Litsy readers are an amazing resource for finding your next read... Or for bulking up your TBR
In March of this year I stumbled across the book blogging platform Litsy, a mobile app-only place that works much like Instagram. The difference is that it's exclusively for a reader-centric community, and I love it.
I've been on Goodreads for years now and while I enjoy logging and rating books, I can't say that I want to get involved with the groups. The space is inundated by authors trying to get readers to buy their books, and that's a huge turn off. Don't get me wrong, I'm about to release my first novel next year as an indie author, so I know how desperate one feels trying to get anyone to notice your work, but I have zero tolerance for being marketed to. I want to discover books from people who have similar interests as me, and that's where Litsy shines.I feel no obligation to try and fit into some niche corner of the platform, nor do I feel awkward jumping in to contribute to a topic. The fluid experience is great, and I can scroll through beautiful images with quotes, comments, and reviews for as long as I please.
Litsy has a 450 word limit which makes reading reviews wonderful. I don't need the ten page dissection of an author's work in order to make a decision on whether or not I want to read their book. When I'm reading, I'm doing so as a reader, not a writer or an editor or a literary critic. The limited word space keeps the reviewer focused on the big "wow, amazing!" or the big "wow, no." aspects of the book. I love this feature and have discovered many more books from Litsy readers than the bookstagram reviewers or Goodreads community.
The Litsy community is a joyous and playful one. There are countless games, brief questionnaires, and tons of giveaways that are open to anyone to participate. People routinely tag friends and strangers alike to join in the fun because it's just the natural thing to do. In addition to the games and contests are the themed package swaps. I myself haven't participated in one yet, but I love seeing everyone's posts, sharing their surprise package and all the carefully selected (or crafted!) gifts. Handcrafted book covers, bookmarks, tea cozies, and so on. The Litsy community has some of the most talented, and thoughtful, people I've ever known.
Did I mention read-alongs and reading marathons? Hoo-boy, Litsy folk are the most voracious readers. As an upcoming author, it's intimidating. As a reader, it's marvelous!
Champions of Newcomers
The wonderful camaraderie doesn't stop with groups of people who are familiar with one another. Oh no, it reaches everyone, including the new Litsy users. Not only is there a dedicated tag to welcoming newcomers, #litsywelcomewagon, there's an account setup under the same label specifically for calling out the latest arrivals: @LitsyWelcomeWagon. I don't know about anyone else but I've joined plenty of communities over the years--forums, apps, and countless social media platforms--and I have never received such a warm welcome. I'm not quite sure how they spot new accounts so quickly but there's a whole task force of users who make sure the new people are properly welcomed by the bandwagon. Your first day on Litsy you can easily get 50+ follows without doing anything.
Of course it does help to set aside any prior uneasiness about following or being followed when you join Litsy. You don't want to be too selective, or worry about finding "influencers" to follow. Start following anyone and everyone, and you'll quickly see how much more interesting, and useful, Litsy is.
Expanding Your Reading Interests
The openness of Litsy makes it a lot easier to crack open genres of books you ordinarily would avoid. My least favorite genre is anything geared for YA readers. I've read some--Hunger Games, Divergent series--but in general I just don't like them. But I'm finding that Litsy readers can offer suggestions on par with the most dedicated librarians or bookshop owners (many Litsy users happen to be those too!) If you post a request for a break-in book with your dislikes that keeps you out of a particular genre, you'll get plenty of quality suggestions.I could probably go on for pages more about my love of the Litsy platform; it's just that good! Instead, I'll leave you with some of my favorite tags to follow:
Look me up on Litsy: @taraWritesSci And of course, tell me what you think here. Any suggestions or tips that helped you get settled into Litsy?