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Brandi Larsen
Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 3:26 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Share your general feedback about the site here. We're listening to what you have to say.

MariAdkins
Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:52 PM
:knock wood: the site seems to be moving along much faster!
Mimi Speike
Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:51 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


The bookstore looks very promising. It makes me want to whip something into shape and get it up also. I have yet to investigate the publishing tools, but I certainly will.
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:19 AM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


I'm glad to hear. We do love to inspire writers.

LilySea
Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013 8:46 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


This is probably really obvious, but indulge me. I am trying to figure out new BookCountry and can't find the books I was "following" from old BookCountry. My people connections seem to have come over with me. Are my followed books somewhere too or did that feature change in the relaunch?
Mari Adkins
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 12:43 PM

It's nice to have the followed discussions panel. However, there should be a better way to unsub from the posts we no longer want or need to follow. I just checked and I have 104 discussions I'm following since we moved to this new board. So I have to click a bunch of buttons, go to the actual discussion, and unsubscribe, then wait while the page reloads, then go back to the discussion panel to see where I was. There need to be bulk actions options. Also on the private messages panel - as well as a way to turn off saving sent messages. We need opt-in and opt-out options. I don't like being opted into something I've not agreed to. I don't want to "follow" all these discussions every time I make a comment on something. I just now found the category subscribe / unsubscribe button beside the new topic button. All it did was allow me to subscribe to everything in that discussion category whether I was subscribed to anything already or not. I'd like to be able to see what I'm subscribed to - and be able to "select all" and unsubscribe from all. (same with the private messages) I still like BC and still recommend it to people, but this move in so many ways has made it so much harder to use than easier. I'd take the old board and all its problems back over this. Seriously. I'm sure others would, too.

--edited by Mari Adkins on 7/29/2013, 12:49 PM--


Lucy Silag
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 1:06 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


@LilySea--Here's a blog post from Brandi about the way the new "follow" works. Check it out, and if you're noticing that these features are not working correctly for you, please let me know!

 

My email is lucy AT bookcountry DOT com.

 

Thanks for your feedback! I'll keep an eye out for an email--want to make sure this is working correctly for everyone. I have to say, I am loving the way this is working--so great to have all these books populating my homepage. I love being able to stay in the know.

 

Lucy Silag

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager

--edited by Lucy Silag on 7/29/2013, 2:54 PM--


Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 1:34 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


@Shannon, nice to see you around!

--edited by Nevena Georgieva on 7/29/2013, 2:59 PM--


Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 2:49 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Hi Mari,

 

I'm glad that you find the the discussion panel useful.

 

We've thought about bulk actions, and it's a feature we'd like to add in the future. (Our next release will focus on the news feed.)

 

We aren't planning to eliminate the ability to see sent messages.

 

You do have the ability to choose whether you'd like to receive updates on all posts in a discussion thread or only the replies to you. To do that, go to the subscribe/unsubscribe menu. Click the down arrow to select between "All Posts" and "Replies to me," then hit "Update Subscription" to save your choice.

 

Private messages can only be sent between Book Country members who are connected. If you don't want to receive private messages, you can turn them off. Go to your profile page and click Edit Profile. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll see the Private Messaging Preference box. Hit the down arrow to select between "Allow Private Messages from Connections" or "Do not allow Private Messages" and click "Save All" to update your preference.

 

Here are some detailed screenshots that may help.

 

Thanks for your suggestions.

 

Best, Brandi  


Mari Adkins
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 6:21 PM

We aren't planning to eliminate the ability to see sent messages.

 

 Then give us the option to bulk delete sent and received messages. Please.

 

You do have the ability to choose whether you'd like to receive updates on all posts in a discussion thread or only the replies to you.

 

You miss the point. I want a bulk option. Right now I'm subscribed to over 100 threads. To do as you're suggesting, I'd have to take an entire afternoon and go through each individual thread to unsub from them all. Which is insane.

 

If you don't want to receive private messages, you can turn them off.

This isn't an issue, so I'm not sure how we got here ??

Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 7:03 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Mari, try this:

 

Go to the Discussions page and click on the Control Panel.

