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I have no intention of posting every day since you don’t want to know every boring detail of what I get up to. This site will have nuggets of interesting stuff I come across, and reviews of the best books I read.


Bookvetter founder Mark Brackett tells me about his concept

Trying to sum up the essence of Bookvetter for a 140 character Twitter tweet has proven to be frustratingly impossible, though in reality this shouldn’t be all that surprising; the focus of Bookvetter is books, which is not an ideal medium for a world where the attention span is eight seconds!

This scarcity of time is the primary reason for the existence of Bookvetter. Whilst today there are more great books available than ever, they are swamped by lower quality publications; often we fail to discover the gems and have meaningful conversations about them.

The first step in the Bookvetter process starts with filtering the tsunami of new books being created in order to determine which books are ready for a larger audience. The filtering process uses anonymous author peer reviews (to avoid review trading or review reprisals) that are used to generate a review score. This score determines which books should be passed on to the book review blogger community.

So far the review results are proving that authors can identify exceptional literature and are very protective of the reputation of their industry. Surviving peer review is proving to be a significant accomplishment for a book.

The second step in the Bookvetter process is passing high scoring books (Vetted books) on to the book review blogger community for additional review and promotion. Instead of authors having to seek out book review bloggers and request reviews, the Bookvetter system automatically makes book review bloggers aware of the Vetted books that are a match with the bloggers’ reading interests.

Book review bloggers are currently a completely underestimated resource in the literary world; they have readers who follow their blogs because they trust the bloggers’ opinions about the books they have read. A review from a blogger is a form of word of mouth promotion that is taken seriously and read with interest by their followers, and so has the potential to be far more effective than most of the paid promotion packages being sold to authors in their desperate search for an audience.

The aim of Bookvetter is to create a win-win scenario for all parties involved that makes efficient use of our limited time. Authors receive feedback on their books that can be used to improve their writing, no more soul crushing silence. If their books achieve Vetted book status then more reviews are possible, helping to introduce their writing to many more readers. Book review bloggers receive some assurance that the book they are about to read is worth their time and the odds of having to write a negative review are significantly reduced.

Bookvetter isn’t for everyone; it’s a community where members choose to give their time reading, reviewing and giving helpful feedback. An author’s work stands alone and there are no shortcuts to success. Value is being created and exchanged, but it takes more than 140 characters and eight seconds.


A while ago I came across a site where the idea is to ‘vet’ books, thereby giving book bloggers confidence that those on offer for review are of a consistent high standard. The vetting is done by peer review; when a book has 6 reviews, if it has scored well enough for content and editing the book gets ‘vetted’ status and is added to the list from which the bloggers can check out copies for review.

I decided to try the system out for the first of the Words and Water Group’s anthologies:

WaterAid - with Words and Water Group80

I’m pleased to report it is now among the first books to have achieved vetted status.

Check it out and see if you like the way the site is being developed: It’s early days yet but I think it could catch on in a big way. If you join in now your ideas can influence how it is shaped. Quite exciting really 🙂



This week I saw a flyer for a local farm’s ‘Christmas market’. Entry fee is set at £5 and from what I can gather it was a sellout last year. What do you get for your entry fee? The chance to buy things from the stalls set up there. Good grief! Has the Western world gone mad in our frenzy to buy things? The vast majority of purchasers aren’t even religious ,so why is there this compulsion to spend, spend, spend because it’s Christmas?