I picked up books by 2 new to me authors this week. Both were free, but I’ve generally given up downloading free content just because it’s free, because I never read it. If it hasn’t cost me anything, I don’t feel any obligation towards it.
One of these writers (Lisa Marie Rice) I discovered via Dear Author, a well known review site. The other (Charlotte Stein) I found because several people I follow on twitter had mentioned really liking her books over the past couple of weeks. I then picked her up on twitter. The only time I saw her mention her books, or writing, was when she tweeted to say one of her titles was free on amazon. I retweeted it and downloaded it. I discovered Nora Roberts because Janet Evanovich said she was great. I discovered Janet Evanovich when someone gave me a copy of One for the Money when I was nineteen. I undiscovered her when she published Sizzling Sixteen, but that’s a whole other story. The list of writers I’ve discovered via other readers is endless.
As a reader, I’ve never bought a book from a ‘buy my book!’ tweet, or a facebook beg. I also, strangely, can’t buy books from writers who overshare on social media. A book is an intimate experience. I don’t need to feel the writer is watching over my shoulder as I read it. That’s not to say that I don’t follow or interact with writers online, because I do. But keep an air of mystery, OK? Otherwise a follow on twitter is about all you’ll get from me (unless I don’t like you on twitter, in which case I’ll give you a free unfollow too 🙂 )
Social media sells books because it allows word of mouth to journey between people who will never meet. Authors don’t sell their books, not directly anyway. Readers do. Can authors influence the journey of word of mouth? Maybe. But only if they write a book readers want to talk about.
How do you discover new authors?