Friday, March 15, 2013

how do you find new authors?

I love my kindle. Because I have it, I read more, buy more books and am open to buying new authors, because of book deals and downloading samples. 
And certainly we've seen an explosion in self-publishing bestsellers because readers have access to authors in a way we've never seen before in publishing. 

But it's also opened up a new problem. With more choices than my little mind can comprehend, how do I choose? 

I used to walk through the bookstore and choose based on authors I'd read, covers and back blurbs. So basically I let the publishers choose for me, better shelf placement definitely caught my eye. A gorgeous cover - a better chance I'd walk away with the book. 

There are lots of books out there for great prices, $1.99 even $.99 but I only have so much time to read, so the entertainment value of a book always heavily outweighs the price. So now I rely on a couple of key websites to tell me what I should be reading, along with recommendations from friends. 

So Dear Author and All About Romance have become must see websites for me, because they're honest and I trust their opinions. There are a lot of review websites out there that give nothing but great reviews, and those I stopped checking a long time ago. I won't always agree completely with Dear Author, but she does come across as completely unbiased, which is really important. 

I also check Entertainment weekly's books sections and that's sort of where it ends for me. I know I'm missing some sources, and I've love some recommendations. It's a great time to be a reader right now, but I need something to help me sort through the noise out there. 

How do you choose what books to buy? Who do you listen to in this new publishing world?


Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm a blog follower. But I think it's interesting with the blogs that it isn't so much whether you always agree with them, its finding someone who lines up with your taste in books.

But it's not always going to be perfect. I love Brie from Romance Around the Corner. If she loves a book I find that I usually like it as well. But she didn't care for Laura Florand's Chocolate Thief - and I of course loved it.

So sometimes it's just a particular book. It's not always going to be perfect.

But if Sara from SB, and Jane from DA and Brie - are all getting behind a book... then I've hit the blogging jackpot.

And what book did they all agree on???? Hmmmm... Was that Can't Buy Me Love???... Why yes, I think it was. :)

Eileen said...

I started getting a daily email from a service called BookBub that lists cheap/free deals on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If something interests me, I'll go read the sample. If the sample is decent, I'll generally buy it. I'm discovering a LOT of new to me authors that way.

Anonymous said...

Steph, I find the same thing. If everyone is raving about a book, then it is almost always a sure thing. I did not know about Brie, so now I'll check that out as well,
And Eileen, I just signed up on bookbub.

So looking forward to reading new books.

Maureen McGowan said...

I get all my recommendations from Sinead.

Maureen McGowan said...

That was only partially a joke. For adult mainstream books, definitely Entertainment Weekly. (And, um, it was Sinead who told me to start reading EW.) For romance and UF, I listen to you girls. For YA, I guess I keep my ear to the blogs and check out things that Amazon recommends based on what I've bought before.
But I do think, as opposed to a blog like Dear Author that comes off unbiased, a lot of the YA book blogs seem to kowtow to the publishers. Not all, just some. I think the bloggers want to keep getting free books, (and the publicists are good at treating the YA bloggers well) so it feels like some of them just gush about everything. Especially the books the publishers tell them they're supposed to gush about... That might not be fair. Maybe they only post reviews about books they loved. But I do see a lot of gushing over books that for me are just m'eh.

I also try to read a smattering of bestsellers, especially the self-pub ones because I'm always curious abut how that happens without publisher support and promotion.

Back to DA... You're so right about Jane coming off as unbiased. She's not afraid to love one book by an author and then hate that author's next. She's also not afraid to hate a book by someone she's met. It's not about the author or publisher or friendships or being liked... it's about her opinion about the book. And whether or not we agree with her opinion, it's always well reasoned.
Now, some of the people who comment a lot on her site are another matter... but the reviews themselves are great.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I also will try to download at least the samples of the self pub best sellers.

For me that's a professional choice - because I should be hooked in to what readers are looking for.

I will say over the last year of doing this as self-pub is taking off I've only read 1 book that I would consider going back and buying that author again.

Which makes me worried that I'm completely out of the mainstream.

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen, I heard about BookBub in a blog post by an indie author talking about promo. I'm going to take a look...

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