Category Archives: Discoverability

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Just Keep Reading

I can’t resist the urge to blog about just one more list. If you follow us on Twitter, you may have already seen this beautiful essay on the literary blog The Millions: 28 Books to Read If You Want To. Don’t panic – it’s not really a list! The essay is celebrating the joy of serendipity in your reading life, urging us all to let go of our Must-Read lists and make room for the books that find us.

I discovered one of my favorite books because the author called our store and charmed the living daylights out of me. I found another in a box of old books that my Russian literature professor left outside his office to give away. So while I do think that you should read the canon if it interests you, I think it’s more important that you read the books that find their own way into your hands.

What follows is a lovely and inspiring meditation on the many ways books wander into our lives, when we’re paying attention to them. And between the lines of the essay is a message for authors who have a book to promote – the best marketing for your work is a reader who’s in love with your story.

You should read the book that you see someone reading for hours in a coffee shop — there when you got there and still there when you left — that made you envious because you were working instead of absorbed in a book.

That’s how the excitement spills from the quiet act of reading to everyone that you meet throughout the day.

This essay is a great relief to those of us with stacks of unread books in our homes and award lists half-checked-off. Trends come and go, bestsellers burn up the charts and then fade into oblivion, but the joy of reading lasts through book after book after book.

Do you keep a TBR list? How did you discover your favorite author?

Book Discovery

When I’m talking about eBooks with authors, something that always comes up is the idea of discoverability– how to get readers to actually find and purchase one of your titles. With so many titles out there, which is especially true on sites like Amazon, how do you get a reader to find your book?

So I was particularly interested in this survey posted by Digital Book World earlier in the week. What is fascinating about the findings is that people are using more and more ways to discover new works. According to Kelly Gallagher, who presented the results, readers use 44 different techniques to discover new titles. That’s a lot of ground to cover for an author.

The author of the DBW article puts it best when he says, “Imagine the complexity: a 27-year-old female romance reader from suburban Indianapolis who reads on a tablet computer but spends most of her time browsing the Web on her laptop versus a 43-year-old female romance reader living in Los Angeles who reads and buys exclusively on her e-reader. They’re both romance readers and female, but couldn’t be more different otherwise when it comes to how they discover and read books — and reaching them takes different marketing tactics.”

Something that also caught my eye: the #1 way people discover books, no matter what kind of reader they are? Either in person or through personal recommendations.

So where does an author begin? And do you find yourself discovering books in new ways?