Kathy Carlton Willis

Kathy Carlton Willis shines the light through her communications firm as writer, publicist, coach, editor, speaker, and more. She’s built a network of industry connections and is affiliated with Advanced Writers and Speakers Association as well CLASSeminars. Her columns and book reviews have appeared online and in print. Kathy is a contributing author for The Reason We Speak, It Happened By Design: A Series of God-Incidence Stories, and Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip to Peace. She is editor and writer for The Christian Pulse devotions. She’s enjoyed stocking empty church library bookshelves to equip readers with tall “to be read” stacks, and is always on the hunt for her next favorite read. Check out her professional blog at http://kcwcomm.blogspot.com and her Website at http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com/. KCWC offers a wide range of services at every price-point, with several new services added just this month, as Kathy’s husband Russ joins the firm to double the luminosity.

Books Connect Readers Online

Your one-stop CFOM resource—chock-full of how-tos and helpful hints—equipping you to get more out of your reading. Designed for the individual, libraries, and book clubs.

Where do readers go to hang out online? We are fortunate to have several sites designed just for us book lovers. Today I’ll spotlight some of these sites, and encourage you to try out various features to find what works for you. Each site has a different personality, so explore until you find the right fit. Many of these groups will provide widgets to use on your blog or social networking site so that your bookshelf is visible to others. Show what you are reading now, what’s still to be read, and write book reviews. A great way to connect with other readers—as well as your favorite authors.

Another perk of belonging to these sites is getting recommendations for new titles and authors to try from other readers. Yet another way to learn of new releases and old standbys.


Shelfari is a network of global book lovers. It encourages readers to share their literary inclinations and passions with others—a gathering place for authors, aspiring authors, publishers, and readers. They offer many tools and features to help these groups connect with one another in a fun and engaging way. Their mission is to enhance the experience of reading by connecting readers in meaningful conversations about the published word.

According to their site, members:

• Build virtual bookshelves to express themselves to their friends and to the world
• Discover books that are popular in their trusted circles of friends
• Influence peers by rating and discussing books online
• Discover and learn from people with similar reading tastes
• Participate in online book groups to further explore literature and share ideas
• Interact with and learn from authors

    Good Reads

Goodreads claims to be the largest social network for readers in the world. They sport more than 3,500,000 members with more than 100,000,000 books featured. Their goal is to offer the same space for casual readers and big-time bookworms. They make it their business to get people excited about reading by making it fun and cool again. They say, “Somehow, reading books seems to have gotten a bad rap. People are working too hard and not making time to read, people are watching TV because they can veg out and turn their brains off—hey, we feel it too! But every once in a while you run into a friend who tells you about this ‘great new book I’m reading.’ And suddenly you're excited to read it. It’s that kind of excitement that Goodreads is all about.”

Goodreads members:

• Recommend books
• Compare what they are reading
• Keep track of what they’ve read
• Makes lists of what they’d like to read
• Form book clubs

    Library Thing

LibraryThing has all the features of other book-lover sites, but they also offer up books for review. Some local author events are listed as well—a good source for authors and readers to interact. LibraryThing is branded as “Facebook for books,” encouraging social networking among readers.

It started as a way for readers to catalog their books online. They offer easy access, including mobile phone applications. LibraryThing connects people who list the same books and offers suggestions for what to read next.

The cataloging application allows for Library of Congress searches as well as the ability to search Amazon and more than eighty world libraries. Library lovers can even use the Dewey system to organize their book collections.


aNobii encourages readers to strike up online conversations with others on the site. According to their Website, the name comes from the “first few syllables of Anobium Punctatum, which is the proper name for bookworms.” There’s a navigation feature for readers to search the site and also find what the most popular reads are, which creates even more book buzz. Like the other sites we reviewed, it allows participants to rate and review books.

    Visual Bookshelf

Visual Bookshelf is a Facebook application that lets users rate and review favorite books and then display them on their Facebook pages. It works with Facebook’s interface to show what friends are reading and also offers suggestions for something new to read.


I always get an adrenalin rush when I enter a bookstore or library. Now I can get that same special feeling at home, in my comfy clothes, by visiting these sites. And the best part is, I get to rub elbows with other avid book lovers who get that same excited feeling when they talk about books!

    Reading Assignment:

Check out these sites and select one that best matches your wish list. Organize your bookshelf, make a to-be-read list, and write a review. Now doesn’t that feel good?


Kathy CArlton Willis