Answers for Authors
Social Book Discovery?
I’ve interviewed over 70 authors for the WROTE podcast. I’ve self-published. AND… I’m a production editor for a small, non-fiction press, and am connected to a larger publisher. I’m in a unique position to answer any questions you may have about the business of being an author. I reached out to a group of authors, asking what questions they might have, and received some GREAT starting questions. Here’s the next:
The option everyone mentions first is www.goodreads.com. Some people feel a spike of anxiety when they think about GoodReads, others fill with joy. GoodReads has more than just community, it’s also a place where your work can be rated and reviewed independently of the online retailers. Full disclosure, GoodReads now flies under the Amazon umbrella.
A newly re-named option is www.bookstr.com (formerly The Reading Room). The interface is clean and contemporary, but what I love more is the focus appears to be on Community over ratings/reviews. The audience also appears to be more international, and more geared towards millennials.
www.librarything.com was initially started as an industry-insider meta-data catalog. So, naturally, readers decided they’d rather be there than in a space “for readers.” If your writing cycle includes time where you seek pre-release reviews you might want to check this site out.
To compete with Amazon’s dominance, Hachette, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster joined forces to create www.bookish.com. I thought for sure they’d use it to promote only books they published, but the catalog includes a good list of books from other small and indie presses. I mention this one because their About page has contact information for pitching a book or author to them. Downside? Their social aspects have been minimized in favor of selling.
Started by HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House, www.anobii.com is now owned by an Italian company. Another clean interface, with a growing international audience, you can only check out the Collections page unless you have signup up for a membership. The name comes from a shortening of the most common type of bookworm <grin>.
While less interactive than some of the others (as of today), books.google.com needs to be mentioned. One, it’s unlikely to be owned by Amazon. Two, their ability to connected it to Google+ and create reading circles could appear overnight. They’ve come under fire for oversharing book content quite a bit, but their argument remains “discoverability leads to increased attention/sales.”
The best course of action is for you to find one that feels “right” to you, and then give it some time and attention. Who knows? You may end up with some new book-loving friends!
If YOU have a question you want answered from inside the biz, send it my way and I’ll pose it to the professionals!