How Do You Find New-To-You Authors?

My roommates and I on RITA night! From left to right-Andrea and PJ from The Romance Dish, and Marni Bates.

The inspiration for the topic of this post came from a conversation I had with blog sister Jennelle. In response to her blog post a few weeks back about feeling compelled to finish a book, no matter how challenging it was to keep going, I talked the times when I pushed myself to finish reading a book, even though I was not feeing it. At all. The conversation also veered toward how I am a bit reluctant to try new to me authors, unless I can borrow the book from a friend or library. I can be tight fisted, and loath to part with my hard earned cash on an “unknown entity.” So that led me to think about how I discover new-to-me authors. And since  Amy did it-I get to show off my RWA pictures too! 😉

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Me and Nora! Gah!

As you may recall from my Intro Post, my first exposure to romance came via Nora, whom I discovered when I was browsing the bookshelves at a local bookstore and her MacGregor books just happened to catch my eye. I’m pretty sure that’s how I started reading books by Judith McNaught, Jude Devereaux, and Julie Garwood too. I was wandering the shelves at my local library and that’s how I found Judith’s Westmoreland books, Jude’s Montgomery/Taggart books, and Julie’s Clayborne books.

But back in 2007, I discovered Nora’s online forum, A Day Without French Fries (which has since shut down). On that forum, fellow Nora fans discussed other authors they enjoyed, and played a guessing game where they would post quotes from their favorite romance authors, and the other board members could guess and be introduced to other authors. It was through Nora’s ADWFF that I discovered Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas,  Eloisa James, and Laura Lee Guhrke among others. I read Julia’s Bridgerton books, Eloisa’s Essex sisters series, Laura’s Girl Bachelors, and Lisa’s Wallflower books and was immediately hooked.

Eloisa and I at the Avon publisher’s signing Friday morning

Since I was now a big Eloisa and JQ fan, that lead me to join their joint Bulletin Board (which also shut down. Sensing a theme here? Sigh).  Their BB was a treasure trove of new authors to discover as well, especially since Eloisa and Julia set up a monthly “Book Club” where debut authors and those new on the scene could discuss their books with board members, and answer questions. I discovered Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Sara Lindsey, Sherry Thomas, Tiffany Clare, and many other authors as a result of being a member of the BB.

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Maya and I at the Keynote Luncheon at last year’s RWA in Anaheim

Being a virtual member of these communities also lead to real life meetings and friendships. I have had the great pleasure and fortune of meeting many of these authors, and they are just as lovely, funny, and kind as you would expect.  Back in 2008, Eloisa was at the NJRWA Put Your Heart In A Book Conference, and arranged a dinner get together with members of the BB who were in attendance. I went to the book signing at the end of the conference, and was lucky enough to receive a dinner invitation. That was definitely a night to remember, because not only was I totally star struck by being at the same table with Eloisa and her husband (a real honest to goodness Italian knight!) I was doubly lucky because I got to sit next to Maya Rodale at that dinner. At the time, I had no idea she was THE Maya Rodale, and we struck up conversation and a friendship. We kept in touch, and when she started Lady Jane’s Salon with the other co-founders, she kept me in the loop. Had I not done so, I would have missed out on knowing about Sarah MacLean, Miranda Neville, Juliana Gray, Delilah Marvelle and their books, in addition to many other authors I met via LJS.

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Julie and I at the Lit Signing. We match!

Another source I use to find new to me authors is review sites. One of my top favorites that come to mind is The Romance Dish, run by the fabulous PJ Ausdenmore and Andrea Williamson. Through the great reviews and interviews on their website, I discovered Julie James, Katharine Ashe, Lila DiPasqua, Sophia Nash, and Kathryn Caskie. I will always be grateful to them for exposing me to all of these talented authors.

Since joining Twitter about two years ago, I have discovered it to be another excellent avenue to finding and connecting with romance authors. To let you all in on a little secret, I really joined Twitter so I’d have another way of communicating with my favorite authors! Through Twitter, I have met and gotten to know Carey Baldwin, Leigh LaValle, Maisey Yates, Isobel Carr, Maire Claremont, Shana Galen, and Kieran Kramer. It has been a blast interacting with all of these authors online, via Twitter, FB, email, etc and then getting to meet them in person, so I could tell them personally how much I love their books, and what it meant to me.

