Publishing

A Community of Readers

Getting your book noticed has always been a challenge. Even if you’ve got a platform up and running, and are building an enthusiastic audience for your work, you’ve still got to get that book talked about, bought and read.

For many readers and authors, Amazon customer reviews remain the default option, but since these reviews have been sometimes manipulated by certain groups, the Amazon review is starting to be considered less a barometer of quality than it had been (if it ever was).

Other sites have sprung up to gather readers’ opinions and create an online community of booklovers who want a forum for what they’ve read and for what to read. The biggest of these is Goodreads.com, which counts more than 21 million member reviews and 15 million members. And these members are not beholden to the traditional publisher, which is great news for today’s growing number of self-published authors.

As an article in The New York Times puts it, “Goodreads has been particularly crucial for self-published authors, many of whom would never have had success without it.” Read the article here.

It’s a nicely designed site and readers can choose among the genres they prefer, and even take part in online book groups among like-minded folks. A lot of traditionally published authors are also using the site as an adjunct to their own platform.

Other sites, such as Shelfari and LibraryThing are out there, too, and you should probably explore all of them, to see which speak to you (they all might). And you should use a site such as this not only to speak with people in your areas of interest, but to attract readers to your own platform, through your comments on their comments.

This community is in keeping with our current social era, when people are working together in groups more, and are less swayed by the opinion, right or wrong, of an individual such as a critic.

Again, it might be difficult to get your book noticed. But more and more you have tools, and a community, to help you in your efforts to be heard.

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve found a lot of good reads through Shelfari and Goodreads that otherwise I never would have found. Great communities to tap into.

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