How Do You Choose Your Next Read?

The days of perusing the bookstore shelves looking for something interesting are long gone. Even stuck in an airport, readers often have access to sites like Amazon where they can download just about anything in an instant.

With self-publishing and ebooks the choices are multiplying rapidly! According to Bowker (HT to this OutThink blog post) the number of books published in the US more than tripled from 2005 to 2009. I have yet to find 2012 stats, but I’ll bet the rate has accelerated.

So how do you choose your next book to read?

I’ll bet everyone of you have your own unique method. Here’s mine. BTW, this is taking into account only my fiction choices. My non-fiction choices tend to be dictated by my current research.

I tend to go back to writers I’ve enjoyed in the past to see what’s new. I usually check Audible first because that way I can multitask. I’m one of those rare birds that doesn’t particularly enjoy ebooks, so if I can’t get it on Audible, I’ll usually pick it up in print – waiting several days for it to arrive from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I always have something else I can read in the meantime.

Call me crazy, but I don’t tend to read a lot of series. I enjoy them, but I never feel compelled to read them - perhaps because another book often catches my eye. That said, I'm reading one right now - James L. Nelson's Revolution at Sea. For a landlubber like me, his books count as research!

Caution to the Wind

I specifically asked the cover artist to make
sure my captain was clothed. 
I try to vary my genre choices romance to other writers like Michael Crichton (I will miss him!), Vince Flynn, James L. Nelson etc. Reading other genres only makes my writing stronger. That said, when I need to write a love scene, I go back to romance. Reading some of these writers makes it almost impossible to get “in the mood” for the kind of writing a romantic love scene requires.

I do choose (if not judge) books by their cover. Since a good deal of my reading is in public or in
front of my kids, I tend to stay away from the books featuring half-naked men on their covers. Last time I took my fifteen-year-old son to the bookstore, he was quite enthralled with the women on the covers too, so same goes there. If I'm not careful, I'll find my novels under his bed!

I’m trying to branch out to new authors I meet online, but since most of them are writing ebooks, I don’t get to as many of them as I’d like. That may change once I upgrade my reader. (I love my new Mac so much I'm thinking of getting an ipad to go with it. The retina display can't be beat if you spend hours in front of a computer.)

So how about you? From the plethora of choices available, how do you choose your next book?

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