Let’s face it: the internet is the best and worst thing to happen to modern authors, and social media is the best and worst thing about the internet.
The ability to connect directly with readers, and with other writers, is amazing and powerful. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But direct connection isn’t always pleasant — just ask an author what they think of unvarnished Goodreads reviews — and it’s far too easy to spend three hours on Twitter under the guise of “building your network” when you’re really losing three hours you would’ve otherwise spent writing.
And the variety of social media is just dizzying. Should you be on Facebook? With a personal page or fan page? Does Twitter sell books? What about Instagram? Can you attract readers with Pinterest? Snapchat? I’ve had to pick and choose the channels that work well for me, and let the others lie.
All that said: I’m going to suggest that you join one more social media network.
Litsy is the sassy cousin of Goodreads and Instagram, but friendlier than the former and more focused than the latter. There’s a website, but all the action takes place on the app, which is available for iPhone and Android.
If you use other social media, much of how it works is familiar. Handles start with @, you can use #hashtags, your stream consists of people you choose to “follow” but you can also view content from others, and short posts with prominent images are the primary method of interaction.
What makes Litsy unique is its focus on books. It’s alllll books. Every post is linked to a book in addition to the account of the person who posted it, so you can easily see everything that everyone has ever posted about, say, Pride and Prejudice.
And each post is either a review, a quote, or a “blurb” (everything else that isn’t a review or a quote.) The screenshot above is a blurb, and the one at left is a quote. Reviews don’t use a star system, but instead four categories: Pick, So-So, Pan, or Bail. Not all the reviews are positive, nor should they be, but I’ve rarely seen the kind of outrageously negative review that seem to breed like rabbits on Amazon and Goodreads.
I’m resisting the urge to explain in detail the rest of how it works, because you can figure that out yourself by downloading and playing around with it.
What you really want and need to know is this: why should authors join it? What’s it for?
You should get Litsy if:
- You want to join and participate in an online readers’ community
- You like Instagram but wish it were more book-focused
- You spend a lot of time with your smartphone
Litsy might not be for you if:
- You don’t have a smartphone, don’t have room for more apps, or prefer social media you can access on your laptop
- You want to use social media for self-promotion only
- You primarily want to connect with other writers, not readers
So it’s up to you, as all social media choices are. I enjoy using Litsy, especially calling attention to my favorite independent bookstores with the #getindie hashtag, but an author’s time is a precious commodity. Only you can decide whether you want to spend some of yours in this particular way.
Q: Are you already oversubscribed on social media, or do you have room for one more?