Publishing

Shelfari, BookCrossing.com, and Facebook

This column will be a hodgepodge of ideas because sometimes it’s good just to throw some suggestions out there and see what sticks.

First suggestion is for you to build your own bookshelf on Shelfari.com, in case you haven’t. It’s just another way to have a virtual piece of your personality out there for all to see, so keep that in mind. And for gosh sakes don’t build a shelf of books that are just your own titles! Build one with books you’ve written, books you’ve loved, and ones you hope to read. The site is social as you can hook up with other virtual “people page-turners” and find out what they like as well. It’s free, and there are tons of groups on there.

The second suggestion is for you to set your books free. Every author I’ve ever worked with has been tasked by me (in my nicest “Clean your room” motherly voice) to take out five books and go to BookCrossing.com, register them with the site, and then set them free. This site boasts over 600,000 members and growing, and books have been caught and released many times over, so why not your book, too? And if you haven’t finished your own tome, then get five books that you love from your shelf (the real one, not the Shelfari one) and register those and set them free.

Not only is it fun to figure out where you’re going to leave the book, but it’s also great fun to see who will find it and what they will write about it on Bookcrossing.com. My daughter released one of her very favorite Manga books and a little over six months later of all things it ended up in Los Angeles, California. (She released it at a bench right in front of the U.T. engineering department building.)

The third suggestion is for you to go to your Facebook page, if you’re a blogger, and rejoice because Six Apart—the creators of Typepad—have released a very cool Facebook application called Blog It that gives users the power to update not only their blogs through Facebook, but also Twitter, and your Facebook status, as well. I read about this today on Wired, and it’s just the coolest idea ever. Scott Gilbertson wrote the story and summed it up best by writing, “It’s a bit like turning Facebook into a fire hose that sprays your thoughts across the web.”

The other benefit is that it will really be a time-saver for all of you who are spending too much time Twittering, Powncing, and blogging.

And I’m compelled to make a book recommendation (it’s not by someone I’m doing PR for, so no tsk tsks). If there is one book you need to read to keep ahead of all the trends both in marketing and PR, it’s Richard Laermer’s “2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade.” Stunning!

And if you want to really learn how bad pitches can be, then his blog, The Bad Pitch Blog, is a must read, as well. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be glad your publicist’s pitch is not on there.

Have a great week, and I’ll be looking for your released books!

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One Response to “Shelfari, BookCrossing.com, and Facebook”

  1. Kimberly Bush October 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    I googled my Uncle’s name and ran across yours and was just wondering if you are related to any Hartsock’s in Millport NY or in NY in general?

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