I'm thinking about developing an online marketplace where authors who are interested in selling their self-published books can do so on the marketplace by setting up their own mini online shop like 'eBay'. The point of differentiation however is that the marketplace only includes 'quality' self-published works.
In my mind the platform should:
1. automatically pull in existing book reviews that authors have from other places like Amazon, Google, or Goodreads - but of course for authors who are very new and have never published before, there would be the usual function of allowing new readers and bloggers to provide reviews of the book - on the condition that the book averages good reviews over a period of months in order to comply with the 'quality' requirement.
2. allow authors to add specific detail about their book ie. degree of action, romance, who the book would likely appeal to (to help attract the right match in readers to their book)
3. not limit readers from purchasing directly from the marketplace but will cost compare with other places that the author is selling their book on like Amazon etc and allow readers to choose where they want to buy the book (either directly from the author via the marketplace or from other sellers such as Amazon etc).
This will probably be a labour of love so it'll be free (including free of commission) - well, at least maybe for 3 years to give people a fair go.
As for quality - unfortunately for now all I can come up with is a screening process where authors will need to supply a copy of their manuscript or book and statement answering questions that work toward determining the quality of the book for the back-of-office team to review and make an assessment about before inviting the author to start a mini-shop on the marketplace. Or maybe an internal editing system with certified editors that self-pub authors need to get through before they can be approved to sell on the site. I think that for books that do not meet the quality standards, there'll be a list of conditions (ie. get the book re-edited etc) the author should meet before reapplying to sell on the marketplace.
So, these are my thoughts for now. Has it got merit, would writers use it, or is it a thumbs down and I shouldn't bother? Or should I just handball the idea over to someone like Amazon ;-)