Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trying a New Author

What does it take for you to try out a new writer? Does the cover catch your eye, or are you a book jacket reader? Does a starred review grab your attention right away, or would you pick up a book because you’d seen the author online or in the media? Or is it because the writer won an award?

When I’m searching the shelves for a new read, be it in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore or on the virtual shelves of my favorite online store, I do it the old-fashioned way, even in a new-fashioned world. First of all, the title has to appeal to me, then I like to read a summary or the jacket copy and a couple of reviews by reviewers whose opinions I respect. This system works for me—has for years—and I’ve found many a new author to take pleasure in reading from cover to cover, including the writers’ backlists. I’ve also found a couple of lemons, but hey, that happens!

Right now, I’m test driving Peter Turnbull’s No Stone Unturned and it’s a neat mystery so far. I’ll see if he can keep me from figuring it out until the end, though! Then I have another new author to check out – Julie Carobini.

It’s fun to read a new novelist, especially a mystery writer. The mystery writer must engage you, challenge you to solve the whodunit and have a style that appeals to you, in addition to telling a good story with fully developed characters, just like authors in any other fiction genre.

So, if you find yourself sticking to the tried and true all the time, explore and give a new-to-you author a chance. You might just find you’ve discovered a new must-read, and if you’re lucky, s/he has a nice deep backlist for you to enjoy.

Libby McKinmer
Romance with an edge


Hagelrat said...

the book review blog scene has been invaluable to me in exploring new authors. |have identified a few reviewers with very similar tastes so their recommendations hold a lot of weight.

Mark Troy said...

DorothyL and RaraAvis are where I find most new authors.

Anonymous said...

Word of mouth mostly for me. Someone who I respect their literary opinion recommends a read, that does it best. Also online reviews and author interviews. I rarely buy a book by an "unknown" (to me) author just because of a cool cover, but I HAVE done so if the cover causes me to pick the book off the shelf and the adblurb/synopsis is compelling enough.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I agree - word of mouth will prompt me to try a new author. I don't care how much advertising dollar a big publisher throws at a title or where it resides on the best seller list. I want to know real people enjoy it!

L. Diane Wolfe

Dana Fredsti said...

Personal recommendation goes a long way for me...and I am a self-admitted cover whore. Just as I'm intrigued by an unusual wine label, I'm attracted to eye-catching covers and will at least pick up the book and read the blurb. If the blurb/concept appeals, I'll usually try the book. I love finding new authors... My favorite book cover discovery was Sparkle Hayter's mystery series. The covers were done in comic book style art and her name was attention getting in itself.

Morgan Mandel said...

Like many readers, I'm attracted to book covers first, then back blurbs. After that I'll go to the first page and see if I like the writing. Sometimes I really like the cover and have to force myself to put the book down. The cover is a real draw.

Morgan Mandel