Social media can eat up a lot of time. There aren’t too many people who would disagree with that statement. Many avid readers who enjoy social media find it necessary to choose between reading and engaging with others via social media.
Social media designed for avid readers!
There three easy methods to connect with other readers and favorite authors:
Amazon Author Central
Goodreads is essentially Facebook for readers. Fans who open accounts on Goodreads are serious about reading. There are lot of cool features for the avid reader. Here’s a few:
1) Asking the author questions: Authors have to give their consent to participate in this feature so they tend to answer.
2) Updates on the author and upcoming new work: These come in the form of an e-mail. I know, another e-mail. Having said that, the subject line informs you the e-mail is an update from a favorite author. I open these.
3) Reading groups focused on specific topics or genres: I belong to a couple of these and they’re fun. One of the groups has a monthly group read of a book the group picks. You can participate in the discussion on line. Reading groups are also a way to discover new or obscure authors.
4) Book Giveaways: Goodreads runs book giveaways. You can win Kindle or paperback copies of books directly from the authors. I’ll be honest, some of the paperback copies are likely drop shipped directly from CreateSpace or IngramSpark (POD services). But some authors sign the copy for you and mail it directly to you.
Note: You don’t provide the author any of your information to enter the Giveaway. The author is notified by GoodReads when the Giveaway is over and provided contact information to the winners.
Each Giveaway has some restrictions and there are limits to the number of winners in each Giveaway.
5) Access to reviews: GoodReads users are all avid readers. Most of them at least rate the books they read and many write detailed reviews. I find the reviews and ratings to be more just and accurate than those I find on Amazon.
6) Friends that are readers: Like Facebook, you can have friends. GoodReads will communicate updates to you if desired about what your friends are reading. These are avid readers who love books. Not just reading books but discussing them as well.
If you love an obscure author or genre, here is a way to find like minded readers!
Unlike other forms of social media I actually enjoy the time I spend on GoodReads.
The pitch: Amazon owns GoodReads and it’s slowly becoming a way for authors to connect with and find new readers. The more followers authors have, the larger an audience they can reach.
How to follow an author: It’s easy. First you have to have a Goodreads account.
If you find an author you would like to follow, search for one of the author’s books. In the image above you’ll see the listing for my own The Predator and The Prey. Beneath the title of the book you will find the author’s name listed. Place your cursor on the author’s name and click.
The gentleman depicted above is none other than the famous Ed McBain, author and creator of the 87th Precinct series of novels. Bellow the image you will see a button labeled “Follow Author.” Simply click on the button and you are now following that particular author.
Amazon Author Central is just as easy to join. You can click on the author’s name as it is listed beneath the book title. In addition to announcements and updates about the author’s books and new releases (Amazon wants to sell you books) you can keep track of all of the author’s blog posts without leaving the Amazon website.
In the image above, you’ll notice beneath the small image of the book cover a caption asking you to follow the author of the book. Usually you’ll see a tiny image of the author and a button to click labeled +Follow. Just click on the button and Amazon does the rest. You’re following the author now.
Once you have opened an account and logged in, following an author is easy. You can use the search feature to look up an author. In the example bellow, I did a search for Rex Stout, the creator of the Nero Wolfe series.
In the top right corner is the familiar Follow button. Click on it and you’re now following the author.
If you don’t know who the author is but love a particular book and want to either learn more about the author of follow the author, do a search for the book.
In the image below you’ll see the page for The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout. In the lower right corner of the image is the Follow button.
I am working to grow my list of followers on all three of these platforms. If you already have accounts with them, please take a minute and add me to the list of authors you follow.
If you don’t utilize any of the above three, consider creating a Goodreads account. As I said before, it’s social media for avid readers.