Online services for authors and readers continues to expand but I have three favorites: Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub. Authors and Readers can both use these three platforms to discover more interesting reads while connecting with friends who have the same interests you do in books.

The Author page on Amazon

Amazon did an update and it makes it easier for authors to manage their Amazon Author Page. This is an url on Amazon that shows all of an author’s books and lets fans and readers follow us. There’s a lot both readers and authors can do with this page.

As an author you can supply a lot of information here: your photo, your bio (which can include a non-clickable website address), a list of all your books by book cover (so pretty!), have blog posts AND video show up in a feed, and (if you are logged out of Amazon and you have cleared your browser history) shows authors your readers also bought. This can give you comp info (comparable authors for you to use in advertising keywords).

The biggest problem I’ve run into was you couldn’t manage your author page in the various countries you sold your books. But with the new Amazon update you can now do that.

Reader benefits to using the Amazon Author page

As a reader why would you follow an author on Amazon? Primarily it helps with Amazon knowing your reading interests and helps with recommendations. When I publish a book you may receive an email from Amazon saying I had a new release to check out.

How I personally use it as a reader: I check in with authors I read to see the books in a series and their order. I scan through to see if anything is on sale that I want to buy. Also, for older books which I have in paperback, I look for when they come out in other formats like ebooks.

The Bookbub Author Page

Bookbub is a service to readers to help them discover books they may like to read, as well as letting readers know about sales of their favorite authors. Authors and readers can follow each other and share reviews.

Like Amazon, Bookbub has a central page for authors. The biggest difference is you can see the books I recommend and those that I’ve reviewed. This helps my potential readers know if I’m a match for them.

Another big difference is you can see who I follow and who is following me, something you can’t do on Amazon but can do on Goodreads. I also like that they have genres that I can list on my author page, showing what type of books I’m writing. This helps clarify what my books are about to potential readers.

From the authors standpoint, the benefits here is about being referred to readers who like the same books you do. It also helps when/if you run a Bookbub ad. I also use Bookbub to follow my Comp Authors (comparable authors to what I am writing) to better know the trends of what is happening in my genres.

Reader benefits to following authors on Bookbub

Bookbub is really expanding what it is offering to readers and authors. I think they will become a real competitor to Goodreads (which has rather a clunky interface IMO which Amazon refuses to update). If you follow me you get immediate notification by email that I have a book in pre-order or that one is released. Their platform often notifies faster then Amazon!

If I like and follow an author, there’s a good bet I would also like what they are reading so it’s a great way to be introduced to new authors. Like a personal recommendation.

I’m seeing a lot of readers preferring to review on Bookbub over Amazon as their policies are more friendly to reviewers and concentrates only upon books. I also like that in order to post a review, it must be 3 stars or better. I think the philosophy here is if you don’t have anything good to say don’t say it. So books that are poor, simply won’t get recommendations.

Yesterday, I received a new email from Bookbub called Booktalk. It listed some articles about books that I might be interested in offering me another way to find new favorites. It also announces giveaways you might be interested in!

The Goodreads Author Page

Some authors don’t like using Goodreads because reviewers there can be harsh. I can understand that. For me personally it is the clunky interface that puts me off of using Goodreads.

From an Authors standpoint, you get an Author’s page with some limited features. Your bio area is more detailed (I personally dislike the birthday thing because this smacks of an easy way for identity theft and ageism), with website link, genre, influences, photo, and bio. Followers is also seen here (to the left). You can also post videos.

A unique feature is the reader can ask the author questions which can be pretty cool. I get a weekly email from the authors I follow on the questions asked.

Reader benefits to following authors on Goodreads

Of the three platforms, Goodreads has the most “community” feel because you can follow, like, AND comment on posts which increases interactivity between users. If you are a heavy reviewer who wants to build a following for that, this also provides the best outlet for reaching readers with your viewpoints.

The best thing for me as a reader is I get an email once a week from Goodreads updating me on what my favorite authors are doing on Goodreads. What questions they have answered from readers; what books they are reading; and what they are reviewing of commenting upon.

All three platforms are free to both authors and readers so why not expand and learn more about your favorite authors and their books.

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