If you are looking for information or ideas, I’ve learned that forums are a good place to start your search. I’ve joined a few in the past weeks as a way to market my new book, Battlefield Angels, but also to get feedback about not only my books but other books. I’ve always found it interesting that professional book reviewers and movie reviewers tend to like books that the general public doesn’t.

Also, by participating on the forums and not just going there to sell a book, I’ve been able to get information

  • I can use in articles
  • Ideas for new articles to write
  • Leads for where to search for information

 I’ve joined some Civil War forums and quickly learned that these posters know the minutiae of the war. Rather than jump right in and make a fool of myself, I

  1. Read some of the threads that seemed pertinent to my subject (Civil War nursing). I got a feel for the type of questions that were raised and the quality of the comments on the forum.
  2. Next, I began posting responses to questions that I thought I could answer.
  3. At that point, the forums begin sending e-mail updates to me pertaining to that thread so I can follow it and answer any follow-up questions.
  4. Last week, I started a couple of threads, asking questions about an article I was working on and another one about the Gettysburg battlefield that I had always wondered about.

The response was great and useful. Now the problem I’m running into is that I’ve got to try and keep all the conversations I’ve contributed to straight so I don’t wind up repeating myself over and over again on a thread. There are forums for just about every topic you can imagine. Having found them another useful resource, I expect you’ll find me popping up on them time and again.