The Red Room: Social Networking for Authors and Readers

By Lisa Hazen

The Red Room: Where the Writers AreOne of the best parts of publishing conferences is the people it brings together. Authors, publishers and readers all in one place—exchanging information and learning from one another. But publishing conferences are but a few times a year. (And expensive, to boot.) Where to commune outside of the conference?

The Red Room was designed to virtually bring together writers and readers anytime the mood strikes and as often as possible. Conceived as an online salon for authors and book lovers, The Red Room provides ample opportunity for authors and readers alike to come together. Authors can create a homepage on the site where they can blog, showcase their work, post audio or video, and include past reviews. Plus, each author page has the invitation for readers to message them directly. All of this is included as part of a free membership.

If you’re using The Red Room as a reader, there’s the opportunity to connect with your favorite authors through their blogs through this curated audience. This is an excellent opportunity for book lovers to connect directly with their favorite authors.

Recently, The Red Room launched an online bookstore where you can sell your books at higher profits. With each sale through the site, you get 15% of the book sale back as a royalty. A nice touch is that the customer automatically receives a thank-you note from you (which you can craft yourself), which fosters ongoing relationships with your audience. This gives you the unique opportunity to connect directly with the people who buy your books.

CEO Ivory Madison says, “We’re the only book retailer in the world that shares our profits and our customer relationships with authors. When you participate, you’re creating a future in which being an author means having more power in the marketplace and more time to write.”

In order to sell through the bookstore, you need to purchase a premium membership for $250/year. While free members can build custom author pages, with a premium membership, you can create a custom banner, spotlight news and events, feature quotes, and promote individual books. It’s like a super-charged version of the free homepage.

Plus, you’ll be in good company. Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Salman Rushdie, Po Bronson and Terry McMillan are all premium members. So while you should still plan to hit annual conferences, make a habit to connect directly with other book lovers and authors through The Red Room and see what kind of connections develop.

Lisa Hazen is a Chicago-based Web Designer specializing in author sites. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, or the WWW. mailto:lisa@lisahazen.com

 

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