For those of you who are book fanatics, but thought publishing was stuck in the dark ages- there is finally hope. This past week, I sat down with Jeff Rivera, Editor-in-Chief of The Gatekeepers Post, to get the inside scoop on his new website, the expert team behind it, and how he is bringing book publishing into the 21st century.

HAILEY BRIGHT: What sets The Gatekeepers Post apart from such sites as Huffington Post and Publishers Weekly?
RIVERA: What’s so great about is that it’s an actual community, not just dry information spouted out. For the first time in book history a high caliber of book industry professionals are banding together to form a real online community. I’m talking about veteran agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and A-list authors like Alisa Valdes Rodriguez & Jeff Kinney are all part of the community.  It gives aspiring authors an opportunity they never had before to interact with and learn from the best in the business.

HAILEY BRIGHT: What is the biggest challenge you faced leading up to the launch of the site?
RIVERA: The biggest challenge was keeping up with the demand of professionals wanting to be a part of Literally, it’s a 24-hour job just managing the volume of incredible agents, editors, and publicists that are contributing to this project. I feel incredibly honored to have this kind of support from the community.

HAILEY BRIGHT: You have a top-notch editorial advisory board including such names as Richard Blakeley and Scott Steinberg.  How did you end up with such a strong team?
RIVERA: What I love about the book publishing and media industry is that they are so down-to-earth and welcoming. Within the last couple of years, I have gone from someone no one knew to engaging with hundreds of editors, agents, and book publishing execs.  When putting together my team, it was easy to get people involved because they sensed this endeavor was not about making money but creating a real community that exchanges ideas and is working hard to preserve this phenomenal industry we all work in.

HAILEY BRIGHT: Describe some of the progressive user elements incorporated into the site?
RIVERA: First and foremost, we’re incorporating video conferencing panel discussions into the site. So, if I’m in Costa Rica and we have panelists in New York, L.A. and St. Louis, we can all converse and the public can engage with us LIVE online. Also, our Gatekeepers are creating communities of their own and allowing certain people to sign up with a special username and password. In the near future, we are putting together things such as contests that will give aspiring writers an opportunity to have real Gatekeepers view their work. Overall, we’re focusing on creating great content that has people coming back for more.

HAILEY BRIGHT: How do you feel the literary world has changed within the last 5 years?
RIVERA: Where do I begin? The massive shift from physical books to e-books is at the top of my list. At the moment e-books only make up about 10% of the market, but within the next 3-4 years many foresee that seismic shift increasing to 50/50.  This has dramatic implications for authors, agents, and editors who are forced to change with the times, so they are not left dry and barren.  My intention is that with, our community will be at the forefront of these changes allowing the fresh new ideas to merge with veterans who have a lifetime of experience.

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