How I Find New-to-Me Authors (with a bit on e-readers)

So, top of my want-but-don’t-need list is the new Kindle Voyage e-reader.

Based on the reviews I’ve seen, it’s better than the Kindle Paperwhite – but alas, not significantly better.  Definitely not £170 better.  Or even £230 better, because I know I’d spring for the 3G version.

The other thing that’s putting me off getting a new e-reader is the thought of transferring all my ebooks from my Paperwhite.  I had to do that when I bought my (beloved) Paperwhite a few years back, and it took me forever.  And I swear I lost a few ebooks in the move too.  Yes, I do need to organise my ebooks better.

Sorry, the point of this post isn’t really e-reader lusting.  I just needed to get that out because I’ve been spending too much time thinking about it, dammit.  Maybe I need to try and see the Voyage IRL – that may help me decide one way or another. A price drop would also help my decision *clears throat*.

Anyway, following my post on the whys of DNF’ing, I thought I’d talk about the flip side – what makes me pick up a book, especially a book by a new-to-me author?

Putting trusted reviewers to one side (as that’s how I hear about new-to-me authors in the first place), what persuades me to buy the book?

19286623If it’s a genre I’ve been eyeing, I’m easy.  Usually all it takes is a positive review, combined with a reasonable price.  For instance, I was curious about rockstar romances – unfortunately, Nalini Singh’s foray into this subgenre didn’t work for me* but I figured there must be a reason why rockstar romance is a popular subgenre.  Kylie Scott‘s name came up several times, and the second book in her Stage Dive series was a bargain at £0.50 at that time, IIRC (now all of them are at £2.40 @ Amazon – still a good price IMO).  Let’s just say I gulped down all three of the Stage Dive books within a week – I loved Scott’s voice, which meant the heightened emotions and just-about-plausible meet-cutes totally worked for me.  I have to mention that the copy-editing was not fantastic – there were a few of the your/you’re and know/now variety which annoyed me – but I adored the romances.

Another romance subgenre I’m curious about at the moment is MCs (Motorcycle Clubs) – any recs?  I know Kristen Ashley is popular, but I’ve never read any of her books.  I think the closest I’ve come to a MC romance this year is Kelley Armstrong’s VISIONS, which was slightly unexpected.  One of the love triangle contenders is the head of the local MC, IIRC – he’s also a ghoul who feeds on emotions, so possibly not a standard MC romance?  Or maybe it is.  Ahem.

0451418425.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SL500_Moving on – if it’s a genre where I’ve been suffering burnout (see UF and/or paranormal romance), then it takes a bit more than that.  Multiple mentions work (which is why I guess blog tours are a thriving business?) – I may skim over an author’s name several times, but if I’m still seeing his/her name a few months later, I’m more than likely to give the book ago.  Two UF authors I’ve discovered via this method – Kalayna Price (who appears to have gone AWOL in the past year, fingers crossed she’s still writing) and ML Brennan (I’ve been going on about her Generation V series for a few months now, right?).

What else?  Excerpts work. Excerpts are fantastic.  If I can’t find one and I’m interested enough in the book, I hop over to Amazon and check out the book preview.  That usually helps me decide whether to one-click or not.

Prices – I mentioned the low price of one of Kylie Scott’s books persuaded me to one-click. I think $1 or £0.77 tends to be the psychological barrier for me.  (Free also does it, just to be clear.)  So first book in a series as a loss-leader is a marketing ploy that really works on me.  I’m getting a lot better at this impulsive one-clicking thing, but not quite there yet.

Oh, and ebook availability.  This is probably one of the biggest things.  It’s really rare I buy a physical book by a new-to-me author – not totally unheard of (see previous post on impulse book buying issues), but I wouldn’t go to a bookstore specifically to buy a book I’ve seen reviewed.  I’d be a hundred times more likely to get the ebook, especially if it’s coupon-able on Kobo – but then we’re back to price again.

So that’s how I choose my new-to-me authors – what about you?

************

*Possibly for the same reason her Guild Hunter series doesn’t work for me.  Someone (can’t remember who/where now – if you do, let me know and I’ll link!) said something along the lines of her text promises high conflict, but actual risk/damage is low, which rings true to me – so all the drama tends to fizzle out and there’s no payoff.  Also the insta-love (which tends to be a trademark of her writing, I think) did not help – I can suspend disbelief when this occurs in her Psy-Changeling books because of the paranormal side of things. Change the setting to a straight contemporary one, and I find it very hard to believe in the instant connections.

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4 thoughts on “How I Find New-to-Me Authors (with a bit on e-readers)

  1. I think I meant to comment last week, but last week was kind of hectic! Price is a big thing for me and, of course, reviews. I hardly ever read excerpts. I just don’t think of them, but I should do that since if a book doesn’t grab my interest right away and I don’t know the author I’m not likely to continue reading it. I’ve started using the library so if I can find a new author there that is the best option.

    Happy New Year, Li! I hope this will be a great year for you.

    • It’s hard to believe Christmas was only last week, isn’t it? Time has flown past.

      Interesting that you don’t do excerpts – what I get from them is the author’s voice and if there are any writing tics that would really annoy me. I probably use them more for the self-pubbed authors. And oh yes, library availability as well – really good way of giving new-to-me authors a go.

  2. Very nice post, Li.

    Hmmm, to me, I’m pretty easy. Nice cover, interesting blurb, multiple mentions and a publisher that I trust and it’s usually a done deal LOL. However, that makes me not very adventurous in genre. Takes me a while before picking up books in new genres, unless it’s trusted authors that branch out.

    The closest I’ve come to MC is also Visions and as you said, that was unexpected! But wait, Rick is a ghoul?!

    • LOL – that is not what I’d term “easy”!

      If we’re thinking of the same character, I swear he is a ghoul. I ended up borrowing VISIONS from the library, so can’t double-check… but yes, I’m sure he is!!

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