 

That will take you to a screen where you can manage discussion subscriptions. You'll see all of the discussions that you've followed, as well as the level (All Posts, Replies to Me). There are check boxes next to each discussion title. To unsubscribe from any or all of these, check the box next to the one you no longer want to see and hit "Unsubscribe Selected" at the bottom of the page.

 

That should solve your problem.

 

Here's a screenshot to show you what you'll see.

 

Best,

Brandi


Mari Adkins
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 11:20 PM
See? It's stuff like this that we've been complaining about. Stuff like this shouldn't be so hard to find!
Mimi Speike
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:09 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


1. The site is moving incredibly slowly. Ah! Suddenly, it has speeded up. But it still takes a very long time to go from Discussions to My Profile.

.

2. In Chrome, I am unable to reply. The command is not there. (Yes, I am logged in. The choice displayed is logout). Safari is fine. I'm in Safari now. 

.

Okay, I'm in Chrome again, I logged out, and logged back in, and now I am able to reply. I had come back on minutes after quitting out, and it appeared from the 'logout' command that I was still logged in, but I guess that I was not.

.

3. I do not have the word 'home' on every page, so that I can go to the home page from wherever I am, instead of having to take a detour through another page where I know I have seen it. And, can't you make it more prominent, a button or something, bigger, in color.

.

4. I still get that 404 error in Chrome, when I come on. I do not get it in Safari.

.

5. I still miss the old format, with my own books, my followed books, my own discussions, my followed discussions, my connections, my followed people who are not connections, all on ONE page, in front of me without having to joggle here and there, and all with a numbered black box prompt telling me at a one second glance where there has been new activity. Instant gratification! The sum total of this was what put you miles ahead of every other discussion site. With the new format, I feel that, except for the people whom I have come to know and love, I might as well go back to Scribophile. 

.

Yah, except for Scribophile discourages you posting more than about three thousand words of your book at a time, which leads to the annoyance of chapters posted separately. You have to either stumble across or hunt them down for they land where they will, in between masses of unrelated material, according to the time of arrival on the site. And, it is much harder to build relationships. I don't have a clear sense of who any of those people are. Maybe it's because I haven't spent enough time there, me being very happy with the Book Country sandbox. Until recently.

.

What you now offer in terms of following doesn't come anywhere close to what you had before. You are listening very selectively to what we are saying. I am beginning to drift away. 

.

--edited by Mimi Speike on 7/30/2013, 2:44 PM--


Brandi Larsen
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:52 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Hi, Mimi.

 

For individual bug reports, could you please email them to support at bookcountry dot com? We'll be able to fix them faster for you from there.

 

You can return to the homepage from anywhere on the site by clicking on the logo at the top left of each page.

 

We are listening to your feedback -- as well as everyone else's -- and we appreciate the time you take to share it. We consider all of the member feedback as we plan new features and revise existing ones.

 

We hope that you choose to stay with the Book Country community.

 

Best, Brandi

 

 


Mimi Speike
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:56 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


I like this site, and I will hang on. But I may ultimately publish here, and confine myself to one or two discussions that I am particularly interested in. 

.

It was such fun to open the old site, see Carl's smiling face with a black box in the corner and say, let's see what Carl is up to. The instantaneous easy access to your favorites was the heart and soul of this site. No one else has (er, had) it. Only you. 


Angela Martello
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 8:26 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394


Phew! What a ride. I had already sent an e-mail to support because, at least from my work laptop and using Firefox, I couldn't do anything on the site. Couldn't navigate, couldn't reply to discussions, didn't see what should have been seen on the various screens, etc.

I'm at home now and using Chrome and things seem to be working better. I'll try Firefox from home either later tonight or tomorrow. Some observations:

Any of the personalized portions of the site (like the home page, my list of discussions, etc.), take very, very long to load. This could be because of the way the back end is set up to retrieve the data (or I'm just following too many things). But it is very slow - dare I say, slower than the previous site (and that was a bit sluggish). I'm cheating now - I have multiple tabs opened in Chrome with various BC pages loaded on them. Makes things a little easier to bounce back and forth.

