I just got done reading three marketing newsletters.
I used to be good about tearing open the envelope whenever a newsletter arrived and reading it right then and there. These days, I’m more prone to save up two or three and then “batch” them by reading them one right after the other.
Anyway, whether it’s newsletters, blogs, or books — I LOVE to read.
In fact, back in the 8th grade, I started logging all the books I finished reading. I would record the title, author, a paragraph or two about my reaction to the book, and a rating.
I’ve been keeping my book log ever since. About 16 years now.
What’s cool is that keeping a book log motivates me to maintain or increase my reading levels every year. And it also encourages me to read quality material, usually found in books.
For instance, yesterday morning I finished reading my 24th book of the year. I’ll probably hit about 26 or 27 books total. I find I average about 30 books a year, give or take.
So back in 2005, I was thinking and thinking and thinking about Web 2.0 and how I might be able to capitalize on it. That’s when it hit me.
Create a Community for Book Lovers!
I actually mapped out the site, what it would do, why people would sign up, the marketing plan… basically everything… in Aug/Sep 2005.
The only problem was… I’m not a programmer!
But — I have a friend who is. His name is Ken Gary. We used to work together before I became a freelance copywriter.
So I approached Ken to gauge his interest in the project, and to see if he’d be willing to partner with me. He agreed to be a part, which was really cool. The not cool part is that…
It’s Taken Us 3 Years to Get to This Point!
I remember back at Harlan Kilstein’s seminar in San Francisco (early 2006), I was talking with Jim Van Wyck about my idea for the online book log.
He thought it was the best idea he’d heard in a long time. He even said, “Ryan, don’t tell ANYBODY about this. You just need to get it done.”
That’s not a direct quote, but it’s the gist of what he said.
I was totally pumped because of Jim’s encouragement. I knew it would be big if we could build the site and the community.
Unfortunately, along the way I found out we had (gasp!) COMPETITORS!
That’s right! Some other bright people had the same exact idea I had had… and they were implementing it as well.
In fact, one of these sites was recently purchased by Amazon for an undisclosed amount of money. Pretty cool. I felt vindicated when I heard the news…
And a little depressed that it had taken so long to get the site going.
Fortunately, my friend Ken didn’t give up on the idea. He got mad at me for being discouraged. This turned out to be a good thing because he then proceeded to make the site WAY better practically overnight.
So here we are. We’ve got a really cool web site for book lovers…
And It’s Ready for YOU.
You see, Ken and I have been using the site for quite a while. It’s called MyBookLog.com. We’ve attracted some other users naturally, but we haven’t really started promoting the site.
That time has now come.
So: If you are a book lover… and you’d like to check it out… go to My Book Log right now and sign up for a FREE account.
When you do, you’ll get the following:
1. Ability to log and track the books you’re reading.
2. Log books you own… books you’ve read… and books you’re now reading.
3. Upload a cool widget to your blog that displays the books you’re now reading. (You can see my widget in the column to the right.)
4. And more. Actually, we’re still developing more features, so if there’s something you want to see improved or added to the site, just let me know. We’ll get it done.
Alright, I’ve talked enough. Go get your FREE My Book Log account right now. When you do, leave a comment with a link to your book log so I can go check it out. Thanks! :-)
-Ryan M. Healy
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