I was reading about the death of bookstores and the lamentation of the masses, who will no longer have a place to meet, talk, and browse novels before going home and buying them on Amazon.
Someone mentioned libraries should take their place; the mission of a library, after all, is to provide a central repository for books and, by extension, a place for people to read them, talk about them, and enjoy them. [Read more…]
As an indie author, I’ve increasingly found Goodreadsto be one of the best places to reach readers but–maybe even better–I’ve found it to be a great place to relax and just be a reader, as well. But since the focus of this blog is writing and the indie life, I’d like to share three Goodreads tips for writers (I may do a blog someday about being a great Goodreads reader).
I imagine that, for most authors, the urge to write comes from reading. My earliest attempt came from having read a story and wanting to emulate it. There is something about the cognitive process that, for writers and would-be writers, makes the act of reading equate almost directly with writing.
Unfortunately, our cognitive process blithely glosses over an important fact: that writing a book is an order of magnitude harder than reading one. That single issue has broken the will of more than one would-be novelist over the years. We probably all know someone who, flush with the pleasure of having finished a really good book, has bought a new laptop, a shelf-full of Writers Digest guides, and sat down to knock out their first novel in a weekend…only to give it up before Monday morning.
But that doesn’t mean that the original impulse—to read in order to write—was unfounded. To be a good writer, you have to continue to read and, in fact, improve as a reader if you want to be successful.
If you haven’t heard of either service, don’t feel bad. I’d vaguely heard of Scribd before but only came across the possible sales and promotional potential of both it and Wattpad after reading David Gaughran’s attempts with both his own short stories and serially posting his novel A Storm Hits Valparaiso.
In essence, both services offer a variation on the same theme: they facilitate the process of writers finding readers. Writers post their work (though Wattpad is almost exclusively fiction and poetry) without charge; readers can download those works for free. The reasons why writers might want to offer their work for free are many: to find beta readers, to “field test” an odd-ball idea, to stimulate interest in your writing so that it leads to sales of other works, to simply spread your ideas.
While Wattpad and Scribd may seem like just another internet fad, consider that Wattpad claims 1 million users, 3 million comments/votes per month, and the average user spends 30 minutes twice a day on the site. The top stories in each genre of the “What’s Hot” category routinely register over 1-2 million reads. That’s exposure.