Articles tagged "social networking"

Social media for book lovers

Social networking meets your reading addiction.

The New York Times recently ran an excellent profile of Goodreads, a super popular book-centric social media platform. The site launched in 2006, and as the Times notes, has over the last 7 years become “the largest source of independent reviews on the Web, with 21 million and counting.” Like all successful social media sites, its popularity springs from the relationships and communities it fosters, and if this article is any indication, these ties are booming.

I was also happy to note that the piece paid special attention to Goodreads’ relationship to independent publishing. It notes the wild success of “Wool,” a series self-published sci-fi books by Hugh Howey that received serious attention after being featured by one of Goodreads’ most popular book clubs (later it mentions that Howey’s series was optioned by 20th Century Fox!).

The Times attributes the particular advertising power of sites like Goodreads to the “membership model.” In short, recommendations or reviews written by friends (be they online or off) tend to be more effective motivators because they’re understood to be trustworthy and personal. Could literature-focused social media platforms provide the non-traditional advertising avenue self-publishing authors need to break through to a wide audience?

Though the Readmill’s iPad app has been around for a while, in early February the company launched an (even more mobile) app for the iPhone. Readmill is a digital reading platform with a built-in social media interface. One part digital marketplace, one part bookworm Facebook, the application – now available for both iPhones and iPads – allows users to purchase eBooks from vendors online and read them via a slick, minimalist interface on their mobile devices. It also lets readers share favorite quotes, track reading stats, and get recommendations from friends and followers.

Competitor apps like Wattpad and BookShout point to a growing market (and hopefully a growing demand). We’ll see if apps like this catch the public interest, but I think they could provide excellent opportunities for self-publishers trying to get the word out as well as serious readers looking for their next page-turner.

Are you a part of any of these book-centric social media platforms?  What has been your experience?

From the Vault: More Social Networking Sites for Authors

There are number of other websites and tools besides Twitter, FaceBook, and Google+ that are ideal for establishing relationships online. Many of these sites allow writers to find a highly targeted segment of Internet users to share ideas and get feedback. The sites can also be used to reach people who might be interested in purchasing your books, photobooks and other Lulu.com content.

Plurk is a great site to find people with similar interests. The service is similar to Twitter, but enables conversations to be followed much more easily.

Tumblr is another micro-blogging site to share text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, or email.

Pinterest is a digital bulletin board that you can post likes and interests to for seamless sharing with others.  This is a great place to recommend titles you like yourself, and casually mention your work.

StumbleUpon is a perfect site to find sites that match your exact interests. You can surf sites on any topic and easily add your own favorites and your own Lulu content easily. It is not uncommon for StumbleUpon to generate thousands of views of a single web page.

These are just a few of the many sites and tools available to promote your Lulu.com projects. Feel free to add any other ones you like to use, or links to your pages, in the comments section.

iRead, You Read, We All Read On weRead

logo_wereadWe have some great news, Lulu has teamed up with weRead! If you aren’t familiar with weRead yet, you might recognize it under it’s previous name, iRead, the popular social networking application for book lovers.

Now, in addition to publishing your books on Lulu, weRead will enable you to connect with well over two million readers across a variety of social networks. You can even create your own author page, and  interact with your fans!

Another feature of weRead is that it has the complete catalog of all books in print. Readers will be able to rate your mystery and adventure book against “The Da Vinci Code”, and your period romantic comedy can be easily compared with “Pride and Prejudice”.

weRead’s discovery and recommendation engine allows users to find the types of books they will be interested in quickly and easily.  Who doesn’t want more people finding, reading, and sharing your book?

weRead works on many of your favorite networks including:
Facebook
MySpace
Orkut
Hi5
Bebo
… even your own blog or website!

To get started, you can either:
•    Go to http://www.weread.com and register for an account, or
•    If you already belong to a social network listed above, simply follow the link to install the application on your profile

To help you get more familiar with weRead, and what you can do with it’s features, we will be doing a series of posts focusing on how you can use weRead to promote your work and interact with the largest possible audience of consumers. Some of the topics we’ll be covering include tips for setting up an author page on weRead, and using weRead to market your work.

I hope you’re as excited as we at Lulu are about our new partnership, and be sure to keep an eye out for more Lulu and weRead tips & tricks.