself, to facilitate an introduction. Your contact info will never be shared without your permission.
- You and the reading group leader arrange a time and format for the meeting.
- By default, we don’t join the meeting – but we will be available to join / help on request.
Your commitments as an author:
- Let us know you are interested to participate (send a mail to mark – at – thehawaiiproject dot com)
- Be responsive to emails from us to set up any meetings.
- Join the meetings and have fun!
- Whenever the spirit moves you, and not before, help promote the program – more on that below.
- That’s it.
You don’t need to give us any particular information – we’ll get your picture and bio from your website or around the web, and ensure all your books are in our system. You are welcome to provide more details if you like, but not necessary. You are welcome to download and use Bookship, but it’s not necessary.
Benefits to you:
- Your work is featured in the app and our website, giving you a unique way to promote your work.
- We will mention you in our social media, and, space-permitting, our monthly newsletter.
- You get a chance to meet authentic, passionate readers of your work.
- Hopefully all of this drives more book sales for you.
Q: How are the meetings held?
You, the author, can arrange this however you like with the reading leader. Whether Zoom, Skype, phone call, or something else, it’s up to you.
In the future we may introduce live video chat into the app, but that’s down the road.
Q: Is there a minimum group size?
At present, there’s no explicit minimum. If you let us know your preferences, we will respect that and inform reading groups accordingly.
Eventually there will be a way to set this in the app, but not for the first iteration,
Q: Is there a fee?
There is no fee for the author to be included in the program.
At present, there is no fee for the reader either.
In future, we may introduce the ability for authors to charge for events, but not for the first version. If you are an author that requests payment for events, please do drop us a note and we’ll keep you in the loop as things develop.
Q: Will I receive an honorarium for meeting or speaking?
At present we do not have an honorarium system. There is no fee for either the author or the readers. We are studying this and may introduce it in the near future. We’re also considering live, open-access events for Bookship subscribers who may not be in a private reading of one of your works. More like the kind of Zoom event a bookstore might offer. Stay tuned.
Q: How long are the meetings? What is my time commitment?
That is up to you; you can inform the reading leader, or us, and we’ll let them know. But it’s up to you. We’d suggest 30 minutes is a good start, perhaps up to an hour. It will also depend on the nature of the reading group, as well.
Q: How many events do I have to do? Is there a minimum number of events I have to do?
There’s no explicit minimum. Realistically, in the early days I expect it will be a small number. But if it gets overwhelming, or you are in the throes of finishing your current work and need some space, just let me know. It’s easy to pull you out of the featured list for a time while you focus on your writing or other commitments.
Q: Can I edit my information?
Future versions will also have an author sign-in so you can edit your information directly. For now, just tell us if you want changes and we’ll take care of it.
Q: Where do readers get the books? Do they buy them from you?
Bookship does not sell books. We are agnostic on where readers get their books, whether it’s their local shop, Amazon, BN.com, Bookshop.org, Libraries, or elsewhere. We’re also agnostic on whether they’re reading eBooks, physical books or audio books. Bookship is a place to share your reading experiences, not buy books.
In the interests of full disclosure, our backbone book database is Amazon’s, because their book database is the only one available to us, so you may sometimes see links to Amazon.
Q: What kinds of questions may come up in the meetings? Can I suggest topics?
Obviously, there’s no predicting what people will ask. You are welcome to provide us with discussion questions, which we can pass on to readers. (The Premium ($) version of Bookship provides access to reading guides, author interviews, reviews and the like. If you want to pass us links to things you like, we’ll add them to the Book Briefing, which is what we call the curated collection of material we have about certain books).
Q: How is the order of authors determined in the Meet the Author Browse? Where will I find my own books in the app?
The order of the authors listed in the Meet the Authors section is determined randomly and changes every few hours. If you keep scrolling, you will come to yourself somewhere along the way.
If you click the “ideas” icon at bottom right, you’ll be taken to a page with all the books of all the participating authors. First we list the latest book of each author, in random order (you can request a different book than your most recent if you like). Then we display all the rest of the books, again in periodically randomized order. Just trying to give everyone a shot at the top spot.
On the Browse tab, top right, is a search button. You can always search for yourself by name or by the title of any of your books. If we’re missing any of your books let us know.
Currently, we also feature works of participating authors at the top of each category browse page, so if you write Historical Fiction, your book will show near the top of that category. We may change this in future, as the goal of the category browse is to surface currently-being-talked-about, popular works. We scan over a thousand book-related websites, looking for which books people are talking about, taking into account both the frequency with which a book is mentioned, as well as how recent the mention is, as well as how recent the book itself is. As you know there are a lot of books out there, so your work may not make it to the top of the stack at a given point in time.
Q: Why is your email @thehawaiiproject?
🙂 Good question. Our company name is The Hawaii Project (and it’s the name of our first books product, a personalized book recommendation engine). You can read more about that, and us, here: https://www.thehawaiiproject.com/faq. (and yes, we live in Hawaii. We know you feel sad for us but somebody has to do it 🙂 ).
What’s in it for Bookship?
Since we don’t charge for this, you might ask what’s in this for us.
Our goal is make Bookship the most compelling place to run a reading group, and to become a compelling “reading companion” for anyone who loves books. We charge money for Bookship Premium ($2.99 a month), which is required for reading groups of 10 or more people, and gives access to Book Briefings, the curated set of background content about the books in a Reading.
At some point, we may include authors who request an honorarium for speaking, and we might take a small piece of that revenue, but for the moment, we do not.
Our ask to you:
When the time is right, and when the spirit moves you, we would ask that you:
- Mention Bookship and your participation in the Meet the Author program in your social media channels.
- Do the same in your newsletter, if you have one.
- Mention us to any of your author friends who might also want to be included.
More about Bookship
Bookship provides a private chat for reading groups to share their reading experiences. It also offers a wealth of “bookish” features such as a “virtual highlighter” that extracts quotes from a physical book using the camera, spoiler tags, a book discovery environment, and a public discussion area called the Cafe, where members can meet others using the app and join public readings of books. We offer clubs logistical support in the form of shared Book lists, Groups, and Calendars/Reminders for meetings. A premium ($2.99/month) version of the product offers access to curated background content like reading guides, author interviews, and book reviews from trusted sources. (oh: you can also read most of the classics for free right inside the app with our social eReader). We donate 10% of our revenue to literary non-profits (Hawaii Literacy and Nabu.org), because we believe Books Change Lives.
You can read more about Bookship, and us, here.