I've been a voracious reader for most of my life (except for those years in the '90s when I had my head up my... ummm... yeah), and I've found that once I find an author I like I tend to stick to those books. After a while, though, I run into a major problem: some of those old favorites are dead and I've read everything they wrote.
For a while, I just started reading everything I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, that led to buying some real stinkers, some well-written but irritating things, and some that were just bleh. Needless to say, I got burned enough to stop buying books unless they were recommended by someone I knew and trusted. That can be problematic when the people you know aren't readers like you are, and I burned through whatever recommendations I got rather rapidly. (And I got burned by a few because our minds weren't on the same page, if you know what I mean.)
Nowadays, I really have a tough time picking up new books, unless they're by someone I know is good (And those people really need to write faster, darn it all. :smirk:) OR they've got a cover blurb by an author I like.
Say, for instance, Allison Brennan has a quote on the cover of a book. That's one sure way to get me to shell out my cash. So far, she's only steered my wrong once, and the books in that series weren't really that bad - just not Brennan caliber. There're probably about a half-dozen writers who I respect enough to buy based on their word.
Without those recommendations, I'm pretty lost. I hate reading back cover copy - because I don't want the copy to spoil the excitement of reading a story blind. I don't read the first few pages - because it's like eating grapes at the store: If I didn't pay for it yet, I'm not consuming it. Basically, when I'm looking for something new to try, I rolls the dice and I takes my chances - so to speak.
I hit about 50/50 doing that. Not a cost effective way to work this reading thing I do, but since I look at all books as research of some sort (even if it's only researching what NOT to do), it's not a big loss. And really, when I think about it, in the past few years there's only been one book I started and stopped reading only a few pages in. That was a real gag-fest of crappy writing. I didn't chuck it against the wall, but the urge was there. Yuck.
Anyway, I guess there really isn't a point to this post. So far this year, I've liked everything I read - some more than others, but that's expected. I'm just waiting for the next time I plunk my money down for an untested title and end up wishing I had my $7.99+tax back.
Tell me: Do you try new authors out? How do you decide what to try?
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