Our topic for the week: An unusual way you found books or authors that you would not have chosen.
It’s been a long time since I’ve spent time in a bookstore or library browsing titles and then selecting one. Since I started writing for publication, I’ve met so many other authors, and when I hear about their books I want to read them, partly to help support them, and partly because (like in any profession) it’s important to know what people are currently doing in the industry. There is absolutely no shortage of reading material in this house!
But to return to the original question, I’m not sure any of these are unusual, but I suppose I have a hierarchy of resources where I find my reading material. Here they are, in approximate order of frequency:
- Books written by authors I know and have met. I belong to two “in person” writing groups – The Mid-Michigan chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group. Since I see these people face-to-face on a fairly regular basis, this is where I find the majority of my books, especially if they are genres I enjoy or if the subject or premise intrigues me.
- Books by those who share a publisher with me. I’m willing to help my fellow authors promote their books, but I always feel better if I’ve actually read them before recommending them.
- Books by people I’ve met only online and on Facebook. I’ve joined several online groups looking for (and receiving) marketing advice as well as opportunities to promote via their blogs and social media outlets, and when I return the favor I try to sample their writing as well.
- Free books. Every time I come home from a writers conference such as the Spring Fling in Chicago or the Retreat from Harsh Reality by my own RWA chapter, I have at least one large shopping bag full of books, because each speaker gives away at least one book to each attendee and there are often door prizes that include books. I’ve also won books at various online events. And some self-published authors have found that giving away books free encourages people to purchase their other books, so I’ve downloaded several of those.
- Books recommended to me by others.
You’ll notice I don’t mention finding books on best-seller lists or book clubs. I don’t imagine I’ll get to those unless one of my author friends really makes it big!
How do you select your reading material?