The nice thing about finding a new author is that technically, they don’t have to be a new author at all. There are tons of authors, both past and present, writing millions of books, and I’ve only heard of or read works by a fraction of them. That leaves a whole lot of writers for me to discover.
Part of the reason I don’t know about more authors is that I allow myself to get stuck in a rut. When I’m browsing through a bookstore, I tend to stick with authors I’m already familiar with like Janet Evanovich or Robert Crais. While I definitely enjoy their stories and look forward to the latest releases, they can only produce so many books. I need to branch out, or else I run the risk of one day running out of reading material (gasp! No! Anything but that!). I have two main sources for finding new authors: friends and family who pass along books they think I’ll enjoy and conferences and other writing events.
My mom, in particular, is an avid reader and often hands off books to me that she liked. It’s fun to discuss the plots and characters with her, and when she introduces me to an author whose writing style meshes with my reading style, I’m overjoyed. I immediately look up their web site to see what
other books they’ve written. Discovering they have an entire series for me to catch up on is like finding the toy at the bottom of the cereal box.
As for conferences, not only do you usually get a big stack of books in your welcome bag, but the conference itself is full of writers. These writers will speak at panels, hang out in the bookseller room to sign their works, and mingle with readers and fellow writers at meals and social hours. Conventions provide a great opportunity to get to know more about an author and what types of books they write. After I attended Left Coast Crime last year, I kept the program that listed all the authors and have since used it as a reference guide when I’m looking for new writers. I haven’t been disappointed yet.
What was your most recent “new” author discovery and how did you find them?