I like the personalized home page. Nice to have (most) of our items of interest in one place. I say most because, as Mimi pointed out, I still need to go somewhere else to see what my connections are up to. (It also takes a very long time to navigate to a particular connection's profile page, too).

But I do have a question: How come my personal home page and my dashboard don't look like the "profile" page of one of my connections? It seems to me that rather than support multiple types of pages, shouldn't all members' pages be set up the same? From a connection's page, I can see their profile, their books, the books they're following, the people they're following, and the books they've reviewed. The one thing you can't see is the discussions they're either following or actively posting to. Add that and you'll have a truly complete member's page. Do that for me when I login - make that my home page (with the other features you've added like the news section) and I'll have what I would consider a true "dashboard", jumping off point, home page - whatever word you want to use to describe it.

There are some features I still haven't tried yet (for lots of reasons) and there are still a lot of things about the older site that I miss (I liked seeing the lists of Buzz Books and Community Favorites, for example), but as long as you're open to feedback, I'll keep putting in my two cents for what they're worth. 

P.S. I'll also try some things at work again tomorrow and keep track of the versions of the different browsers. Still think it's odd that nothing was working today on the most current version of Firefox. But it could have been a network issue at my company.


Mimi Speike
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 8:36 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


Maybe that's my problem - missing information? All I have on my home page is the discussions I'm following and the books I'm following. Should I have more than that?

.

Brandi, can we have a screen shot of the home page, to see what it's supposed to look like?

.

--edited by Mimi Speike on 7/30/2013, 9:40 PM--


Angela Martello
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:44 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394


Had a few minutes to do some poking around using Firefox (v. 22.0) at home. I have to say, things work MUCH better in Firefox than they do in Chrome. Pages load faster; the annoying gray background that appears when you begin to type a post doesn't appear in Firefox. And the spaces stay between paragraphs when using Firefox versus Chrome. Is it possible that the site isn't optimized for Chrome?

 

I'm also seeing all the things that I had reported via e-mail that I couldn't see or access using Firefox at work. I'm going to chalk that up to a network issue there (but I'll try it again just for the sake of testing).


--edited by Angela Martello on 7/30/2013, 9:46 PM--


Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 3:05 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


Can we get an entry on our home page, Recent Activity, that will zap us back to our recent posts, with a time-frame involved, that we don't necessarily want to subscribe to? We might that way be able to view the home page of a connection, and see what they are up to. Just a thought.

.

--edited by Mimi Speike on 8/1/2013, 9:29 PM--


Angela Martello
Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 3:13 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394


While I appreciate being able to see all the discussions and books I'm following on my personalized home page, I should also be able to manage them from that same page.

 

Unless I'm missing something, the only way to "manage" discussions is through the control panel on the Discussions home page - but that shows me every discussion on Book Country. I should be able to manage just the discussions I'm following in some sort of straightforward manner (like we used to be able to do so). I don't see how to do this. What I want to do is go through the list of discussions I'm currently following and decide whether or not I want to continue following them. If I am missing something, I apologize for being so dense, but I'm simply not seeing that (nor was there anything in the blog posting about managing the discussions you already follow - I printed that out and have been referring to it constantly). Do I need to go to each individual discussion and "unsubscribe" to it there?

 

Same thing with the books I'm following. When I select "see all" to show me a full list of books that I'm currently following, only the books that are no longer available for whatever reason have an "unfollow" option that I can use. I should be able to manage all of the books I'm following from my home page.


Mari Adkins
Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 11:11 PM
mark all read would be nice!

 


Brandi Larsen
Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 2:19 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Thanks for the feedback!

 

Angela, I think you saw the support emails we sent. As a reminder, support at bookcountry dot com is the fastest way for us to get back to you about problems with your account.

The site is optimized for Chrome and Firefox. Thanks for your question about why the pages look different. They serve different purposes -- we'll put together a blog post soon explaining our full rationale, which I think will also become clearer when the newsfeed comes out in a couple of weeks. Thanks for telling us about the features you miss -- such as Buzz Books and Community Favorites -- we care what members think and it helps us as we plan future development.
 
You're right that the way to manage the discussions is through the control panel. It doesn't show every discussion on Book Country -- just the ones to which you've subscribed. I walked Mari through the steps above.
 

