Jeff Rivera Discusses His New eBook Community Site

Author Jeff Rivera has launched a new community website devoted to all things digital publishing. The site aims to be a cross between the Huffington Post and Publishers Weekly for the book world. We caught up with Rivera to discuss the new site. Editor’s update: Rivera is a GalleyCat contributor.

EBN: Why did you decide to launch the Gatekeepers site?
JR: This is the most important time in book history. What happens in the next few years will either make or break what the industry has been creating for the last 100 years. It is time for our community to work together, to communicate, to exchange our ideas and truly connect. My hope is that The Gatekeepers Post is a significant part of that.

EBN: How does it work?
JR: I personally hand-selected each of the Gatekeepers so when readers go to it in February, they know that the voices that are blogging on the site are respected, trusted and knowledgeable.  To have the caliber of people we have involved is mind-blowing to me and I’m so proud.  If you can imagine The Huffington Post meets Publishers Weekly then you’ll have a good idea what our community is about.  Vetted agents, editors, publicists, librarians, booksellers, book club leaders, A-list authors like Zane, Alisa Valdes Rodriguez, (both of whom are on our editorial advisory board) Jeff Kinney and others all blogging about what’s happening today in publishing. But there’s so much more and we encourage book lovers and the industry to participate in the conversations.

EBN: Do you think that the rise of self-published eBooks has led to the need for curatorial sites?
JR: I think that is one of the greatest fears of the industry that there is such a tsunami of eBooks coming that the public is going to have difficulty finding the good ones. We need people who are trusted, who we respect to let us know which ones they recommend.  I don’t think it’s fair to authors who are just starting to rely on a “cream rises to the top” mentality.  I know of a number of phenomenal eBook authors who haven’t received nearly as much attention as they deserve and hopefully The Gatekeepers Post and the Gatekeepers bloggers can be a part of shedding some light on these people.  Look at someone like Joe Konrath (who is also on our editorial board) and what he’s done. eBooks are the future!

EBN: How are you working with Fast Pencil,Wattpad, eReads.com, etc.?
JR: One of the exciting things about Gatekeepers is that once word started spreading about what we were doing, some amazing people like executives from Fast Pencil, Wattpad and eReads came on board to support us. They will be Gatekeeper bloggers, talking about how the changes in the eBook publishing are affecting their businesses and how we can all work together. I’m very excited about their participation. And in the case of eReads.com founder, Richard Curtis, he is one of our amazing editorial advisory board members too and has been absolutely invaluable. I cannot thank him enough for everything he’s done.

EBN: Will you have any partnerships with any eBook retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, etc.?
JR: In the future, we have some amazing ideas for partnerships and projects such as our online video conferencing panels where the industry will be able to “attend” conferences with our panelists and Gatekeepers without ever having to leave their homes or listening and participating to online author readings and much more. However, for now, we really want to focus on creating a great community, phenomenal content and a reason for people to keep coming back for more.

UPDATE: The site launched February 1st.

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