I didn’t always participate in online “loops” and “groups” but have since found several that I joined.  I find the return on that investment to be worth it.  Of course, I don’t spend all day long participating in discussions, but rather, I sign up for the daily digests and skim through for anything interesting and useful to me.  I also utilize my participation in such groups as a marketing tool.  It’s a good way for me to get the word out about my current releases, contests I’m running and other writing related news. 

Yes, some people may have 3rd grade level comments and like to start trouble, but I haven’t been affected by that.  Such comments have not been my experience in these groups.  On the contrary, I’ve found them very helpful. 

I have also started my own group ~ Authors and Readers of Romance ~ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Authorsandreadersofromance and I like being the group moderator because I can remove someone from the group for not playing nicely. 

I think the key is to find the right group to belong to.  If you find a group of people who play nicely together and don’t start fights, then your experience in networking together can be great and well worth the time and effort you invest. 

At my yahoo group, we want to create an online community where authors and readers of romance novels can communicate and learn from each other.  I’d love for the readers to feel just as important as the authors ~ because without readers, authors would not have a job. 

My yahoo group is having a Romance Author Chat on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm EST.  We’d love to see you there and we’d also love to have you participate in our yahoo group…so far no one’s been booted out!  ;-)

 
 
Do you love to read romance novels?  Then we’re looking for you to join our yahoo group:  Authors and Readers of Romance. 

You can visit our group at this website:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Authorsandreadersofromance

We are a group of authors and readers who love romance novels. This is a group for authors to promote their novels, share contests they're hosting, post excerpts and network with other authors.

However, just as importantly, this is also a group for readers to connect with romance authors and ask questions, as well as learn about authors' upcoming releases etc.  We want to facilitate an online community group where readers can connect with authors.

Please note that we’d like to keep this group PG-13 rated.  We are accepting members in all genres of romance and want to find a happy medium of "PG-13 rated" content when posting.

Here is a listing of our suggested topics for this Yahoo Group to stimulate conversation during the week.

Sunday – Share something inspirational (authors and readers)

Monday – Authors post an interesting fact about themselves or answer readers’ questions

Tuesday – Authors post an excerpt from their books; readers talk about their favorite romance novels

Wednesday – Are you running a book contest? Post information about it.

Thursday – Authors give a summary of their latest release and share purchase links

Friday – TGIF ~ Post fun facts about your writing journey, give advice to aspiring writers or explain why you write and how you write your novels

Saturday – Anything (writing-related / romance genre) that you’d like to post…blatant promotion is allowed. :-)

 
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