the Little Red Reviewer

Where do you find new books/authors?

Posted on: August 17, 2010

I came across a great article on Apex called “How do you find  books?” Responses ranged from browsing bookstores, to Amazon recommendations, to Goodreads, to asking your friends, to publisher newsletters to blogs, to everything in between.

As I was writing a response, I realized this is two completely different questions for me, with two completely different answers.

How/Where do I find new books to read?

and

How/Where do I find new authors to read?

The answer to the former being pathetically old fashioned, and the answer to the latter being slightly more modern. Yes, I’m an old fashioned girl. Let’s take ’em one at a time.

How/Where do I find new books to read?

For the most part, the library. I’ll browse the “new” section, and wander through the SF, mystery, and YA section, seeing if anything catches my eye. If it wasn’t for books jumping off the shelves and bonking me in the head (it’s happened, I swear!) I would never have discovered Scott Lynch, M. John Harrison, Jeff Vandermeer, China Mieville, and scores of other excellent authors.

Along with the library, I depend on the recommendations of friends (and librarians) who read the same style of books I do. Otherwise, I would never have come across Patrick Rothfuss, George R R Martin, Sheri S Tepper, or Robin Hobb.

If I library (yes, library is a verb. or at least it is now!) a book and fall in love with it, I’ll buy it, usually from a local indie bookstore. But I rarely buy a book on a lark. yeah, I’m cheap. and the library enables my cheap lifestyle! Don’t get me wrong, I do plenty of casual browsing at all sorts of bookstores, but I rarely buy until I’m sure.

How/Where do I find new authors to read?

Finally, a question I can answer without sounding like I live under a rock! Facilitated by the fact that my favorite authors aren’t putting out a new book every month, I am always on the look out for new authors to read. And I find them pretty much the same way a lot of other people do – the fabulous interwebs! I hit up scores of blogs and newsletters, publisher’s “forthcoming” sites, author’s sites to see who they are talking about, and quite often someplace like Amazon to see their recommendations for other authors or books I type in. Once I’ve got a half dozen authors/books that look promising, it’s off to the libraries. or their website, to put the goodies on hold till I can get there!

How about you? What’s your best resource for new books?

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5 Responses to "Where do you find new books/authors?"

I definitely scour the net – blogs, Amazon suggestions – to discover both new books and authors. However, I’ve also come across quite a few books by word of mouth; I enjoy asking friends what they’ve read, what they suggest, etc.

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Finding new books and authors to read, that I’ll actually like, has always a bit of a challenge. I figured it was the same for other folks so I built a website to help SF/F fans find the best of both.

On http://www.WorldsWithoutEnd.com, I’ve got complete listings for 10 of the top genre awards for best novel like Hugo, Nebula and Clarke in addition to a bunch of “best of” lists like SF & F Masterworks and the Pringle 100 etc. The theory being: the awards are a great place to start looking for good books and knowing an author has won a few awards can give you confidence to try somebody new.

There are lots of cool features on WWEnd for the avid SF/F reader if you’d like to check it out. I hope you don’t mind the plug. Please delete if I’ve overstepped.

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No worries, in fact, I think I’ve used some of the lists on your site before. So I owe you the plug. 😉

btw, I added you to my link list.

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I’m glad you found the site useful and thanks for the link! You’ve been added to our list of links as well.

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Hey – just hoppin’ by! I started the hop on Friday, but had to leave, just now getting back to it. Hope you had a great weekend! Stop by The Wormhole and say hi!

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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