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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weekend Discussion: Trying New Authors

There are a lot of authors being published right now, but usually new readers gravitate toward those with the most popular (i.e. best-selling) titles--the risk of not liking a book is tempered when friends, family, or the nation--people we trust (relatively)--recommend it.  Our wallets and/or time is invested a little more safely, but we might miss out on a fantastic new author this way.  Readers don't always stick to what they're comfortable with, though.  Trying a new author can be as much fun as starting an amazing new series (the two often collide), but where do we begin?

What makes you decide to try a new author?

Is it an interesting premise? Recommendation from someone you know? Do reviews help?  Does the cover or title have anything to do with your decision?  What about cover blurbs from authors you have an established reader relationship with?

...Or is it all of the above?

Let me know what your answers are! :)

REMINDERS: Vote in the new poll!  Where do you usually get your books from?

And don't forget, you can enter to win a copy of John Scalzi's Zoe's Tale until March 11th!


emma said...

Generally I have to read something *about* the book in question... I don't usually just pick a new author up off the shelf (though it has happened, usually when I really want to get a book, there's nothing by any authors I know available, and it's free or cheap, e.g. in a charity shop, library or bookshop when I have a book voucher to spend).

Mostly it's reviews either in magazines or online. Sometimes I hear of a book that sounds interesting, and then I usually check out reviews on Amazon or elsewhere before deciding whether to buy it.

The KEY factor in choosing a book to try is plot. I don't care if a book has ten million five star reviews; if the plot doesn't sound like my kind of thing then I'm not reading it.

Anonymous said...

I tend to try to get my books from all sorts of places. I like reading the 'classic' things, some of the popular things, but a great deal of my reading is from recommendations or from browsing new releases in my genre of interest. :)

Erika said...

@emma: I like to do a little research for my books, too! If that fails, reading the jacket copy or the first few pages helps me figure out if I want to take a chance with a new author. Thank you for sharing! :)

@TJ: I love browsing new releases. Sometimes those "if you liked this, then you might like.." recommendations work!

Letter4no1 said...

I like to use amazon and librarythings to get recommendations for books and anthers I might like based off of other books I have liked. This lets me do a bit of research into the anthers style and story lines to see if I may like them or not.
I also take recommendations from friends and teachers, but those books tend to go lower on my list than books I've found for myself.

Erika said...

@Letter4no1: Any reason why the recommendations from friends and teachers aren't higher on the priority list? Or is it knowing the books you pick you're more likely to enjoy? :)

The Red Haired Celt said...

The subject of the book, the back blurb will tell me a lot. The genre(s)that the author writes in will let me know if I'll be interested or not. And, to be honest, word of mouth recommendations from my friends. If I respect someone's tastes, I'll try that new author. I've found quite a few really good books that way.

Erika said...

@Red Haired Celt: Have you ever experienced a blurb that was misleading? I used to rely on the blurbs, too, until that started happening to me and so now do a bit more research on books I'm real iffy about. :)

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