Yesterday I created a presence on Library Thing, which calls itself the world's largest book club. Members are readers, authors, and librarians.
The first thing I did upon signing up was to create my profile. Here I entered the information I'd like to have other members know about me, including my website and blog urls. My Library Thing name is PatriciaStoltey. Readers may leave comments for me at the bottom of my Profile page, and these comments will be forwarded to my e-mail address.
From there I began to add some of the permanent books in my collection. This will be an ongoing task for a few weeks if I enter only a few at a time, but is a way to connect with other members who have similar tastes.
The additional networking opportunities through Library Thing are:
(1) A Local site where an author's appearances and events can be listed, favorite bookstores and libraries can be added, and readers may connect with other members in their community.
(2) Authors may establish their author identifies, have an author logo added to their profiles, and participate in Author Chats with members. I have applied for the author designation.
(3) As a member, you may join one of the many existing groups formed by topic or may start a new group. I took a quick look at the options, and am considering: Write-Readers, What Are You Reading Now?, and Crime/Thriller/Mystery.
(4) A talk room where you can read and respond to posted threads.
(5) You can post reviews for books you've read, and you can also sign up to be an Early Reviewer of upcoming releases. In this program, you enter a lottery for the advance copies you want to read, and the lucky winners get to read and review (for free). I checked out the July list and was wishing I had the time to sign up for this program.
The basic membership, which allows you to catalog up to 200 books, is free. For a small fee, there are other benefits, including an option for authors to give away books and promotional materials (such as bookmarks) according to Library Thing rules. As I use this site, I suspect I'll find more opportunities. I'll keep you posted. For a more information about Library Thing, visit the Press Information page.