Saturday, January 14, 2012

How and where to find good books

I remember going to the library and spending hours browsing covers, pulling a book out, reading the back cover, putting some back, setting aside others and then toting home a stack that I'd sift through again when I had time to read the opening chapters. At the bookstore I often went with a favored author in mind, although I'd usually come home with just one or two books because of the cost. E-books now make browsing much easier and buying far cheaper. I can look for books at midnight or on my lunch break and download a sample to my Kindle.

Instead of getting overwhelmed at the library or having a bookstore's manager decide what to stick in the front of the store for you to see, it's easier than ever to browse in a customized and time-efficient fashion. Here are a few ways you can find new books and new authors that will suit your particular (or eclectic) reading tastes:

One very easy way to find books is to click through the Also-Boughts at Amazon. On any book's Amazon page, near the top you'll find a section that says "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought". The most frequent Also-Boughts appear first, but sometimes I go backwards through the list, just to be a rebel and see if I find anything brand new.

Since I read a wide variety of genres, sometimes I like to be surprised by tripping across an interesting cover and book description. If you read strictly historical fiction, there are several HF book blogs in my blogroll to the right, but if it's variety you want, here are a few places you can find good deals for your e-reader - and most of them have a 'like' feature which means their daily listings will feed directly into your Facebook newsfeed. All of them feature e-books for under $10, some only books under $5 and all of them post FREE book finds:

Kindle Nation Daily

Pixel of Ink

The Frugal eReader

Daily Cheap Reads

E-Reader News Today

Cheap Kindle Daily

The Kindle Reader

Addicted to eBooks (Indie book listings)

Kindleboards (This is my favorite hangout! Check out the Book Bazaar and Book Corner, but feel free to jump into the conversation about Kindle Accessories, Not Quite Kindle and various e-readers here).

Don't forget - word of mouth is the best way to share about books you've read and loved! How many times have you heard a friend mention a book and later checked it out? If you've enjoyed a book, tell your friends by posting a link on Facebook or tweeting about it. Join in forum discussions and let others know who your favorite authors are.

Don't be shy about leaving reviews at Amazon or other online sites. You don't need to summarize the whole book, just say what you liked or didn't like about it and your overall impression. This helps other readers get a feel for what a book contains and how the story affects readers.

Interested in a specific topic/person/place? On Amazon, towards the bottom of a book' page, there is a section called "Tags Customers Associate with this Product". Feel free to add your own tag to help other readers find stuff. Or click on any of those to find related books.

That should keep all you readers busy for awhile!

Happy reading,


Jen Black said...

I've downloaded The Crown in the Heather and began reading last night. Got curious, found your blog, then discovered the youtube trailer - duh! we've picked the same music for a book trailer! will let you know how the reading goes....

N. Gemini Sasson said...

That is great music, isn't it? Hope you enjoy the read, Jen!

Kelly Byrne said...

great info. gemi. thanks for this post.

question - how, as a self-published author - can i get on these websites? i've looked into all of them, but except for frugal ereader, which charges a fee for their advertising services - "frugal find of the day", i haven't found how to get my book on any of the rest of the sites. any suggestions? thank you, thank you!

N. Gemini Sasson said...

You have to check for their submission requirements. Some don't accept submissions, some charge, some have steep requirements. The more popular ones are not easy to get onto and yes, some do charge. KND and POI are pricey, but worth it. POI is only open to submissions for short windows of time, or else they'd be inundated.

There are less popular blogs you can get on for free or cheap. Kindleboards is really the best way to find out about those, although you may have to keep going back and checking there to find out about them.

Kelly Byrne said...

thanks, gemi. problem is, for most anyway, i couldn't even find where they had information about submissions. but maybe that's the information - that they don't accept them therefore they don't have a submission information tab.

i was on kindleboards today. will keep exploring them.