Shelfari; A Worthwhile Resource?

If you publish with Amazon, which is highly advisable if you’re trying to reach the Kindle market, then they take great pains to mention Shelfari as an extra resource. Like Goodreads, this book group community offers a place to create libraries of your favourite books, rate and add details about novels, and meet with other readers. But I’m wondering, is it any good?

I’m not well versed in Goodreads and as Inside Evil doesn’t yet have an ISBN, I haven’t had the chance to discover whether this community can help build a book’s profile. Amazon’s Shelfari offers to be a promising tool, particularly because Amazon state that the extras which are tagged onto digital books in Shelfari can be made available to readers. This ultimately means that readers can access a custom built library of characters, book themes, places etc to either supplement a book that they’ve read or offer an added attraction to buy. But, does it actually work??

Like Goodreads, you need to build up followers and friends, so launching a book into Shelfari offers little initial help because your work falls in front of no one. If you’ve been using the site for a while, then it could promise a few sales as you’ll already have friends and followers. I’m also unsure as to whether this is actually a thriving community of readers, or a place which offers a few days of novelty before users drift away. Could the same be said for Goodreads? I’m not sure.

I’m determined to continue with Shelfari for a while, adding some character biographies and book extras to see whether any sales can be created. Once I get my ISBN I’ll also give Goodreads a shot and compare the two.

Do you use either website? Have you found it helpful as either a reader or a writer, or both? Let me know and we’ll see whether we can determine if each resource is worth the time and effort.

5 thoughts on “Shelfari; A Worthwhile Resource?

  1. Catana

    I joined Shelfari many eons ago and found it pretty useless for finding books, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s changed a lot since then. I just noticed, working with my KDP author’s page, that it’s owned by Amazon. I was barely aware of that up till now. I’m pretty well established on Goodreads as a reader and reviewer, and it may be helping (a little) with sales, but my overall sales are still too low for that to mean more than maybe a sale or two a month. I’ll take another look at Shelfari, now that you’ve brought it to the forefront of my attention. Getting your name and titles out there is never a bad thing, especially if it can be done without time-consuming socializing.

    • geoffwakeling

      HI Catana,

      Thanks for the comment. I agree, increasing book exposure is never a bad thing, so I don’t think Shelfari is anything negative. In fact, because it is owned by Amazon I expect they may push it over the coming years. I guess this is all exploratory, and as much help as we can give each other is great! 😀

      • Catana

        I just took a look at the site and it’s *very* different now. Before Amazon bought it, it was plain jane, and underdeveloped. It looks as if it should be easy to get my Kindle books listed there, and I have a large library on Goodreads that I can copy and paste bit by bit whenever I have the time. I support my favorite authors by posting reviews wherever I can, so adding them to Shelfari is a way to expand that.

        You might want to look at Library Thing, also. I used to love the site, but it has limits on how many books you can post without paying a yearly fee, and it seems less active than it used to be. Goodreads is definitely the front runner for value. I don’t know how Shelfari and Library Thing compare to each other, but I suspect that Amazon’s support for Shelfari will keep it out front.

      • geoffwakeling

        Oh, I hadn’t heard of Library Thing. I’ll definitely look it up 🙂 Thanks for the heads up. Great blog by the way, I’m going to take some time and read through your posts later today 😀


      • Catana

        Thanks, Geoff. I usually post several times a week, but I needed some time off for other stuff. I’ll probably start posting again this weekend.

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