Guest post: Online tools for readers and writers with Leah Jones, Natiiv Arts & Media founder

On the heels of this week’s literary smackdown over at, please welcome special guest Leah Jones of Natiiv Arts & Media to Chicago Subtext today. At Natiiv, Leah teaches authors, musicians, actors and other creative professionals how to utilize social media professionally, which she previously discussed with ChicagoNow blogger Tim Jahn of Beyond the Pedway. — Amy Guth

Thanks to Amy for the invitation to
share a few things about how you, an avid reader or a writer can use
online tools to get more from your literary life. Here are just a few
things that I find useful and thought you might like.


Photo/A. Guth

1.    Google Alerts. If you are a writer, setting up Google Alerts
for your name and your books is a must do. Anytime a blogger mentions
you, you can trot right over to their blog, read the review and say
thank you or answer their questions. Readers can set up alerts for the
names of favorite authors to follow the conversation around the web or
get news on upcoming books and book tours.

2.    Overflowing bookshelves? If your home looks anything like
mine, then it is time to get rid of some books before you can bring
more home. Two great sites help make this possible. is
a catch and release program in urban areas where the user leaves the
book in a public spot for the next reader. If you need a little more
control, then try and trade books you’ve finished with

3.    Review and catalog. Sites like and are great for cataloging books and reviewing them. It
turns your private reading list into part of the world’s largest book
clubs. If you’re a fan of indie publishers, it will also help those
authors find new audiences through recommendations and reviews.

4.    Leave a comment. If your favorite writer keeps a blog,
Facebook fan page or uses Twitter, take time to leave a comment or
respond from time to time. A friend recently told me of a decision she
made about her own life after a moving passage in a book. “Did you
write the author?” I asked. Take time to let them know their writing
moved you and that you’re a fan.

What are your favorite ways to connect with other readers or authors online?

Filed under: Online

Tags: readings, social media, writing


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  • What about I just signed up for that one! Thanks for the tips, Leah and Amy.

  • Goodreads is an easy way to spam everyone in your address book, so I didn't include it.

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