Who doesn't adore The Book Report Network and Carol Fitzgerald? This is from Carol and she cna say it all so much better than I can. I just donated and you should, too.
Over the last 22(!) years, we have built a loyal audience of more than half a million readers across the country via our websites --- Bookreporter.com, 20SomethingReads.com, Teenreads.com, Kidsreads.com and ReadingGroupGuides.com --- and our well-read newsletters. Our goal every day is to connect readers with the books and authors they love.
After very early rounds of angel investor funding, all of our expansion plans have been self-funded. Today, we find ourselves at a point where we need additional support to expand, so we are reaching out to the publishing community to ask for help. Our plans outlined below include:
* A Totally New and Modernized Network of Websites
* A Bookreporter Podcast...with an Ear Towards a Series of Podcasts
* Support for Live Events
We have reached audiences of all ages who share a love of reading. From features like Sounding Off on Audio and Word of Mouth on Bookreporter.com, What’s Your Book Group Reading on ReadingGroupGuides.com to curated lists like the Ultimate Reading List and Guy-brary on Teenreads and our Series feature on Kidsreads, we have successfully delivered relevant and entertaining content.
We have launched a GoFundMe campaign (www.gofundme.com/help-the-book-report-network-expand) with a goal to raise $100,000 by December 31st. I would be so appreciative if you would consider a contribution! I am thankful for any amount you can give. If you are able to help, here is our GoFundMe page.
The Book Report Network’s Expansion Plans
An Upgraded Network of Websites
We plan to move our present websites to a WordPress multi-site platform (which is a big project!!). After a months-long planning process, we have identified the outside developers we want to work with on this project.
A redesign will mean that we can implement ideas both new and overdue:
• Our websites will be responsive across all devices, easily accessible from anywhere.
• We will improve search and internal functionality to give readers new ways to discover books.
• We will offer new opportunities for sharing content, and for readers to note the books that they want to read.
• You'll see better, fresher layouts with more visuals, giving us the opportunity to showcase books and authors more vividly.
• We’ll be able to present more and new content offerings on all of our websites, including a top-to-bottom refresh of 20SomethingReads.com.
Important Note: Our websites currently are built in Drupal 6, which was the platform of choice when we started our last redesign back in 2010. Drupal 6 is no longer supported. This upgrade is a necessary change, not an indulgent redesign. Without it, we are restricted in functionality and speed of content delivery. This has been frustrating for us, and from the emails we get, we know it is for our loyal readers as well.
A Bookreporter Podcast...with an Ear Toward a Network of Podcasts
Digital audio is exploding, and our readers are ready to listen. In fact, they have already begun to share ideas on what they would like to hear from us.
We’ll start with a Bookreporter podcast, hosted by Carol Fitzgerald, where she will interview authors and talk about books in a lively format. Also, she’ll host conversations with our reviewers, many of whom have strong followings on our websites, and other guests. We already have a producer lined up and are finalizing plans for a show that will have broad appeal.
Carol is known for her informative and entertaining interviews at conferences, reader events, industry panels and book festivals. The opportunity to share author interviews, as well as the kind of book information that we know readers across the country want to hear, is a natural expansion for us. Of course, we plan to drive traffic to our websites from the podcast.
We already are thinking about the next step --- to expand our reach --- with a series of podcasts for the rest of the brands in our network.
Support for Live Events
Carol has been a guest speaker, moderator or presenter at events across the country, including book festivals, and library, bookstore and book group presentations (among them Book Expo, the Miami Book Fair and the Morristown Festival of Books). In 2019, we will host the Book Group Speed Dating Session at Book Expo for the 8th year; prior years have had 200+ attendees at no fee to either participants or presenters. Going forward, the plan is to increase the number of these programs.
Grateful for Your Support!
Help fund our expansion so that we may build upon our already strong foundation and deliver what we need to do to grow and build our audience!Contributions at any level are graciously appreciated. We accept any and all support to take this huge next step.