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message 1: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments I'd like your input for a very informal survey.

Suppose there were a place you could list books for sale, get book reviews from qualified reviewers as well as friends and average readers, leave reviews for authors you like without worrying about Amazon-like restrictions, sell your services or find services you need . . .

Would that be worth something to you? If so, how much? A certain annual membership fee? A certain per-book listing fee? A certain fee for listing your services?

Obviously we'd all like this for free, but assume for now that it has to be paid for to support infrastructure and professionals to build and maintain it.

Thank you!


message 2: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4635 comments Mod
It depends on how much traffic the site had. If it was busy- I'd invest.


message 3: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Places like that claim to exist. I’ve never invested in them because I’ve never heard of them before. If it was a word of mouth thing that someone recommended and a start up I’d probably go to £100 one off. I’d think twice if it was going to turn out to be something that required me to spend several hours a day interacting on it.

I was scammed for over £400 in my other life so I’d never lose that much again. I’ve also lost hundreds in my other life to advertising that just doesn’t bring any return. I think I did £600 in 2016 for my other business that basically went down the toilet so certainly not that amount either.


message 4: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Per book listing would have to come in well under £50-one off fee. Annual fee if it wasn’t a lifetime fee would have to come in at well under £100.


message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1182 comments Carole's hit the nail on the head.


message 6: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments If it was a startup it wouldn’t have any traffic.


message 7: by Dale (last edited Jun 20, 2018 05:54AM) (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments For purposes of the question, let's assume it's well-established and has a reasonable amount of traffic.

Obviously right now it isn't. I have some ideas I'm toying with, based on various things I've heard you folks and many others say about your Amazon experiences and whatnot (largely around reviews). I just want to get a sense of what people think they'd be willing to pay IF a solid platform existed along the lines I've mentioned.

I ask because if I decide to proceed, I'll need to develop a business plan and pitch the idea to investors. I can't build this on my own, partly because it's too big for one person to handle and partly because my "excess" money is mostly going to my wife's doctors right now. The service would require a certain amount of infrastructure and probably two or three software developers to build the platform, among other things, and thus investor funding to get it off the ground.

I can't offer too many details right now, but suffice it to say I have what I think is a framework for a book review system that would avoid some of the problems faced by Amazon and others, plus this would be an indie-friendly platform from the get-go. It wouldn't necessarily be closed to large publishers, but it would seek to provide as level a playing field as possible. (That would be a stated core value of the venture.)

The fees I'm thinking of are below the numbers so far tossed out, which is heartening. I'd want them to be broke-indie-author-friendly, since I'm a broke indie author myself. And yes, I would intend to keep a controlling interest, if the venture ever gets off the ground (which is meant to assure you it won't stray into avarice land and lose sight of its original principles).

Further input on the initial question would be appreciated. Thanks!


message 8: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Well I’m in if you pull it off.


message 9: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments D.J. wrote: "Well I’m in if you pull it off."

Thanks, I'll let everyone here know if I do get anything going. Although I've run my own little publishing company, this is fairly new territory for me.


message 10: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Small update. I've set myself a goal of having a business plan and pitch deck ready by my birthday (which is now less than a week away). The business plan is basically done, although I need to go over it to make sure it all makes sense. The pitch deck will be easy, since that's just a PowerPoint based on the business plan.

I know a guy who has agreed to send the materials around to potential investors if he thinks it sounds good. He's done mentoring and investing for startups in the past, although he doesn't have time for a new project himself. But he has contacts.

I'm a bit nervous about the level of investment required to kickstart the beast, but we'll see how it goes. More info later.


message 11: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Alex wrote: "Best of luck with it. "

Thank you.


message 12: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (theodorejeromecohen) | 1430 comments Dale wrote: "Small update. I've set myself a goal of having a business plan and pitch deck ready by my birthday (which is now less than a week away). The business plan is basically done, although I need to go o..."

Sounds intriguing, Dale. Good luck! And happy birthday. The more of them you celebrate, the longer you live! It's a fact!


message 13: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4635 comments Mod
Happy birthday, Dale!!


message 14: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Theodore wrote: "
Sounds intriguing, Dale. Good luck! And happy birthday. The more of them you celebrate, the longer you live! It's a fact! "


Thank you! And yes, that's a fact. I had a friend, too, who had a foolproof plan for living to be 100. He said all you have to do is get up every morning from now until you're 100 and do one pushup. Just one! But, he warned, if you missed a day, you might not live to be 100. ;-)


message 15: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Carole wrote: "Happy birthday, Dale!!"

Thank you!


message 16: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Another small update. I've been casting about among people I know for possible help in putting this together, but so far no luck. Not surprising, since not many people want to commit time to something that isn't even off the ground yet and can't pay them.

I've also been looking into the ins and outs of investor backing. This is a strange new world to me, so I have a lot to learn. The short version: this isn't going to be easy. I'm probably going to have to build at least a prototype platform myself (which I have the skills for but not the time), then recruit some people to help me test it out (like, say . . . indie writers I know?), and then maybe even take it live and generate some actual interest in it before I'm likely to intrigue anyone with money to invest.

Well . . . we'll see how it goes.


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