An author’s guide to online reader communities: weRead
By Rob W. Hart
This is the second entry in a series of articles exploring the ins-and-outs of social marketing websites designed for the reading community.
weRead is a virtual bookshelf with features similar to Facebook, where you can connect with people through networks of friends and interests.
Registration is quick and easy. When you set up your profile, you’re offered the opportunity to upload your book, which then becomes searchable in the database. You can include your cover, a description and an excerpt.
Readers can add your book to their bookshelf, as well as review it and rate it.
You can find books through tags, so for example, Dan Brown’s book are tagged as fiction, mystery and Dan Brown, among others. A targeted application of tags will ensure people are finding your book.
After uploading your own book, the easiest way to get started is to let the site track down your friends who are already members. Then, add books you’ve read to your bookshelf. Be sure to rate them and write some reviews. Then dive in to the discussion board.
Once you’ve established your presence on the site, get to work promoting yourself, and in particular getting readers to rate and comment on your work. Even if they haven’t read it, they can list your book in their ‘want to read’ section.
Warning: The site does have occasional issues, such as not loading searches or pages.
Interacting with readers
- Discussion boards offer opportunities to engage readers in conversation.
- As with Facebook, you can make connections through networks of friends, finding new readers.
- Book tagging makes it easy to find others in your genre to establish relationships.
- Writing reviews for books can encourage people to review yours.
- weRead will dig through your e-mail and Facebook to find people you know who are already members, making it easy to get started.
- You can ask the people you know to add your book to their ‘want to read’ section, raising your visibility.
- You can ‘chuck’, or recommend, books to people.
Keeping your page up-to-date
- Write semi-regular reviews to keep yourself visible and engaged.
- Maintain a presence on the discussion board, especially in your genre or area of interest.
- Encourage people to add you to their ‘to be read’ section even if they haven’t read your book yet.
About this post's author:
Rob W. Hart is a writer with a background in PR and journalism. He just completed his first novel, Apophenia, and maintains a blog about books and writing at blogduggery. You can also find him on Twitter.