Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Summer Challenge

Let me ask you a question. How do you decide what books to read? I'm serious. Do you spin around and point at a random book in a bookstore? Do you look on Amazon for good reviews? Do you read every NYT bestseller? I'm compiling a summer reading list (yup, it's that time of year again). How do books get on my list? They're recommendations or they're authors that I stay loyal to. Once an author gets a good fan base, things are kickin'. They can usually count on the same people to buy their books, providing they stay within their genre. And that's great news.

But that's not such great news if you're a debut author and nobody knows who you are. There are plenty of books that sit on the shelf of Borders, spines out, which makes it really hard for even the cover to catch anyone's attention. Being a debut author can be a hard life that involves a lot of promotion and hoping that word-of-mouth will pick up.

How many books by debut authors do you pick up every year? My bet is not a lot. And that is a pretty sad thing, because I will admit that I'm not a big new-author-reader either. This past year, I picked up a couple new books just because they caught my eye in the library and you know what? They were awesome! My favorite new find is Garret Freymann-Weyr. She has herself a new loyal reader and her other books are definitely on my summer list. It can be a fun thing to try something out of your usual reading circle.

So I'm setting a goal for this summer: for every two books on my Official Summer Reading List (OSRL), I will pick up one book that I've never seen or heard of before. Hopefully, by the end of the summer, I'll have a lot of new favorite authors and a whole crop of talent whose work I can look forward to for their entire careers.

Want to join me in my summer challenge? It's easy and pain-free! Let's do it.


  1. I'm so lucky that way - I come from an entire extended family of book lovers. We NEVER run out of suggestions, we mail books we like across the country to each other, we make up our own stories when the going gets slow... and, (Guilty secret!) I think I like buying books more than reading them. *gasp!* I know! I love reading, but there's nothing I love more than buying books. So I always have a few books on my shelf that I haven't read. And I actually do read a lot of new authors, I love trying new things. It's actually hard for me to faithfully follow one author and buy all their new stuff. Weird, I know.

  2. I hear about most books online, through the blogs I follow, so I do hear about lots of debut authors and love to support them.

    I'm waiting eagerly for debut novels from lots of my fellow bloggers—Elana J., Kody Keplinger, Beth Revis, Lisa and Laura Roecker, to name only a few.

  3. Oh, I do like this challenge. We'll see if I'm still reading by the time summer hits. Haha.

    Usually, I read books my friends recommend to me or I check out the suggestions Amazon gives me when I go looking for a book I know I want or liked. When I'm at Borders, I do like to wander through the isles and sometimes titles or covers will intrigue me. Sometimes, I like to look for books I liked/have read or authors I like and then I sorta just browse the books located around them.

    Lately though, I've been getting my book recs from the blogosphere! As a result, I've actually read a lot of debut authors this year! (Not to mention a lot of YA.)

  4. Annabeth16ChaseMay 1, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Actually, this summer I'm planning on reading some classics. I'm going to do some Shakespeare (because I'm going to be in a Shakespeare club next year) and then I have this "Guide to Reading" book which has a 10 year plan. Hopefully, I'll be able to tackle one year's worth over the summer (it's about 10 books a year).
    Good luck with your plan though! (And let us now if you find anything really good!) =)