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Shoutout to The Ballroom Blog! 🙂 Here I am with Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, and Katharine Ashe!

So, tell me dear readers: What has been your preferred methods of finding new to you authors? What would inspire you to try their book? What authors have you recently discovered that you’re mad about? Let’s talk and share in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “How Do You Find New-To-You Authors?

  1. Great post!! Look how much fun you’re having! Do to living in remote areas for so long, my MIL was my prime source of new authors. She is a huge romance fan and subscribes to RT. It wasn’t until I started writing and joined RWA two years ago that I discovered Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Katharine Ashe, Tessa Dare and so many more authors. Sad, right? tweeted and shared on FB.

  2. I find most of my new-to-read authors via the many wonderfully nice people (authors & readers) I’ve “met” on Twitter. Since I don’t know any other in person romance readers, it has been wonderful.

    • Hi Maria,
      Twitter is a great place to connect with favorite authors and fun interesting people. I hope you get to meet some romance readers/lovers in person soon!

  3. What a wonderful post! I first starting reading romance because my mom and oldest sister shared them with me. That started a love affair with romance books that has continued to the present day where I have just released my 3rd historical romance! I have had the great pleasure of meeting many of the authors you mentioned and am a total fan girl!! I still love browsing through a bookstore and looking at the covers and titles to see what catches my eye. Thanks for sharing your story!!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Lana! So glad you enjoyed this particular blog post. How fun and fabulous that your mom and sister shared their love of romance novels with you-a family thing! 🙂

      I still pinch myself that I’ve gotten the chance to meet so many of my favorite authors in person and spend time with them. I’m hoping to meet Lisa Kleypas in person one day.

  4. Thanks for the shout out, Lisa! I had a great time rooming with you, Marni and Andrea! Once upon a time, before the internet, the local library was where I discovered most new-to-me authors. Nowadays, I get recommendations from friends, other authors and blogs/review sites. I discovered one of my favorite authors, Roxanne St. Claire, when she guest blogged at a site and I won the book she was giving away. 🙂

    Andrea and I love sharing our romance favorites at The Romance Dish. It always gives us a thrill when we can introduce a reader to a book or author we enjoy.

    • Hi PJ! 🙂 *Waves* Thanks so much for coming by and commenting.

      I had a fabulous time with you, Andrea, and Marni!

      You are so right that recommendations from friends is a great way top find new authors. That’s how I came to read Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. My friend Candice was the one who introduced me to LLG and her Girl Bachelor books. I will definitely add Roxanne St. Claire to my TBR mountain! 😀

  5. This is a great post. I’ve found new authors at the E-book Korner Kafe website and the Kindle website–new discoveries–Violet Duke, Mary Balough (I just read my first book by her–“The Proposal,” Leslie Langtry, D.D. Scott…I could go on all day…

  6. I like to try new-to-me authors via the library, too. I’ve been reading romance since the 80s, so many of my favorite authors I first tried when they wrote category romances and then followed them on when they branched out to single titles. I tracked down many an author’s backlist at my local (since closed) used bookstores in Las Vegas and via snail mail (this was the pre-internet days). Said used bookstore also had a great trade in policy where I picked up numerous new-to-me authors for 25¢ or 50¢ per book — much easier to say yes to than $7.99 😉

    ADWOFF introduced me to many new authors as well. Not so much the DFPAQ (Dragonfly Post a Quote) thread, but the various threads in the Other Authors forum and the “what are you currently reading” thread. And just talking with other members. (I still miss ADWOFF, sigh).

    Nowadays, I learn about new authors mostly through recommendations from on-line reading friends, blogs (like Dear Author) and through browsing publishers websites (Carina and Samhain especially).

    • Hi Kelly,
      Used bookstores are a great resource too! And wow, 25 or 50 cents for a book? Sign me up! lol

      That’s also one of my favorite things about discovering a new author-their whole back list is available for glomming. 🙂

  7. I’m so glad you had a good time and really wish I could have gone there to meet you guys at RWA. Here’s to hoping some day I’ll be able to experience the conference first hand. As for how I find new authors, I rely a great deal on the library as well as friends, but I confess that I’m terribly guilty of the “if you’ve read, you might also like” advertisements on websites like Amazon and Goodreads. I’m more likely to download any old sample chapter onto my iPad so I can test drive a novel, so that too makes it easy to try out new authors.

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