Here at Midnight Publishing, our staff of editors, writers, and eternal book lovers are always paying attention to the social media landscape and technological developments available for authors and readers alike—we are passionate about the written word and the many ways in which it can be shared. Imagine our delight when we came across Litsy, a relatively new app (two years or so) that lauds itself as being entirely geared toward readers and the bookish experience. And with a tagline that says “Litsy: Where Books Make Friends,” we believe it!
What is Litsy?
Created and launched by Jeff LeBlanc and Todd Lawton in 2016 (both owners of the book-inspired clothing and wares shop Out of Print Clothing—the perfect stop for all book-themed gifts!), Litsy is a social media app that has several qualities seen in other popular apps Instagram and Twitter, but with a skew toward Goodreads in terms of books and reviews.
How Does it Work?
Litsy is easy to engage with, and has an account model and sharing feature that’s similar to the other apps mentioned above. Download the app (Litsy is not available for desktop computers, but can be downloaded through the Apple store or Google Play), create your profile and add a picture, and start posting!
Fun Posting Features
- Post a Picture: Users can post photos of books with several types of filters and decorative images, GIFs, etc.
- Write a Review: Users can write a short review of the book (up to 451 characters).
- Share a Quote: Users are able to share a favorite quote from the book to their followers.
- Post a Blurb: Any book-geared thought can be shared through their blurb feature. All posts in Litsy must refer to a book in some way.
Litsy has a “stacks” feature where users can add books they want to read, are reading or have read to their profile page. Stacks are live and viewable by other users, and you can check out friends’ stacks to see theirs as well.
Shying away from the “star” rating system that’s commonly seen in other book reviewing sites, Litsy offers four options for rating a book: Like, So-So, Pan, and Bail.
Litsy’s Litfluence System
Similar to Snapchat in the sense of providing users with “points” for interaction, Litsy’s Litfluence feature gives users points when others like, comment, or add books from the user’s posts to their own stacks. It’s essentially an incentive to post regularly and with relevant material that others will want to engage in, and everyone starts with 42 points.
Can it Be Used as a Marketing Tool for Authors?
Yes, but not in the typical sense. Litsy doesn’t have any ads, nor does it offer authors any additional space for bios, links to other works, etc. like Amazon and Goodreads does. Additionally, self-published or small press authors might have a hard time finding their books in the database, as was discovered by one of our staff, author/editor Ashley R. Carlson. A quick search in their database revealed that her short story and an anthology were available for users to add to their stacks, post about, etc. (the anthology did not show the book cover, however), but her most popular book series was not listed anywhere on Litsy site. All of her books are available on Amazon, so an email was sent to Litsy’s administrators to discuss how Litsy catalogs their book titles, as well as the option for authors to add their books manually somehow through an ISBN/ASIN number. Stay tuned for an update on that!
For some other posts and author/reader experiences using Litsy, check out this post on BookRiot and this post on Black and Bookish.
Midnight Publishing has been providing editing, ghostwriting and marketing assistance to authors, entrepreneurs, and anyone with a bookish vision for nearly a decade. Contact us today to discuss your manuscript, and how we can help you on your journey to publication!