Some of you more "mature" readers and writers may recall that 80s song, So Many Men, So Little Time, how can I choose?...Well, I must admit, I've felt that way about books far more often than I have about men. Partly because there's no other man for me in this world than my husband. But I sure do enjoy feasting my eyes on delicious male pectoral muscles on book covers-talk about mm,mm, good...Oh, sorry-I digress...
I'm an avid reader, so I'm always always on the look-out for a good read. I buy e-books to read on my Kindle and often walk to the library across the street to check out books and CDs I can listen to in the car.
The tough part is deciding what to read. When I've followed Amazon's recommendations, I ended up choosing only from top-selling books, which often haven't been ones I've particularly enjoyed. I now tend to do my homework before I buy and here's some methods I've found useful.
1) Read book reviews and/or book blurbs when links are posted on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and other online channels. If you follow many of authors on Twitter, they'll post about hundreds of books daily. Blurbs give me an idea of whether I'll like the book. Sometimes even bad reviews incite me to purchase. I sometimes find what another person dislikes is right up my alley.
2) Read excerpts on author web sites and yahoo posts or on Look Inside This Book on Amazon. Links to these often come up on Twitter. A good way to see if you like the writing style is to read a few pages.
3) Chat with authors on Facebook and yahoo groups. You can learn about their books and personalities and even ask them questions about their books. Some authors are willing to send you a chapter or two to preview for free.
4) Read character interviews. For me, if a character isn't compelling I have little incentive to keep reading. If I don't care about him or her, I'd rather read about someone else. Keep your eyes peeled for these character interviews, often conducted on blogs, which can help you see if you'll identify with at least one of the writer's characters.
5) If you like an author's book, follow the author's web site and blog to find about new releases. Send the author an email to find out which books are their favorite reads. There's a good chance you might enjoy those books, too.
6) Participate in events which offer giveaways. If you get a free book and like it, you've just discovered a new author you can read and enjoy in the future.
If your good book treasure hunt is successful, please let me know. Maybe you're favorite book will soon be mine. I look forward to hearing from you :-)