Courtesy of Publishers Weekly…

Book Country, an online writing community and self-publishing service launched by Penguin in 2011, is relaunching and redesigning the site in stages. The Book Country self-publishing site will relaunch today with reduced fees for each tier of service while adding a free self-publishing tier, higher royalties for authors and plans to eventually add an online bookstore. By late summer 2013, the site will also relaunch its writing community, opening the site to more fiction genres.

During a visit to the Penguin offices to preview improvements to the site, Book Country community manager Colleen Lindsay told PW that Penguin was working “to improve the user experience” on Book Country and fix “technology issues” on the site. Launched in late 2011, the self-publishing side of the site “was shut down last June to address some of the problems,” she said, noting that “the company has built a database of suggestions and bugs,” from members of the online community. Book Country offers writers a place to upload work and receive feedback on their writing, a place where agents and publishers can search for new artists and it is also a free and fee-based service that provides aspiring authors a way to self-publish their writing as e-books and distribute them to all major e-book retailers.

Lindsay showed off a completely redesigned site with several major changes—in particular Book Country has increased the author royalty to 85% from 70%, added a free tier to Book Country’s self-publishing services and reduced fees for all its tiers. Now Book Country offers self-publishing packages that start at free, $59, $149, $249 and $399 (which includes 100% royalty if sold through the Book Country retail channel) for its top tier, which was originally $549.

Read the complete article here: Penguin Revamps Book Country

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