I know I’ve said it before in my article Why I Don’t Read Best-Selling Authors, but I really love discovering new authors. They have fresh ideas, beautiful stories, and it’s exciting to share little-known authors with other readers. But it can be difficult to find new authors I will like. I’m sure I am not the only one who struggles, so here is a guide on how I find new authors.
Keep an Open Mind
It’s what everyone says, right? But while working at a bookstore, I’ve noticed how people have a hard time with that concept when reading books. My favorite quote comes from Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, “close your eyes and keep your mind wide open.” I love to use this quote in many aspects of my life, but especially when I am choosing the next book to read. It reminds me to take some time to actually look at books. Take a moment to look at the cover, read the back of the book, and maybe even read the first few pages to really get a feel for what the story and the writing is like. Libraries and bookstores are designed for you to be there for a while because they know it takes time to find the right book. Once you start being more open to other authors, it can be amazing how fast your TBR list grows with authors and titles a lot of people have never heard of before.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
So many people stick with the same authors because they are afraid to waste time on a book they don’t like. First of all, if you don’t like a book do not finish it. No one is forcing you to read that book. Find a different one that you think you will like better. You are going to find books you don’t like; even best-selling authors have flops! But you are also going to find books you absolutely love and will repeatedly recommend to everyone you meet. So, pick up the books with the cool covers, the odd titles, and the unknown authors; one of them could be your favorite book.
Research Your Favorite Writer’s Book Recommendations
I interview authors about once a week (check out my latest Date with a Debut Author: Alex McElroy), and one question I always like to ask is what books they recommend. A lot of times the books they recommend are similar to the books they write. It’s a great way to learn about other authors and books you possibly never would’ve heard about otherwise. Also, you get to learn a little bit more about your favorite authors.
Google “Books Like…” or “Authors Like…”
If you’re struggling to find your favorite writer’s recommendations, or maybe their recommendations are too different from what you normally like, try Googling books like your favorite book or authors like your favorite author. If I’m suffering a really bad book hangover, I will sometimes Google similar books because I crave the feeling that book gave me all over again.
Look at Social Media (Booktube, Booktok, Bookstagram)
For the love of social media. I have found some of my favorite recommendations here. Booktubers, Booktokers, and Bookstagrammers can be really good at bringing new authors into the light too. They tend to have a wider audience than the new author does so they can introduce books that may have otherwise gotten lost.
Ask Your Librarian or Bookseller
These are the people who will take the time to get to know your interests and help tailor your next read specifically to you. They know what is popular, they have read quite a bit, and they can help you choose a book based on other books you’ve enjoyed before.
Browse the Shelves of Genres You’re Interested in at Your Local Library or Bookstore
If all else fails, go spend some time browsing the bookshelves in the genres you are interested in. Spending time in a bookstore or library browsing is one of my favorite ways to spend my day. It can be relaxing, I find books that I have never heard of before, and I meet people who have the same interests as me who then can recommend their favorites. Going into a big bookstore or library can be overwhelming because there are so many books, so I recommend sticking to one or two genres each time you visit to help with this.
Join a Book Club
Book clubs are everywhere! They are also a great way to find new books and new authors. Whether you start your own, join a book club in your neighborhood, one at the library or bookstore, or even one of the celebrity book clubs, you are bound to find so many amazing new authors.
Now go and discover an author as wonderful as you are!
Featured image via mental floss