Go to the Discussions page and click on the Control Panel.

 

That will take you to a screen where you can manage discussion subscriptions. You'll see all of the discussions that you've followed, as well as the level (All Posts, Replies to Me). There are check boxes next to each discussion title. To unsubscribe from any or all of these, check the box next to the one you no longer want to see and hit "Unsubscribe Selected" at the bottom of the page.

 

That should solve your problem.

 

Here's a screenshot to show you what you'll see.

Mimi, Thanks for the suggestion about recent activity. I'll try to post a screenshot next week on how things will look with a populated newsfeed. (But that newsfeed isn't too far away...)

 

Mari, Thanks! We've noted it.

 


--edited by Brandi Larsen on 8/2/2013, 2:51 PM--


Angela Martello
Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 3:29 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394


Hi, Brandi,

 

Thanks for the info about managing subscriptions. Its not very apparent on the page you get to from the Control panel button what you're supposed to do (and it looked like all the discussions because, apparently, I was following way too many of them!). I think one of the biggest issues I have with the overall site redesign is that directions for specific pages/functions aren't readily accessible on the particular page. I ended up printing out a blog post so that I can refer back to it. Or I open up different pages (personal home page, connection's page, the blog, the discussions page) in different tabs on my browser so I can bounce back and forth.

 

And I've sent e-mails, too. happy Especially when absolutely nothing was working for me at work. BTW, things are working at this moment. I'm sitting in my office bored to tears with Evaluation of chest pain, so I decided to check out Book Country and see if I could get in with my work laptop. So far, so good (just an FYI, I'm using Firefox at work; I still think the site overall works better in Firefox than it does in Chrome).
 

Looking forward to the rationale for all the different pages as well as the newsfeed.

 

-Angela


Mari Adkins
Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 4:36 PM
angela - navigating a website shouldn't be this difficult.
Alexandria Brim
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 2:25 AM
Joined: 10/20/2011
Posts: 353


I've been pretty content about the new site with only a few petty complaints, like the fact the forums still won't take us to the last read post and just bring us to page one post one. But then the other day I went to post a new chapter to "The Conference House" and found my first major complaint. I couldn't just ADD a chapter. No. I have to upload a document with all the other chapters I've previously loaded and then each time, I have to redo all my chapters? I understand this was probably designed to make it easier for people who plan to self-publish using the site, but what about people like me who are using this site for peer reviews of works-in-progress? At this point, it seems I would be better off waiting to complete a draft before publishing and that's not what I liked about this site. I liked watching a story come together and I liked getting feedback along the way. Is there anyway you give us the option to just ADD a chapter to an existing story without having to erase EVERYTHING we did before? Please?

 

Or am I the only one who finds this to be a pain?


Mari Adkins
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 2:41 PM

i'm putting this here. and if it gets me kicked off book country, so be it.

 

this is what a real message board looks like and operates like. really - it should be this simple.

http://writeoncon.com/forum/forum.php

username: VioletLily

password: avante 


Mari Adkins
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 2:42 PM
Alexandria Brim wrote:

Or am I the only one who finds this to be a pain?

 

 

 

 You aren't -- there are just very few being openly vocal about site issues.

Mari Adkins
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 2:45 PM
also it took me like three or four tries to reply to alexandria --- the way this post box works is a pain in the rear.
Mimi Speike
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 3:04 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


I assume that by now Book Country is aware of the fundamental and pervasive issues of access and speed. It takes an inordinate amount of time to accomplish certain maneuvers which used to be easy as pie. Now I see, from Mari and Alexandria, that there are other annoyances that I haven't discovered yet. 

.

I still believe that many of these problems will eventually be fixed. I will continue to hope for an experience that approaches the one we once had. If I am not happy with the ultimate level of functionality, I may visit less frequently, finish my book and gear up to self-publish, which would be a very good outcome also, even a preferable one. I am trying to look on the bright side.

.

