The simple question of how to connect with readers was posed by a colleague yesterday. It’s a question that has been nagging at me since then. So, because I’m all about research, I did some research.
I started with Twitter. I used the hashtags #bookaholic, #book clubs, #amreading, #lovebooks and #historical fiction. I scrolled through users and the vast majority were authors. I did find about about 2 or 3 readers who discussed books. I followed them. My intent is not to promote myself. I sincerely want to know what interests readers. Maybe I’m not imaginative enough to think of other hashtags, but I had little success in connecting with readers.
Next up was Facebook. My only real find was Genre Book Club (1,653 members), where messages were “what are you reading”. No authors plugging their books. I requested to join the group. I want to know what people are reading and their opinions.
Google, my third research attempt, yielded mostly publisher sites and book reviewers. Again, opinions from writers; not from readers.
I’m left with few options: Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/), LibraryThing (http://www.librarything.com/), Shelfari (http://www.shelfari.com/). I’m already a member of Goodreads and will sign up today with LibraryThing and Shelfari. Why? Because I want to connect with readers. The bonus to these sites is you can join groups that read the same genre or discuss events of mutual interest.
Without you, the reader, we, the authors, have nothing. I want to pay attention to your interests, views and opinions. I began as a reader and always will be a reader, regardless of the fact I blog book reviews and am working on my first novel.
If you have suggestions on how authors can connect with readers on a non-promotional basis, I’d love to hear them. And pass them onto my colleagues.
August 8, 2012
Since writing this post, I came across a site that might be of great interest to readers. It’s called Lovereading and its website is http://www.lovereading.co.uk/. If I stumble across more, I’ll be sure to update this post.
August 25, 2012
Another little update for readers. Check out “I’m a Reader, Not a Writer” Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ReaderNotWriter. There’s over 7,000 members.
August 26, 2012
As promised, when I find other sites of interest: Try http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/index.php, which is owned by Susan Higginbotham, Historical Fiction Author. There are approximately 1,400 members and many forums to choose from or you can start a thread of your own.
September 4, 2012
Discovered another possible avenue for readers to connect with authors. It’s called BookTrib.com and the “about” section is as follows:
If it’s about books, it’s on BookTrib.
BookTrib is a full service portal dedicated to bringing all the news, blog, sites, and information about books, writers, and readers under one link. One place to stay up-to-date about the world of books and everything related to them. If it’s about books, it’s on BookTrib. The first and only book-o-sphere. Read, watch, listen, and click for updates from all over the web, find out about new releases, and contribute your own commentary. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If it’s getting blogged about or reported on it’s all here.
There are weekly book give-away and author events posted. Go to http://booktrib.com/register/ for your free membership.
October 29, 2012
Found another one! This is a group on Goodreads called “The James Mason Community Book Club”.
The description of the group is:
ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!-(300 PLUS DISCUSSION TOPICS)from current fiction, thrillers ,Non-Fiction, Poetry(Emily Dickinson,Robert Frost, Donne ect), Ghost Stories, SciFi/Fantasy(Gaiman,Pratchett,Rowland) to classic Literature and new voices in writing. Wonderfully polite and incisive discussions- Dedicated to Late Great actor James Mason. Also great for classic film fans! open to readers of all genres
Check out it out here. This is probably the best group I’ve found so far. There’s an incredible number of threads sure to be of interest. In fact, a person could be lost for hours just wandering through the various discussions. I strongly urge you to consider joining this group if you love reading and discussing books – of any genre.
December 9, 2012
Well, I just found another connection. It’s called Book Matchers. The premise is readers type in keywords for the genre they are interested in and the site will bring up suggestions. I personally think this is a very cool concept.
This is in the start up phase so it might take a little while for it to provide numerous selections, but authors will be adding their information in droves when they discover this. Readers will have the opportunity to enjoy novels by fabulous indies authors. The sector of indie authors includes some first class writers. Have a look at my reviews and you’ll see what I mean!