Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Online Writing Communities

 Last October, I heard about a new writing/publishing site called Bookish. Mysteriously, the website had nothing but a sign up button for when it launched. I got an auto-email saying Thanks for signing up! We look forward to our launch this fall!

The Bookish auto email in October 2011.

I was going through old emails this weekend and found that. Hmmm. Never heard anything more from them, certainly not a launch announcement. And what the heck is Bookish, anyway? I popped open my web browser, expecting to see a bustling, news-laden website that would reveal all. But I got was:

I'm not falling for that again!

Ummmmm.....Well, they changed their logo anyway.

It got me thinking about the publishing and writing websites that have stood the test of time (or, um, launch).

Red Room
Some time ago, my friend Meghan Ward had an interesting post about (or by?) the founder of Red Room. I confess I couldn't find the post--my apologies. I remember the founder talking about Red Room as a great portal for authors to sell books. I wondered in the comments how many people are using Red Room. I signed up for an account ages ago but stopped using it because I was never quite sure what it was. Plus, I blog here. So while I do get that it's a strong community, I couldn't quite see how it was better than a blog I could control the design of. I believe Red Room is successful, although how successful compared to a few years ago, I don't know.

For me, Goodreads is the best. I used to keep Excel-based logs of what I read, so having an automated, shared, and searchable (not to mention the awesome end-of-years stats!) list of what you've read and are reading is great. and my profile on Goodreads.

This is Amazon's answer to Goodreads and my only visibility on this website is that I've seen the app on people's blogs. But I've never used it. It bills itself as "a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers." That sounds pretty good. Anyone use it? Let me know in the comments what you do with it.

I joined this years ago, too, and I confess have never been back. Again, it's a contained blogging community but to what end? Shewrites tends to be all about community, which is good. And it appears to offer webinars, which is also very good. I just don't use it.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, and there's so many genres we could go into like teen writing, and sites like Authonomy. I guess I'm interested in the biggies, and what you all have consistently used over the years. Let me know in the comments and I'll update the list.


Teri Anne Stanley said...

I'm slowly working my way into Goodreads. I've been a member for year, but finally figured out how to use this to organize my rather exhausting collection of dead tree books, my TBR list...both of the books I own and books I want to own, and one of these days I hope to get my Kindle collection up and organized. I would love a little more sortability with the data base, though.

I find that my "freelance" bloggy and tweety communities serves my social needs as a writer for now, along with a little we really need more?

Sarah Allen said...

I've been thinking about this too. I want to take advantage of every possibility for getting my book out there, but which ones are really worth it? Great thoughts.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Diane Henders said...

I'm on Goodreads. I've got about 300 books up there so far, and it's a convenient way to organize my lists, but I don't tend to use it very frequently. I haven't gotten into the social part of it at all, either.

I guess it would be worthwhile if I took part in the social component, but I have enough trouble keeping up with Facebook and Twitter. We'll see...

Sierra Godfrey said...

Teri, it is a fantastic way to organize books, yes! Have you checked out their Stats button? Great for seeing what you read in a year (if you are good about logging books you read in a year).

Sierra Godfrey said...

Sarah, the ones that are worth it are the ones that make sense for you to use. That's a very general answer but what I'm trying to say is that you can only spend time on what is doable for you.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Diane, I confess I don't use the social component of Goodreads much either--the recommending and sharing thing. But if I wanted to find a good book similar to what I'm reading, I would. Plus it has lots of groups on it too, for any genre you could want.

JEM said...

Great post! I often wonder about these communities. Honestly, keeping up with blogger is enough for me right now. I couldn't even handle Twitter (nor should I be allowed such quick access to the public). Although I might have to hop on Goodreads...

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