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 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.
In accordance with FTC Guidelines for blogging & endorsements, I want to post this disclaimer. From time to time, I do purchase and review some novels. However, most of the novels I review are given to me as a complimentary review copy by the author or publisher. I do not receive monetary compensation for the reviews I complete.