Sunday, May 22, 2016

Updates on Your Favorite Authors

In my last series of blogs, I tackled the frequently asked question, "What's your writing process?" Today, I'll address another common reader question: "What's the easiest way to hear about new books or booksignings by my favorite authors?"

The best way to know when your favorite authors have a new book is to go directly to the source. Many authors have their own websites and offer a newsletter. Sign up! I'm a reader as much as I'm an author, so I subscribe to several authors' newsletters. If it gets spammy (some do), you can always unsubscribe. But that way, you know you won't miss a book you've been waiting to read. You're also likely to hear about sales, contests/giveaways, and new versions of your favorite books, such as when an audiobook is released.

To sign up for my newsletter, go HERE. I also have a box on each page of my website where you can fill in your email address to register. It looks like the image on the right. (To prevent unauthorized subscriptions, I'll have you confirm your intent to subscribe.)

If you want more information than an author newsletter provides, there are other resources on the web for learning about upcoming releases, author events, and even book sales.

The first is Goodreads.  Goodreads is a large online reader community. Members can post reviews, maintain virtual bookshelves (listing books as "want to read" or "didn't finish," for instance), enter contests to win books, and join discussion groups. There are even groups for audio books. If there's an author whose books you love, check to see if they have a Goodreads page. If so, there's a box you can click on their page to follow along.  Just look under their photo. Here's what it looks like on my Goodreads page:

You'll also see a "Ask me a question" box on my page. Not all authors have this, but many do. If you want to know about upcoming books, events, or why an author did something specific in a story, type in your question. I check my page frequently to answer any questions. I know other authors do, too.

Second, if you're a Kindle user or if you buy your books from Amazon, check to see if your favorite authors have a page there. As with Goodreads, you can sign up to follow an author. Amazon will automatically send you an update when the author is about to release a new book, and it will include a link directly to the product page. Here's what the follow button looks like on my Amazon author page:

To find an author's page, type their name in the search box at the top of Amazon's home page. It should bring up a list of their books. Click on the author's name on any of those listed books, and you'll be taken to their author page. Then click on the yellow follow button.

Finally, I've discovered several great authors via BookBub. BookBub is, first and foremost, a site that announces book deals. Sign up for their newsletter to receive sale information daily. You can filter your emails to limit the notifications to the types of books you most enjoy (say, nonfiction, romance, and mystery.)

BookBub also allows you to sign up for announcements about particular authors. I love the author feature, since it not only sends me a notice when an author has a new book out, it notifies me whenever that author has a book on sale. It's a fantastic resource. To use BookBub, go to the BookBub website and register. To find a particular author, type their name in the search box. If you type in my name, this is what you'll see:

Click the "Follow" button on my page and you'll receive a notification whenever one of my books is on sale, or whenever I have a new book out.

Of course, there are other resources for author updates. Like many authors, I have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. However, it's easy to miss a tweet if you have a busy tweet stream, and Facebook doesn't always show posts to those who follow a page (ah, the quirks of Facebook!) I've discovered that if I don't want to miss information from my favorites, author newsletters are number one way to keep updated, followed by (in no order) Goodreads, Amazon author pages, and BookBub.

Readers, please share in the comments: what resources have you discovered? Which have you liked, and what hasn't worked for you? What do you wish you could see? And...if you're subscribed to author newsletters, what information do you wish they'd include? (Because I'll make sure I include it in mine!) I'd love to hear your opinions.

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