By Lonnie Cruse
How DO you find new authors. Meaning new to you? They may have had books out in print for a while, but you never heard of 'em, so can they be any good?
There are several ways to check for new authors. You can always read part of the first chapter while leaning against the shelves in the book store. (Don't lean too hard, you don't want to be on the six o'clock news.)
You can flip through pages, glancing at a paragraph here and there, worried all the while that you'll stumble onto something that gives the whole plot away. (This one works pretty well for me because I cover my eyes with one hand and peek between my fingers.)
You can turn to page 60 (or is it page 50? Or is it to the center of the book? Gotta research that one) to see what's going on there, and if it grabs you, it's a good book. Heard that one on the Internet. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I've only tried it once or twice.
You can ask your friends what they are reading IF you trust their judgment.
You can ask a stranger whom you've spotted reading in public, IF you are a brave soul who never listened to her mother's advice about not speaking to strangers.
You can join book a club and hope their taste matches yours.
You can join discussion groups on the Internet and sift through the chaff to find the wheat.
You can ask the store personnel for their opinion.
You can fall in love with the cover and take a chance. This, I confess, has hurt me more than helped me. I'm a sucker for a great cover, gory covers turn me off, as do overly-plain covers. Give me a great cover, and likely I'm headed straight to the check-out without even reading the back cover or asking anyone about the book. Sigh.
You can also do something sensible like borrow books from the library that were written by authors you've possibly heard of but not read. Or books with lovely covers. You might even ask the librarian.
Sooo, friends, how do YOU find new authors? And if the book stinks, what do you do with it? Toss it? Give it to a friend and let her suffer with you? Put it in the back of the closet and hope it sells along with the rest of your estate some day? Sell it now?
Me, I'm not saying what I do with 'em. I'm an author. I can't harm another author's baby. Well, maybe, if the baby is really ugly.
Thanks for stopping by.