This post is for all of my fellow bookworms.
If you’ve stopped by the blog before, you’ve probably seen the Goodreads* widgets on the right hand side. If you’re new to these parts, scroll down my home page and you’ll see what I’m talking about (go ahead, I’ll wait… yup, all the way down there…)
Goodreads might be loosely described as Facebook for book lovers. You can look up pretty much any book whether already published, in the final advanced-reader stage, or planned. Once you create your own profile, you can identify books you’ve already read, write reviews, list books you’re currently reading, and mark books that you’d like to read. They even have fancy widgets where your blog readers can see what’s on your lists :-)
It’s also a great way to keep track of your favorite authors (if they’re on Goodreads) to see what books they enjoy and what/when their next work will be published. I’m currently stalking Daniel O’Malley’s page (which I believe is linked from his website, http://www.rookfiles.com) for a tentative publication date for the second book of the Checquy Files (my review of the first book, The Rook, is here - but the short version is IT’S FABULOUS, GO BUY IT. NOW.)
But my favorite part of the site is Goodreads First Reads, which allows you to browse upcoming titles or publicity giveaways to win a free copy of a book. Copies of upcoming titles, known as Advanced Reader Copies or ARCs, give the author and their publisher a way to get feedback about the book before it is actually published, which can help with last-minute edits, cover design, and marketing. The quotes you see from readers on dust-jackets or the first few pages of a paperback are usually taken from critics, fellow authors, and everyday people who read advance copies of the book.
I try to browse through the open giveaways in First Reads every week or so, and I only put my name in for books that I would pick up in a library or bookstore – personally I feel there’s little utility in trying to give feedback to an author of a genre I never read, like romance. Although if something really catches my eye I might put in for a copy; for example, I don’t read a lot of biographies, so I don’t often go into that section of a bookstore, but an interesting biography can still be a great read – especially if I’m looking to give gifts to others whose taste runs more to non-fiction, like my husband.)
I just got notification that I’ve been selected for my first ARC through Goodreads – Moth and Spark, by Anne Leonard. It’s a fantasy book that seems right up my alley and clocks in at 384 pages (I tend to look for books over 250 pages, because I like them to last a bit longer and have plenty of details to the plot and the characters.) I’ll be back for a review once I have it in hand, which the site says could be anytime in the next 4-6 weeks. I’m also going to create a new shelf in my Goodreads profile for First Reads now that I have something to put there!
Do any of you use a particular site to read book reviews or look for upcoming titles or giveaways? Are there any new reads that you think I should check out?
* A Lovely Legal Disclaimer: Goodreads isn’t sponsoring any of this content, and all opinions are my own, I just really like their site! First Reads giveaways are open to any Goodreads member and each giveaway has its own terms and conditions, which may be read on the Goodreads website.