By: Liz Talley
I absolutely love when I find a new author to love…especially when the book I take a chance on is the eighth book the author’s written and there’s backlist to glom. Ah! Best feeling in the world!
Don’t you love when that happens?
You’re here reading about books and authors, so I’m pretty sure I know your answer
But my question today is how do you find a new author?
Well, writers ask this all the time, right? We’re constantly thinking about HOW IN THE WORLD to get people to take a chance on one of our books. Over the last few years PROMO has been a keyword in every published author’s vocabulary. Publishers want authors on twitter, on FB, blogging, doing special events, etc, all in the attempt to net new readers. Since my first book saw the light of the shelf, I’ve been riding that promo coaster - printing out bookmarks, doing blog tours and trying to be witty on twitter. But a few weeks ago in the midst of how can I get “out there” more, I remembered that I’m a reader, too.
Yeah. At one time I was a reader who inhaled books at a rapid pace. So how did I find new authors?
First, I browsed at the bookstore or library. It’s much easier to take a chance on a new author at the library for obvious reasons. I gave myself a good half hour to an hour every time I went to the library or bookstore for that reason. Covers were important, but keywords on the back cover blurb were more important. Then it was time for the test – open to middle, read three pages and check quality of writing. Though I do love story, I demand good writing. I like witty, droll, layered, rich writing. Most writers have that in the beginning of the story (I now know why) but sometimes it fails by middle, so if I were dropping coin on a book, I always checked the middle.
Most readers tell writers they try new writers based on recommendation of friends. This sometimes worked for me, but all too often I found my tastes were not the same as friends. My current critique partner justifies this all the time.
ME: I just read the best book! It was blankety blank blank by Ima So Fabulous.
HER: <wrinkled nose>
ME: You read it? Didn’t like it?
ME: Seriously? You’re crazy!
And then I have to buy her a drink at Starbucks ‘cause I called her crazy and made fun of her reading preferences. So I never buy a book based solely on recommendation.
Sometimes I read about a book on a blog or review and want to check it out for myself. I’ve found plenty of good books this way, but still my top way for finding a new author is through plain ol’ exploration…which is why it’s so sad brick and mortar stores are shutting down (especially the small ones who have enthusiastic owners who love books and know if you like blanketly blank, you’ll also like blinkety blink.) The advent of electronic books, while exciting, also leaves readers confused and navigating millions of books. Makes finding a needle in a haystack seem easier than finding a new author to love in a sea of novels, huh?
So what about you? How do you find new authors and books to love? Any new-to-you authors you wish to share?
About the author:
After finaling in RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart in Regency romance, Liz found a home writing sassy contemporary romance. Her first book starred a spinster librarian – Vegas Two Step – and debuted in June 2010. Since that time, Liz has published ten more books with Harlequin Superromance. Her stories are set in the South where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot and the men are hotter. Liz lives in North Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children and assorted pets. Liz loves doing laundry, paying bills and creating masterful dinners for her family. She also lies in her bio to make herself look like the perfect wife. What she really likes is pretty shoes, lemondrop martinis, fishing off the pier and ignoring the sink full of dirty dishes. You can visit Liz at www.liztalleybooks.com to learn more about the lies she tells herself…and her upcoming books.
You can read more about Liz and her upcoming February release His Forever Girl at www.liztalleybooks.com.