--edited by Mimi Speike on 8/4/2013, 8:29 PM--


Alexandria Brim
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 10:34 PM
Joined: 10/20/2011
Posts: 353


Good to know I'm not alone, Mari! I think there should be an option: I'd like to upload one continuous document and format it myself or I'd like to upload chapter by chapter. I'm not too familiar with codes and building programs, but I don't think it would be too much of problem.
Mari Adkins
Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 12:22 AM
it's still ridiculous it has to be done that way. that's insane.
Alexandria Brim
Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 1:46 AM
Joined: 10/20/2011
Posts: 353


I'll say. The old way was so much better and user friendly.
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 12:16 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Mari: As a reminder, this is a public forum. We care and respect member privacy and take privacy issues very seriously. If the login information you posted above was someone else's credentials, that would be outside the lines of the community guidelines and grounds for immediate dismissal from this community.

 

Because we assume you posted your own credentials, we ask you to go back and edit your post to retract your personal information from it.

 

From the guidelines:

 We ask that our members do everything in their power to protect their privacy and the privacy of their fellow Book Country members as well. This means that you shouldn't post anyone's personal information on Book Country.


Lucy Silag
Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 2:03 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Alexandria Brim wrote:

I've been pretty content about the new site with only a few petty complaints, like the fact the forums still won't take us to the last read post and just bring us to page one post one. But then the other day I went to post a new chapter to "The Conference House" and found my first major complaint. I couldn't just ADD a chapter. No. I have to upload a document with all the other chapters I've previously loaded and then each time, I have to redo all my chapters? I understand this was probably designed to make it easier for people who plan to self-publish using the site, but what about people like me who are using this site for peer reviews of works-in-progress? At this point, it seems I would be better off waiting to complete a draft before publishing and that's not what I liked about this site. I liked watching a story come together and I liked getting feedback along the way. Is there anyway you give us the option to just ADD a chapter to an existing story without having to erase EVERYTHING we did before? Please?

 

Or am I the only one who finds this to be a pain?


Hi, Alexandria!

 

Your post brings up an important point about how the Book Country staff approaches the idea of helpful feedback. We know every writer has their own way of doing things, but I wanted to share our thinking on this with you and other members:

 

Book Country is expanding every day. So our new "draft system" (rather than individual chapter uploads) is designed so that new members who land on the page for a Book Country book will easily be able to find the most recent/most complete version of your novel.

 

I will use myself as an example: I am new to the site and haven't read any of THE CONFERENCE HOUSE yet. So when I go to the book's page, what I want to see is the most recent version of the book--I know my feedback will not necessarily be useful to you if I look at a previous version. In the same vein, I need to read as much of the book as possible to see if the whole novel is working. I want as much context as I can get, in one continuous document.

 

Does this make sense?

 

If you haven't revised previous chapters, you can upload the full doc or copy and paste new chapters to the end of your current draft and re-post. BC members who have read your previous chapter can simply skip ahead in the most recent draft, either using the scroll to find where they were in the text, or by using the chapter dropdown menu at the top of the online reader.

 

 So yes, by all means we want BC community members to workshop their books as they write them--we know that getting feedback as you go is enormously helpful, not to mention encouraging!  But what I plan to do when I start uploading long-form writing is to upload my own work-in-progress document in its entirety, since that's how I save my most recent version on my own computer. Will that work for you?

 

Let me know what you think of this!

 

Happy writing (and revising!)!

 

Lucy

 

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 8:26 PM

• Does this make sense?

 

Not even a little. Making changes to one chapter, perhaps in response to a critique, has nothing to do with the other chapters. Whatever has been uploaded so far as any chapter, should be what the reader sees when they read.

 

 Your programmers screwed up, plain and simple, and the requirement to reload everything was a work-around.



Mari Adkins
Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 11:48 PM

b
lah blah blah i'm not a complete idiot - i've been online since 1987. i created a complete dummy account so people could go over and see how that site works.

 

i probably won't be back to bc. anybody wants to keep up with me can find me on facebook or my website.


Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 2:15 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


Test, this is not a complaint.
TechGuy TC
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 3:39 PM
Joined: 8/22/2012
Posts: 12


This is me adding a reply as myself. It should not appear in my newsfeed.
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 9:03 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I really did like the old system for uploading chapters better. This one is just a lot more work, especially for writers who split their chapters into separate files so that they're easier to work on. A lot of us do that. What I would have to do is copy and paste each chapter into one file, save it, load it up on here, and then redo it every time I've done changes over multiple chapters. Or, I could spend all my time scrolling and copying and pasting, but it's still time consuming.

