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I read Andrew Peterson's "First To Kill". It's his first book. I loved the book. I had a hard time putting down. I can't wait for his next book. I can't remember how I came across this book, but I'll bet that hardly anyone knows about this author. My question is "How do new authors get to the point of being well known authors?" I have a feeling that a lot of good authors don't get past their first or second book.
How do you find out about new authors?
I think a lot of it is word of mouth from readers but even more comes down to money. People enjoy a book so they tell their friends who buy more books. Publishers notice that a book is selling so they begin to promote the book and author. If the book doesn't sell, the publishers won't promote and books usually don't sell unless there is promotion. Publishers put A LOT of money on authors who sell but they don't have much time for up and comers which is pretty bass ackwards if you ask me.
I started reading C.J.Box when he published his first book and I saw him in person for the first time with his third book. He is going to be publishing his eighth or ninth book later this spring and he is only just beginning to get the mainstream notice that I think he deserves.
I know that authors LOVE it when you show up at book signings and there is nothing they like more than hearing their readers talk about and promote their books.
I belong to several online book groups on Yahoo--there are many of them, look for ones specific to the genres you're interested in. That's how I get most of my book recommendations. After being in those groups awhile, you learn which people seem to have similar reading taste to yours so you pay attention to books and authors they talk about and can then check them out.
New authors get to be well-read and famous because of marketing. If their publisher is a major publishing house, they have more money to spend on promotion--book tours, book signings, advertising online, getting their author on talk shows or doing interviews with magazines, etc. And yes...I know of plenty of wonderful authors that most people, even people who read a lot of that particular genre, have never heard of.
I rarely read best-sellers (with a few exceptions of course)...because they tend to be very formulaic and just plain not as good as some of the unknowns. (For example...I read a lot of mysteries, but it has been YEARS since I read a James Patterson, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich, etc etc...and I've never read a Nora Roberts. But I do read a LOT of *great* mysteries!)
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some unknown authors who are unknown because their writing is just plain bad. Some of the worst ones I've read were authors who stumbled upon my review blog and e-mailed me asking me to please read their book. Often these are self-published, and after reading a few chapters, it's obvious why no reputable publishing house would pick up a contract for them. LOL
Oh, I should add too that checking out the various genre forums here on PBS is also a great way to discover new authors, or at least new-to-you authors. A big thanks (HA!) to LeeAnne for making my mystery shelves groan even more than they did six months ago. LOL
Last Edited on: 5/7/09 9:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1