Social Media for YA Mystery Authors and Readers — GoodReads

Visiting teacher Tim Averill's school ... to share in both directions.

Visiting teacher Tim Averill’s school … to share in both directions.

Some of my favorite readers reach me through GoodReads, including teacher Tim Averill, who makes great suggestions of new young adult (YA) books to read — he’s in the midst of teen readers daily at work and he sees what’s hitting the right spot for those readers. (I had great fun giving back to Tim’s students this year, too, with these “history mysteries.”)

But I haven’t been working very hard at my own GoodReads author profile. I’ve given away books there when they were newly published, and I keep a low-profile GoodReads ad going. But otherwise, I’ve neglected this — yet I know it reaches readers and fosters discussion of books. So I just invested some time in research (look here!, and here’s what I’m doing this weekend to boost my use of this social medium:

1. I added three group memberships to my GoodReads profile. One is for YA, and the other two focus on mysteries and thrillers. Time for me to say hello to other mystery fans in this way!

2. I took time to reveal more about myself in my profile, including how I’ve pulled together the career I once thought was impossible … “reading for a living” (well, mostly!).

3. One of the things I like most about GoodReads is, it automatically picks up my latest blog post — but because I spend so much time thinking about what I want to put on my author blog and who it’s for and what it will share, I don’t post on that blog very often (I’m more likely to post reviews under one of my other hats, and I have a weekly commitment here). So … you guessed it … I put a fresh post onto the author blog — shared it with Facebook and Twitter and know that GoodReads will soon link to it … and can now relax, knowing I’ve done what I promised myself.

The third point is the one I really want to emphasize: Using a blog may sometimes seem like a lot of work or distraction, but it immediately feeds into GoodReads, and Twitter, and Facebook. And the point of all this is: Connecting with Readers.

“If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody hears it, did it make a sound?” If I write the best book that I can, and it’s out there ready for readers, and nobody knows about it, have I done what I want with my writing life?

Now it’s time to circle back to the YA aspect of all this. I’m into YA mysteries for pleasure, and for the good of my soul/heart, and because I enjoy writing for  YA readers — the ones who are actually teens, and the ones who are reading YA mysteries for the delicious contrast with the other books on their shelves. That’s what social media for YA mystery writers and readers is about: connection.

Your turn! How are you connecting with readers and writers today? And do social media (including the SinC New England blog!) fit into those connections well? What would you change, if you could?

About bethkanellbooks

My life is always a three-strand braid: love for Vermont, love of reading, and the need to write (and write better and better). Come visit and chat at any of my blogs and posts -- there's a big wonderful world of writing and reading, and we're in it together.
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