Before, you could “Follow” as well as “Connect” with other members on the site. When following a member, you would receive updates on their site activities, such as uploading a new book or responding to a discussion, but you wouldn’t be able to see those members’ connections or the books that they were following, or even read their full manuscripts. Most importantly, the person you were following wouldn’t know that you were interested in building a connection with them. We wanted to change that so members could seek more meaningful relationships with each other.
We believe that the relationships you make with other writers – writers who are also your first audience – is one of the most valuable aspects of the site. There are writers from all over the world who come here to workshop and collaborate with you. We hope that you connect with them, give them feedback on their work, chat with them on the discussion boards and through private messages, and support them outside of Book Country’s “walls” as they release their books into the world.
Connecting on Book Country is as easy as going to a Book Country member’s profile page and clicking on the blue “Send Connection Request” button in the righthand corner of the profile. Once you’ve sent the request, you’ll see a confirmation of the date you sent it. When that person accepts your connection, you’ll see their picture appear in your news feed.
You can view your list of Connections by going to My Connections in the Connect tab or via your Notification bar at the top of your logged-in screen.
Clicking on “View All Connections” will take you to a list of your Connections. Each will link you to their page, where you can check out their Book Country books and reviews.
There are a few ways to approach connecting with fellow Book Country members. (We encourage using all of these!)
- Via the Book Country Discussion Forum. Check out the topics that interest you, and see who’s responding with posts you like. Search for those members in “People” via the search box at the top righthand corner of the logged-in screen to get to their profiles and connect from there.
- Via Read & Review. Use the Genre Map or the Book Country Books Page to find writers working in literary categories you love. Then click through to their profile and take a closer look at what they’re up to on Book Country.
- Via reviews on your own books! I like to connect with folks who’ve taken the time to give me feedback on my writing posted to Book Country. Once we’re connected, I can follow up via private message to discuss feedback in greater detail, or keep in touch about reading and writing more generally.
- Via books that you’ve reviewed. Once I give feedback to a writer on Book Country, I connect with them in case they want to ask me questions about my feedback. Checking out other members’ reviews of the books you have reviewed is also a good way to find people to connect with on the site—after all, you already have something in common.
As you get to know new folks on Book Country, we also think it’s fun to do a little writerly matchmaking. Maybe two writers are interested in the same issues that are up for debate on the Discussion Boards. Or you think that two writers might really benefit from giving each other detailed feedback, because they’ve got such complimentary perspectives on writing or genre. When that happens, go ahead and send each of them a Connection Recommendation to alert them that you think they might work well together. As time goes on, Book Country members will likely recommend new Connections to you, too.
Connecting with other members helps to grow your community of feedback partners, and makes using the site much more valuable and fun. Try it and see who you meet!