For full instructions on building a Profile, go to Contributor Guidelines


Q:   What is Book Drum and who is it for?

Book Drum is a web community for book lovers.   It provides a convenient facility for readers to bring their favourite books alive for others by adding images, music, maps, background information and video.


Q:   How can I put a book on the World Map?

The best way is to build a full profile for the book.  But if you don't have time to complete all six sections of the profile, you can create the Setting page and then submit the profile.  We will pin the book to the Map and add the profile to the Incomplete Profiles page where others can continue to work on it.


Q:   What is a “Profile”?

A Profile is the complete Book Drum dossier of illustration and information on a particular book.   It consists of a Summary, a Glossary, a Review, a biography of the Author, a note on the Setting, a Map, and a collection of “Bookmarks” that refer to specific passages in the text.


Q:   Who can contribute a Profile?

Anyone with spare time, enthusiasm, reasonable writing skills and an Internet connection can build a Profile on a book they know well.   All you need to do is sign up for a free account.   While a book is being profiled, it cannot be worked on by anyone else.   Once the Profile is complete, other registered Contributors will be able to add to it.


Q:   Will I be credited for my work?   Will my Profile be changed in the future?

All Contributors are credited.   Each Profile is labelled with the Username of the Main Contributor.   Every bookmark, Setting place and review is separately credited with a link direct to the Contributor's personal page.   Book Drum may edit your work if necessary, and other Contributors may add to it and comment on it.


Q:   There’s a load of information about this book on another website.   Can I just copy and paste it?

No.   Plagiarism and copyright infringement are strictly forbidden in the Contributor Terms.   This applies equally to printed material and text on the web.   So please don’t copy and paste.   Instead, read other sources and then write your own contributions.   If another website has a particularly good and relevant piece of writing, include a link to it.


Q:   What images can I use and which should I avoid?

The web is a treasure trove of wonderful imagery, much of which is available to use for free.   But you need to establish the licence status of every image you use.   Many are in the Public Domain, particularly images created by branches of the US Government (e.g. NASA) or older images such as paintings and engravings where the artist died more than 70 years ago.   Many others are available under a Creative Commons or GNU licence, which means you can use them for free if you correctly attribute them [other conditions of these licences may apply – see the Contributor Guidelines].   You cannot use Copyright images unless you contact the Copyright holder and obtain permission to publish them on Book Drum.   Many Copyright holders will be happy to grant permission, so it’s worth trying.   Images are held on all kinds of sites, but Wikimedia Commons and Flickr are good places to look first


Q:   Where do I find music and video?   What about maps?

Try Spotify for music and YouTube for video.   You can embed a YouTube video or a digital book hosted by Google Books on the Book Drum page.   More and more sources of streamed content are becoming available, so if you’re looking for something unusual try searching in Google for X+video or X+mp3.

Maps are available from many different websites.   Just search for X+map.   You can create your own map with specific places marked using the google maps tool.


Q:   Can I add to an existing Profile?

Yes.  If you are a published Contributor, you can add your own review or bookmarks to any published Profile.  Every item will be separately credited to you.


Q:   I am a copyright holder and I believe my copyright has been infringed on Book Drum.  How do I request that the material be taken down?

Write to us at legal@bookdrum.com and we will remove the content straightaway pending investigation.  You can also click the blue flag by the material and select "Copyright Infringement" to alert us.


Q:   Authors write books just the way they want them.   Why do you need to add to them?

That’s not necessarily true: who knows what Dickens and Austen might have come up with if they’d had the riches of the Internet at their disposal?   And even contemporary authors are constrained by the conventional assumptions of book publishing.   Including colour images in a printed book is very costly, and standard books have no facility for moving images or sound.   So we hope authors will welcome this new opportunity to add context and illustration to their books, or to see their admirers do it for them.


Q:   I’m an author.   Can I put my own books on Book Drum?

You’re very welcome to profile your own books.   You know your work better than anyone else and undoubtedly have a wealth of background material you can add to the published editions.   Feel free to upload your own photos where relevant.   We would like authors to consider Book Drum a useful facility by which they can offer their readers extra multimedia material to accompany future books – rather like the DVD extras for a movie.


Q:   Will my work be edited?

Only if it needs to be.   We’d much rather not, so please do your best to avoid spelling mistakes, errors, bad grammar, irrelevant or inappropriate comment, and waffle.


Q: Can I profile the same book as someone else?

No, but you'll be able to add to their Profile once it's published.


Q:   This Profile is taking a long time to build!   What if I don’t have time to complete it?

We’ve designed the Profile framework as a modular structure so you can build it bit by bit when you have the time.   You can probably add a couple of great bookmarks in five minutes on a coffee break at work, then put it aside until your next free moment.   We’ve discovered it gets quite addictive, so you’ll probably find the Profile builds faster than you expect.   However if you really don’t have time to finish it, please let us know so that we can assign another member of our collaborative community to build on your good start.   You’ll still be credited for the work you've done. 


Q: Can I get feedback on my Profile before it’s completed?

Yes.   We're very happy to discuss how you’re getting on and help you get past any obstacles you’ve encountered.  Write to editor@bookdrum.com.


Q:   Can I edit a Profile after I’ve submitted it?

You can add and edit bookmarks after publication.  Write to editor@bookdrum.com to make other changes.


Q: Can I publish my work elsewhere?

Yes.  If you can sell any of your Book Drum material to a magazine or a newspaper, go right ahead! You retain all printed rights to your material, and you can also sell individual text extracts for online publication.  The key thing the Contributor Terms restrict is a complete or partial replication of Book Drum Profiles in online/electronic format (e.g. on another website). However, please feel free to post your material on your own blog or your personal website at any time (we'd appreciate a mention!). 


Q:   Is my personal information safe?

All we require from Contributors is a name and email address.  We will never pass your email address to a third party unless you ask us to.  Book Drum provides individual Personal Pages where Contributors can post information about themselves which will be visible to anyone.   Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a stranger to see.   Never post your home address or financial details.


Q:   Can I contact other Contributors?

We won’t give out Contributors’ email addresses but you may be able to contact Contributors through our Facebook page.


Q:   Can I access Book Drum on my mobile?

Book Drum is accessible on most mobile devices, with excellent results on the iPhone and iPad.  So you can bring up a profile while reading a book on the bus, on the beach, or in bed.  As yet, our Spotify links and the World Map do not work on mobiles.  We are working on an iPhone/iPad app.    


Q:    Who runs Book Drum?

Mark Negus is the webmaster, Hector Macdonald is the editor, and George Pennock looks after legal and business matters.   As Book Drum grows, we plan to expand our editorial and website teams.   From time to time, we commission freelance writers to create profiles for books of particular interest.

Book Drum was founded by Mark, Hector and George in November 2009.