  

And the draft count is just painful. But that could personal thing, especially since it says I'm on draft 56. I wonder if that's going to hurt my chances of getting someone from publishing to even look at it once I post my new draft with the revised book blurb.


Toni Smalley
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:10 AM
I've been making minor changes to my drafts, but my only option is to 'post', which shows it as a new draft. On the old site, you could choose between posting it as a new draft, or just updating as minor revisions. Can we still do that? Just want to make sure I'm doing this right. Thanks!
Lucy Silag
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:21 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


@Toni-- That is correct. If you want to make changes and not post them, you can just save and it will not increment the draft number, but those changes also will not be available for readers to see. We only mention this in case you want to accumulate a few changes before actually posting. The only thing that increments a draft number is pushing the "Post" button.

 

Lucy Silag

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager


Toni Smalley
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:56 AM
@Lucy: That is what I thought. I'm just one of those people who, upon finding a mistake I missed, I feel the need to fix it, because grammar mistakes make me cringe. I also like uploading a few more pages I've finished, or deleting some pages. Thanks for the quick response, appreciate it!
Angela Martello
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 10:11 AM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394


And that is why we end up with draft #157 when we're just trying to post minor revisions. I have to agree with LeeAnna on this: will anyone want to read/express an interest in a book that seems to have that many drafts?

There is a big difference between posting a new draft of a work (something with new material or substantial changes to the content made in response to reviews and so on) versus posting minor revisions (like fixing a typo or some other minor correction).

Posting minor revisions should not up your draft number. Basically, you've given us some great functionality (the ability to edit your book within BC and the ability to load one entire document versus loading each chapter individually), but have killed a lot of functionality that people liked and used - or functionality that simply made sense. Why can't we make minor revisions and repost the work for people to see it without changing the draft number (like we used to do)? Why can't we have the option of either posting one long manuscript or adding chapters one at the time (with relative ease)?

So, navigation on the new site is somewhat difficult and slow; keeping tabs on the books and people and discussions you're following, as well as your own books and discussions you've started is difficult (because it all can't be done from one screen; you have to bounce around the site); and uploading your works to get people to read them and give you advice is difficult (the uploading feature is causing problems for people).

I realize that things are still in flux and that there are a lot of known issues the technical folks are working on, but I do wonder if all the changes that were made were necessary in the first place. 


Thomas Vessely
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 2:05 PM
Joined: 1/9/2013
Posts: 2


This is me testing.
TechGuy TC
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 2:25 PM
Joined: 8/22/2012
Posts: 12


Test
Susan Nire
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 6:13 PM

This is the worst interface I have seen in many years.

I had been posting my work for more than a year with the former interface and was happy about it despite some obvious shortcomings.

Since this new interface has been implemented, apparently rushed in given the number of bugs, clunky user interaction and arcane process, I have had to re-load several times some of my writings through the most cumbersome and ineffective process.

I have tried for more than a month to live with this ridiculous service and today, I just give up.

Too bad that you killed a perfectly well working product and tried to make it someone's software fantasy that does not fulfill the most basic needs of the humble writer that I am.

 

My apologies to the people who were following me, but you can still read my work on Movellas.com, a community based site that actually works.

 

So long Book Country and good luck repairing all that you broke.


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 11:49 PM

I would advise your programmers to look at the Scribophile site. The site owner is a programmer, and a good one, so have them poke around and see what their target should be, so far as posting and reviewing work.

 

One plus is that they don't have their boards cluttered with dozens of preplanned, fixed position, and seldom used topics. All the new threads and commented threads are right there on top, without the need to search every subject to see the date of the latest post. There may be some utility in the system you use, but posting in a given subject should bubble that subject to the top of its section, because looking at every single date, seeking a new post to read is boring.

--edited by Jay Greenstein on 8/7/2013, 11:50 PM--


Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013 2:24 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


Jay, I like Scribophile for the astonishing volume and breadth of information available. But I say, nothing beats the old Book Country interface. 

