Hi there! I’m Kellyn Roth, founder & manager of the author service providing website Reveries Co. We recently launched a new website with a blog, and Maya graciously allowed me to guest post to celebrate!
I’ve been involved in the bookish community for many years as a blogger, author, and later writing coach.
Now I hope Reveries Co. will offer a hub of inspiration and advice to authors of all shapes and sizes through our blog and social media, as well as offering affordable, professional services.
Suffice to say I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to benefit the bookish community — writers and readers of all sorts — but sometimes, when people question why I invest so much time in it, I feel like I’m not sure why.
Why is it worthwhile to be involved in the online community of readers and writers who I lovingly refer to as “the bookish community”? Why do I want to help them? What’s the purpose of it all? Is it a worthy cause?
After thinking it through, I think I have some answers, and I hope they’re helpful to you, too!
The first one is obvious:
You can share your love of reading and/or writing!
All of us have passions. For many of us, books are that passion! We love reading them, writing them, daydreaming about them, watching movies adaptations, taking pictures, organizing them, buying them, displaying them…
And we love sharing that passion with everyone we can! Especially with the people who share it.
I love it when I post a review of a book and a bunch of other people comment sharing their own love — or sometimes I’ll check out other peoples’ reviews of my favorites and go, “Yay! They understand now, too!”
Reading changes & encourages people.
This is one of the biggest reasons. Books have an impact on people. If you don’t believe me, read this post. It’s the thoughts of many different readers on why novels are important.
The primary thread is: books are a huge source of encouragement and inspiration to people. People learn from books in ways they can’t learn from even reality.
For this reason, sharing about books is hugely rewarding. You might share a book with the person who needs it most — the person it will effect for the good in a wondrous way.
And the great thing about books is that every person will have a different reaction to each book they read. Even if a book didn’t offer you much more than entertainment for an afternoon, it might still be the one that makes a difference in someone else’s life!
Authoring is hard so we need lots of encouragement.
Okay, this is my selfish one — but it applies to all authors! We love seeing people talk about our books. Even the most famous authors do.
Writing is a challenging endeavor. If you’ve ever tried to write a novel — or even if you’ve written fifty — you know this. There’s a lot of self-doubt involved, too.
Yet authors are writing the books that inspired people, encourage them, etc., as said in the previous point. Who is there to inspire and encourage them?
You are! The reader! The fellow writer! The bookstagrammer, the reviewer, the blogger, the (fill in the blank here).
No, that’s (^) not a place where I forgot to add another noun — there are so many ways to encourage authors that I couldn’t possibly list them all! Put your way in that blank.
It’s one of the most encouraging communities out there!
At least in my very biased opinion.
I love reading bookstagram posts, reviews, etc., because people are so excited.
Even if they hate a book, they’re still excited, and seldom do even the most snarky reviews (even of books I love) make me grin because they’re just so emotive!
Reading causes us to have a variety of high emotions, and the bookish community is great for expressing this.
With so much variety, you’d assume there’d be more drama. Well, there is. Some. But compared to some of the other groups I’ve been involved in, it’s significantly less.
You see, readers are already be conditioned by the books they read to be more accepting of different types of people, cultures, etc. Books seldom fail to teach people that there isn’t one “right” way of thinking about everything.
Therefore, it can often be a more easy-going, encouraging group of people who understand that just because they love Jane Austen, that doesn’t mean everyone does.
Besides, if anyone starts bugging you in the bookish community, you can just get off your phone and read a book. Books never bully.
How to get involved?
This leads to a big question … how do I get in!? If you were like me, you probably had no concept of how to get started making friends with your fellow online reader group.
It’s hard to find ways to get involved with the bookish community — and furthermore, people who think similarly about book genres and such as you do.
Here are my tips for each way of joining the bookish community that I could think of!
My favorite ways to join the bookish community
For Facebook, I recommend joining groups. It’s easy to use the search function to find groups for all genres — from historical romance set in the Old West to Christian fantasy with dragons and elves but not dwarves.
Once you find one, join it — and then become an active member! You’ll find like-minded people and make friends in no time just by commenting on posts and posting helpful, supportive things.
For Instagram, just follow and interact with people who have bookstagram accounts & who read similar things to you! You can use hashtags (for instance, #bookstagram, but you can get more creative) to find like-minded people to follow.
Follow authors, too! Especially your favorites — but also ones you might want to try later on. They need the support, remember?
I’ve not really explored Twitter, though I’ve tried. (May not be my platform — I just like posting snarky things there and not really thinking about it too much.)
I believe that you have to interact a bit more and post more, but I think similar strategies to the ones for Instagram might work, albeit with the understanding that the focus is on short text not on images.
Note: it’s important to not self-promote too much if at all. Just be supportive, kind, and helpful, and you’ll make friends who will support you!
Ah, Goodreads. Though so many authors hate you, I never shall! Goodreads was my first official “platform” outside my blog, and I love it.
It’s a sweet community that, though there are a number of trolls and fake reviews, is overall a wonderful place for the book-obsessed among us.
It can be hard to get started on this if you don’t know a lot of people, but I say start marking your favorite books and reviewing them and check out people who reviewed your favorites! Also, be looking for friends you made on other platforms, if possible.
Aw, the blogging community — my favorite group! I adore blogging, and though I’ve been a little inconsistent over the past years, I’m trying to recover from it.
Following other bookish blogs and interacting with them is a great way to both see great content and to become more involved.
Also, blogging is so fun! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s dying out. And even if it is, I’m determined to continue.
Goodreads is a big review platform, but you can also post reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and other sellers as well as your blog, social media, YouTube, etc.
All of these are great ways to share your love of books and get involved!
In summary, the bookish community is a great group of readers, writers, and other industry professionals. I love being a part of it — and I would love to see you be a part of it, too!
So let’s all go out, read a book, and share our love with the world!
Kellyn Roth is the founder & manager of Reveries Co., an independent author service provider that offers editing, cover design, marketing help, and more to writers of all shapes and sizes. When not managing Reveries Co., Kell writes Christian historical women’s fiction & romance, worries that she’ll never be aesthetic enough for Instagram, and obsesses over her border collies.
Find & follow Reveries Co.
Thanks so much for reading this post, friends! I love Kellyn’s writing and encourage you to check out her blog as well as Reveries Co.’s website and social media (see above).
Are you involved in the bookish community? If not, which platform or website do you think you’d like to start with?
Stay at home and read lots of books!