Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Fun Reader/Writer Resources

by L.J. Sellers, author of the bestselling Detective Jackson mysteries

As fewer authors set up book signings and other events in which they meet readers face to face, creative types have come up with new ways for authors and readers to interact online. Here are seven fun resources and venues for readers to connect with writers:


This site lets readers sign up to receive a personalized book signature for an ebook. It’s a great way for readers to collect author signatures without having to attend book signings and buy print books. About 1700 authors are signed up, and I expect that number to grow. I’ve signed up and receive signature requests weekly. One caveat: You have to sign in through a Twitter account. They plan to change that soon.

This site provides Amazon Kindle price drop alerts, watches your favorite titles to let you know when they are available for Kindle, and gives you a regularly updated list of all non-public domain freebies on It also offers a search engine that lets readers search the Kindle store by genre and keyword, but also define the price range, reader age, language and more. In addition, Authors can buy sponsorships to announce their e-books.


Created by Amazon, this feature is in beta testing with only a handful of authors. In essence, you can email the author directly with questions about their book as you’re reading it. So far, I believe only authors published with Amazon Encore are available, but I expect it will expand.

Goodreads Recommendations

This is a new feature that works much like Netflix suggestions, finding books you’ll enjoy based on what else you’ve read and how you rated it. But it’s more complex than that, and here’s what the blog says: “The Goodreads Recommendation Engine combines multiple proprietary algorithms which analyze 20 billion data points to better predict which books people will want to read next.” Try it!

Stop, You’re Killing Me
This site is for crime fiction fans and offers complete lists of authors works and the order the novels were published in. It’s very useful for determining the order of a series, so you don’t miss anything or read out of order. It also lists books by character name (very cool) and posts reviews.

An innovative platform for readers and consumers of art to fund projects so artists can be creative. Investors receive something equal in exchange: tickets, art photos, books, etc. Here's an example of an author with a finished book, looking for support money for a cover design and formatter. I know of this author but I'm not familiar with her work. Out of curiosity, I'm tempted to list my next Jackson book and see if 300 fans will kick in $3 each to fund the production of the ebook. They would receive a copy of the book the moment it was ready and likely a bonus as well, such as a short story. It would be nice to cut out Amazon's profit on a few copies too. :)


This site is similar, but is focused exclusively on books. Here’s the site description: “Authors submit ten pages and a summary of their book. We then let you (readers)  browse the submissions based on your preferences. You read a brief overview, and if it strikes your fancy, you click through to read a more in depth description. If you’re still interested, you read an excerpt. And if that leaves you wanting more, you support it (which is essentially like preordering the book)! You don’t get charged unless the book is published, so there’s no risk. And for every book we sell, we’re donating a book to a child in need.”

Do you have other interesting, unique or fun reader sites to add?


  1. Thanks for the great list of resources for authors, LJ! I'll be sending my author clients here to check them out.

    As a reader, I especially like the Stop, You're Killing Me site and the Pubslush.

    You're a wealth of useful information of authors, LJ!

  2. Great list, LJ!! I thought I was pretty well versed in what's out there, but I only know two sites on the list. I'll definitely be checking out the others!

  3. Wow, L.J. Once again, you've taught me something! I wasn't familiar with some of these resources, like eReaderIQ or Kickerstarter.

    Way to go!

  4. This site is strictly for authors, but still interesting. It's for authors who want to produce and distribute their own audio books.

  5. Thanks for sharing these, L.J. A wealth of info out there on the web. Sometimes it's hard to keep up. Sharing the knowledge--like you've done here--is a great way to keep up-to-date.

  6. This is really interesting, LJ. Many thanks. I'm especially intrigued by Kindlegraph because I've heard a lot of complaints about from people who want autographs but can't get them on ebooks. I clicked on the Kindlegraph link you provided and the message said the site doesn't exist. Is it down temporarily or is there an error.Again, thanks.


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