How readers can find stories they love

Posted on April 30, 2021

With such a diversity of routes to publishing (and during the last year, so many would-be writers with time to draft a manuscript) there has never been a better time to be a reader.

But how do you as a reader find your way through all this to your kind of story?

This article has a couple of suggestions to short-cut to the books you’ve been looking for.

There were reportedly more than 48 million books available on Amazon (more than 6 million were e-books even back in 2018 according to Wikipedia) so the 2021 figures are going to be even higher. That’s a dauntingly large number of books, and it’s understandable that a lot of people prefer to rely on traditional publishers they trust and the bestseller lists to help them find their next reads. But publishers are businesses, they have to go with the authors who will make money for them. What if you’re a very niche reader?

Diversity is happening in traditional publishing but maybe not as fast as many of us would like. Meanwhile lots of people are publishing less for profit than for the joy of seeing their work out there. They can be a mixed bag, but there’s some exceptional quality writing to be found if you’re prepared to look. Here’s some ideas for ways to find your good stuff among it all.

Follow the right bookbloggers.

This will cut down some of the searching as they will curate books that fit their ethos. Use search to find and follow a few on social media, keep following the ones that appeal and you can save time and money tracking down your kind of read. If you’re after niche stories, the right blogger can save a lot of time and effort. You can find bookbloggers that focus on genres, languages, age groups, non-fiction subjects – pretty much anything.

Here’s one that specialises in less well-known authors and has a very visual site (and has Pinterest and Instagram accounts, if you prefer those Apps to FaceBook and Twitter)

Where a selling site uses sophisticated algorithms to feed you suggestions, it never hurts to check them out.

You’ll find suggestions on many book sites (or the stickers on bookshop shelves) along the lines of ‘Customers who viewed this item…’, ‘Inspired by…’ and genre ‘bestsellers’ links relating to the book you’re currently looking at. While some are paid adverts many are not, and checking out likely looking books can lead to yet more suggestions. With bestseller lists though, remember to scroll down a bit. The best books for you aren’t always the ones popular with everyone else!

You like a variety of books but you’re on a tight budget?

Then step away from the book retail sites and check out the ideas in this article, courtesy of How-to Geek:

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