Harnessing the Power of Community

Social media is powerful. A Marketing Think survey showed that 81% of purchase decision makers used online communities to make their choices.

Online communities for book lovers have been around for years. These communities allow readers to keep an online record of the books they have read and those they want to read. They can share these lists and their reviews of books they have read with other readers in the community. Authors can also join these communities to interact with readers and promote their books.


Goodreads is by far the largest and most popular of these online book lover communities, but it is not the only one. Others include:

Earlier this year, a new book lover social media community was formed. This new site for book lovers is offering a new twist. Reader’s Legacy is combining an author/reader community with an e-commerce bookstore. Believing that there is an increased consumer demand for experiential online shopping, Reader’s Legacy is a community first and a bookstore second.

Reader’s Legacy has incentivized their site by offering members “Litcoins”. Litcoins are similar to Bitcoins. A Bitcoin is a digital currency with encryption that allows individuals to anonymously purchase goods and services online. Litcoins are also a digital currency, but unlike Bitcoins—which can be widely-used on the Internet—Litcoins can only be used in the Reader’s Legacy store.

Members of the Reader’s Legacy community earn Litcoins for doing various activities on the site. As readers add books to their virtual library, follow friends, become fans of favorite authors, share interesting posts on social media channels, link other social media channels to a ReadersLegacy.com account, and make posts, they are awarded badges of recognition. For every badge earned, readers are given Litcoins. Litcoins can be redeemed for physical books through the Reader’s Legacy store.

Reader’s Legacy offers authors one more place to harness the power of communities. Authors can use online communities to develop an audience and gain more reader’s for your books. One of the benefits of joining Reader’s Legacy is that it also gives you one more place online to sell your books.

Any author can sign up for an account on Reader’s Legacy and offer their book for sale through the site. You can even sign your book up to be part of the Litcoin program. Learn more about selling your book on Reader’s Legacy at https://www.readerslegacy.com/indy-authors.

Related Posts:
Social Media Success
A Successful Social Media Strategy
How to Effectively Use Social Media for Your Book

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The Power of Sharing

Goodreads is the largest social networking site for book lovers. It provides a powerful marketing tool for authors and publishers who choose to use the site to promote new books. If you are not harnessing the power of Goodreads, I encourage you to begin doing so.

Check out this slideshow from a presentation that was made at The Bookseller’s Marketing & Publicity Conference in July 2013 in London. It details how best to use Goodreads to drive discovery of new books.

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Exposure, Exposure, Exposure

Launching a new book to get the maximum attention possible with your marketing campaign can be challenging. Getting the word out about a new book takes time.

Most people are exposed to a new book through a word-of-mouth recommendation from others they know. Think about that. It could take someone a week to a month to read your new book before they start telling their friends about it.

The Internet is helping extend people’s book discovery by adding avenues of exposure for publishers and authors. Through enlarging people’s social circles and thus increasing the reach of word-of-mouth recommendations, sites like Facebook and Goodreads can help exponentially increase exposure of your books.

Watch this video from Otis Chandler, founder and CEO of Goodreads on new reading metrics for reaching readers.

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An Avalanche of Services

Almost every week I am hearing about a new service for creating, selling, or sharing digital content. The number of new services seeking to profit from the rise of digital reading is astounding.

First came the book social networks such as LibraryThing, Shelfari, and GoodReads. Then came the digital content sharing sites such as Scribd, Google Docs, and Docstock. Next came social reading sites such as Authonomy, WeBook, Redroom, and Book Country where authors hoped to be discovered.

Now new sites using variations on these themes are popping up. One such new website is bookfarms.com. This website is a social library for digital content. It is an online portal that allows users to search for documents and books and then read, organize, print, download, and send them to your friends instantly. With bookfarms.com authors and publishers can upload content they want to share for free to be discovered by the community of readers.

Why would an author or publisher put up free material? As a marketing tool to drive consumers to buying their material. Using a teaser to hook people into wanting more can be an effective marketing tool.

The harder question to answer is: Which sites should authors and publishers focus their attention and time on? We all have limited time. Discovering which sites are the most effective for driving consumers to your books is not easy.

My best advice is, that unless you have a lot of time on your hands, stick with the older tried and true sites that have amassed a large following and have shown that authors and publishers are experiencing success. Once such site is GoodReads. With over 12 million members, it is a great avenue for authors and publishers to draw readers’ attention to your new releases.

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Cashing in on eBooks

eBooks are changing the book industry. Digital books are easy to produce, store, distribute, and sell.

eBooks do not require cartons to contain them, fuel to transport them (okay maybe a little electricity), building space to store them, or insurance against loss. With their low production and storage costs, they represent potential income to anyone with a website.

With digital books fast approaching 10 percent of the total book sales pie, websites are beginning to sit up and take notice. More and more businesses with an online presence are starting to sell ebooks.

Goodreads is one such company. Goodreads is the largest social networking site for book lovers. With 3.6 million members and a mission “to get people excited about reading,” Goodreads allows any reader to 1) create a personal profile; 2) catalog the books she has read, is reading, and wants to read; 3) interact with other book lovers and authors to review and discuss books; and 4) find interesting new books to read.

This year, Goodreads decided to add sales of ebooks to their website to enhance their goal of “helping authors reach their target audience—passionate readers.” Now, any author with a Goodread’s account (currently over 13,000 authors have an account) can upload ePUB, DRM-free versions of their books to sell to Goodreads users.

With the Goodreads program, authors are able to set the price of their ebooks and earn 70 percent of the sale price of each book sold. This business model is good for both authors and Goodreads. Authors get one more place to sell their books, resulting in more exposure, and Goodreads has a new revenue stream to support their business.

If you are not selling your ebooks on Goodreads, you can find out how to do this on their website under the “How to Use the Author Program” page. Then, you too can cash in on ebook sales.