Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Virtual Connections

Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest…so many online resources for advertising your books and getting to know your readers, as well as other writers. So are they really helpful or a waste of valuable writing time?

Goodreads - Something I wasn’t sure about at first, I didn’t really get the concept, but now I absolutely LOVE it! I love reading just as much as writing and this gives me an outlet to discuss the books I’ve read, as well as hear about new books from others. There is also the author dashboard, and blogging feature, as well as groups you can participate in. I love the virtual shelves, which help me remember all the new books I want to read. I think this is probably the best source for connecting with readers.

Facebook - The tool I utilize most. Love the ability to create my own author page and connect with both readers and writers. I can advertise as well as have random discussions with page “likers”. I also enjoy the ability to see other author pages and recently I’ve accessed reading/writing groups. Not only am I able to connect with Facebook users but I have the capability of having my posts feed to my Twitter page, which saves time. Facebook is a great source and multifaceted.

Twitter - I am still not a huge twitter aficionado. I do appreciate that I can have my Facebook posts feed into my tweets and those tweets automatically forward to my website. I also receive emails for important updates from people I follow. Twitter is user friendly, but still feels a bit like talking to myself.

Linkedin – This is fairly new to me. I’ve had an account for a while but only recently understand the benefits. This is a good source for writers to meet other writers and share ideas and beneficial tips with one another; a support group of sorts. I know there is potential for job matching as well, but it isn’t anything I have personally researched.

Shelfari – This is an Amazon owned virtual bookshelf. Like Goodreads you can maintain your “to be read” list, but it also feels a bit one dimensional. A lot of reviewing that seems a little pointless. There aren’t any real benefits other than personal recording of books you’ve read and what you think about them. There aren’t any blogging features or connective activity with people that you follow.

Pinterest – This was another site I didn’t quite get at first, but now can spend many wasteful hours on. It is a virtual binder of everything you’ve ever wanted to remember. I can store recipes, books, crafts, products, sites and more, without cluttering my house with magazine clippings and post-it-notes. There isn’t a lot of potential for connecting with other’s but you can post your websites &/or books in hopes that other’s will repin them as a form of advertising. Whatever the marketable potential may or may not be, it is still LOTS of fun.

I know there are several online resources and groups out there; this is a very small sampling. Things get more complicated every day and just when you think you have a handle on one, the programmers decide to update things. It may be confusing at times and certainly time consuming, but it is a great era we live in. We are fortunate to have these options so readily available when years ago we wouldn’t have been as lucky to have such instant marketing potential.

Feel free to share groups or links you utilize with a brief explanation of how they work and why we should use them. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

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