.

To build your own page, with your favorite people, books, discussions with big, easily readable headers, all with those black box prompts that signal new activity, that was the best. That format may not have been pretty, it was no fabulous graphic look (neither, by the way is this new one. This one is neither functional nor a fine piece of design. We have here the worst of both worlds) but it sure was efficient, and so user-friendly. Do you think the Scribophile experience (in terms of mechanics, not participation. Scrib is much larger than BC, therefore, far livelier) superior to the old BC?

.

--edited by Mimi Speike on 8/8/2013, 2:42 AM--


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 1:24 AM

I would have to say that both formats, here and Scribo, have strengths, but I've always hated the physical layout of the forums, here. I just looked and there are fifteen subjects cluttering up the boards that have had no activity since June. And making the search even less fun, the subject is way on the left of the screen and the date is at the far right. Date should be in the first column on the left with subject next to it. Presently, you find a new post by date and then track all the way across the screen to find out if the subject is one you even want to read it's awkward and annoying visual ping-pong.  I've employed programmers when I was chief engineer of a small electronics house, and were one of them to have produced such a counter-intuitive layout they would be looking for a new employer. The only word that fits is amateur.

 

And that does make a difference You said Scribo is bigger. Why? What do they offer that this site doesn't? We can do everything here, free, that costs $40 a year there. We post work. They post work. We have italics in the text and they don't unless you pay. We can discuss writing. They discuss writing. Yet on many days no one puts a single post in the forums, and when they do, it's one or two a day, to the dozens in each of the top ten threads, there.

 

It's not a matter of better or worse, because both offer the same product. It's the aggressively inconvenient layout of this site that makes the difference.

 

There's also another not so small difference. All websites have keywords that will come up in search engines. All of the Scribo keywords are writing related, so they get a hit well up on a Google page. Type "writing forums" and you get Absolute Write in the first ten. Scribo about thirty down. You never get Book Country because the keyword entries here are for people searching for self publishing. And obviously, that's not a popular search subject, based on the new member traffic. I mentioned it to the old staff a long time ago. No one was interested

 

Note to moderator: ahem... WAKE UP! Most people who might be customers for self-publishing don't know they can self publish, or what's involved. So attract people who are seeking to learn to write or improve—who are supposed to be the target audience of the site. Then make your pitch.

 

You might ask why I bother to come here. The reason is that there's damn little real advice available on most writing sites. Most responses amount to "This is what I do," as if that has anything to do with what a publisher is looking for. Someone has to tell them what they need to know instead of what they want to hear.

 

I said I wasn't going to post in the forums any more when the site changed its orientation to telling self-publishers what they wanted to hear, and complained when I had the gall to contradict people who "just knew" that all you need do is to read fiction and you'll learn the profession. But I figured that as a scout I'm supposed to do a good turn daily (and as a scouter if I don't they send guys to beat me up) so why not have that good turn be helping someone avoid the many pitfalls new writers face?

 

So since not posting it exactly the same as not being a member, I figured, what the hell, I'll do the right thing till they get fed up and give me the boot (which may well be tomorrow).

 

And in line with that I have to ask: what kind of an idiot made the site software apply a spell checker as we type, so we know there's a problem with a given word, and then didn't have the sense to pull up the possible fix on a right click, like everyone else. Type the document and then spell check it for the words you already know are wrong? You have to be kidding.

.

- See more at: http://www.bookcountry.com/Community/Discussion/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=8589935739#sthash.I7gsMn9U.dpuf

Mimi Speike
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 1:04 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


I like these sites because in evaluating the work of others, in being forced to be specific about my positive and negative reactions, I may eventually get hold of the ability to objectively assess my own thing.  

.

But after a point, they are a guilt-laden distraction from hard, often painful work: me, alone with my notes and my thoughts and my keyboard. I've gotten sufficient reaction to my stylistic choices. I don't need any more reviews. Now I need to digest and decide. 

.

For entertainment value, Scrib is superior to BC. Here, it was the people that I loved. Wonderful new members may come along, but my heart isn't in it anymore. 

.

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 8/9/2013, 3:14 PM--


 

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