Shelfari, Amazon’s Online Book Club

Shelfari, Amazon's Online Book ClubShelfari is a online book community hosted by Amazon. It’s very similar to Goodreads in design. Even though this site was just introduced to me, it seems smart for any Indie author to participate there since it’s hosted by Amazon and likely full of Kindle readers and other writers. From the website;

Based in Seattle, Shelfari introduces readers to our global community of book lovers and encourages them to share their literary inclinations and passions with peers, friends, and total strangers (for now). Shelfari is a gathering place for authors, aspiring authors, publishers, and readers, and has many tools and features to help these groups connect with each other in a fun and engaging way. Our mission is to enhance the experience of reading by connecting readers in meaningful conversations about the published word.

Our members:

  • Build virtual bookshelves to express themselves to their friends and to the world
  • Discover books that are popular in their trusted circles of friends
  • Influence peers by rating and discussing books online
  • Discover and learn from people with similar reading tastes
  • Participate in online book groups to further explore literature and share ideas
  • Interact with and learn from authors

Those parts should interest Indie authors: interaction with readers and online discussions/referrals.

After creating a basic profile, Shelfari will direct you to Add Books to your shelf. These can be books you’ve written or have read or are reading or thinking about reading… whatever you want.

Adding books at Shelfari can be a bit tedious, as it can at Goodreads. The program asks several questions that can take awhile to fill out or be skipped altogether. (Even my own books got the details skipped except for adding the tags.) Listing all the books you’ve ever read feels like an impossible task. Not only is it hard to remember decades worth of books, it takes quite awhile to list them through the online search process. Long story short, don’t feel obliged to list them all or expect others to.

You can also find your friends who might be members, invite friends to join (import email addresses), join or start reading groups by genre… all things fun for reading and that Amazon would be thrilled about. The Community tab shows active members, members with similar reading tastes to you, most active groups and groups by category. These are the best places to make connections and have the most fun with it.

Have advice on Shelfari or tips for using it better? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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