Jan 172009
 

I spread my presence across the bookstore Net and then realised I was overextended. I signed up for Amazon Connect awhile ago. It’s similar to chapters.indigo.ca Community; in fact the Community is probably a take-off of Connect. I tried to stay current with both, but in the end, especially after all of Amazon’s shenanigans, I’ve let the Amazon Connect profile ride and participate on  and off in the Chapters Indigo Community.

They each have their strengths and weaknesses. I like the Community’s shelves, a sort of virtual replica of one’s bookshelves and CD holders and the fact that you can sign out. But Amazon Connect is soooo much easier to figure out and to find people on it, as long as you’re in the right area of Amazon.com. In contrast, it’s taken me awhile to figure out the Community, and I really don’t like the fact that it doesn’t automatically pull in my blog. Also, their FAQ on whether one can see a person’s profile on the community without being a member of the community wasn’t very helpful. Sure you can, they blithely answered, omitting the small detail of how to find a profile.

My own profile isn’t linked to Lifeliner on the book page, nor does there seem to be a people search feature as on Connect. But since I did happen to mention my book in one of the blogs I posted on the Community, there’s a link to the blog post on the Lifeliner page and hence to my profile. And voilà, I’m found. Sheesh. Connect doesn’t put my profile on the Lifeliner page either. It seems to me that if they want authors to have profiles, the least they could do is put a link or icon or something that a reader can click on to go to my profile. The best part about it is it’s a Canadian community focussed on Canadian authors and readers, which gives it a friendly feel.

Unfortunately, as far as I can see, Amazon.ca does not have the Amazon Connect feature. It doesn’t even list my book as in stock. Now there’s irony for you: even though people have ordered copies of Lifeliner from it, the Canadian subsidiary of Amazon is the only one of the three (US, UK, and Canada) that lists Lifeliner — a Canadian book by a Canadian author on a Canadian topic — as out of stock.

So if you’re an Amazon.com fan, you can find my Connect profile here. And if you prefer chapters.indigo.ca, you can find my Community profile here.

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  • Although I am a devout member of Chapter’s iRewards and favour them with a good percentage of my income, I eschew their online community (even though they constantly badger me to join, going so far as to threaten me with the micro-probability of winning an obscenely-rich gift card).

    I’ve been pimping Goodreads.com pretty heavily since I started using it in May. It’s a wonderful experience for avid readers. It automatically pulls books from Amazon and other bookstores when you search for them, if they aren’t in the database already, and then you can review, rate, and discuss the books.

    Goodreads allows authors to claim their author profiles, effectively merging their author and member profiles into a single hub of information about what that author has written and what he or she is reading. Goodreads is location-aware in that you can see other users near you, but it isn’t necessarily limited to a single location or the customers of a single book chain.

  • Although I am a devout member of Chapter’s iRewards and favour them with a good percentage of my income, I eschew their online community (even though they constantly badger me to join, going so far as to threaten me with the micro-probability of winning an obscenely-rich gift card).

    I’ve been pimping Goodreads.com pretty heavily since I started using it in May. It’s a wonderful experience for avid readers. It automatically pulls books from Amazon and other bookstores when you search for them, if they aren’t in the database already, and then you can review, rate, and discuss the books.

    Goodreads allows authors to claim their author profiles, effectively merging their author and member profiles into a single hub of information about what that author has written and what he or she is reading. Goodreads is location-aware in that you can see other users near you, but it isn’t necessarily limited to a single location or the customers of a single book chain.

  • Shireen

    Goodreads.com is really nicely designed site. Easy on the eyes!

    There are many, many sites devoted to authors and readers, including blogs just for book reviews or books. It was hard to choose which ones to join. I got a bit over my head. But now that Facebook has come out with Pages for writers, I can stay involved with FB and the network of authors sans having to involve myself in FB stuff. Chapters community is also good for learning from and meeting other authors. That’s how I got involved with Paul Lima’s virtual book tour — appearing here soon.

    Thanks for the info! I’ll look into the author profile. It sounds similar to Chapters — readers can see what’s on my book shelves — except more automatic.

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