Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trying Something New

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?


Kristen Painter said...

I try new authors a lot, mostly because I have a massive TBR pile from going to conferences and the books that publishers send me.

My favorite "new" find is Ilona Andrews. Really good stuff. If you like the Dresden files, you should like this.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Yay, a new author! Thanks, Kristen. I'll have to check her out. =oD

JenWriter said...

I try new authors a whoooole lot, and I pick who to try based mostly on internet buzz, as crazy as that might sound. If I see a book being talked about on the blogs I visit, and I like the premise, I'll usually get excited about it and pick it up when I'm in the store.