GOODREADS is a forum where you create a bookshelf of all the books you’ve read, and read and review new ones. In the course of doing this, you find other people. The website is organized into five areas: home (your home page), my books (shows the books that you’ve read, are currently reading, or intend to read), friends, groups and explore, where you can explore books by list and genre, swap books, or join a discussion about books.
As you can see, joining Goodreads is one of many things that you can do as an author to find your audience. And if you become an author, you can claim your author page and become a Goodreads author.
I love it, because it is so low-key and friendly. But Goodreads is not just limited to reading and reviewing books. You can also showcase your writing on your profile page.
BOOKBLOGS is also a way of finding friends and tapping into the writing community online, but the focus is on blogging, rather than books, although many members discuss books. It is set up so that you could use it as your blog, with a Your Page tab that leads you to some templates and colors you can use to customize your page. I have tried many times, but have never managed to get it to work. No matter. You can invite your friends, post content, join groups, participate in discussions, all those things you need to do to make yourself visible. I am fairly new to this site, but have already found its members to be helpful and friendly.
THE INTERNET REVIEW OF BOOKS, which obviously models itself on the New York Review of Books, claims to be “An Intelligent Guide for Intelligent People.” It reviews recent books in the fields of science, social science, history, art, music, current affairs, and fiction with attitude and passion. If you want some help in promoting your book, such as putting a screen shot of you book cover on their site, or letting them post a link to a favorable review in the New York Times of Kirkus Reviews, they are happy to help, for a FEE. I do not know what their fees are, but they claim that they are “better than reasonable”. If you want to learn more about fees, click here. For inquiries about fiction, click here.
–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels. She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.FAMILY SPLINTERS is a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.