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Old 11-02-2020, 09:36 PM   #1
MarjaE
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How do you decide when to try a new author? When to keep going if in doubt? When to g

I am afraid of missing more authors I'd enjoy.

I am tired of wasting time on authors I don't enjoy, and/or don't learn from, depending on the genre.

I have a really hard time judging books by their samples, or sometimes their whole 1st halves.

On one hand, I bought Elizabeth Moon's *Sheepfarmer's Daughter* by mistake. I was partway into it, let it sit for several months, and then returned and enjoyed it.

On the other, I bought Jennifer Pelland's *Machine* because I'm sick of chronic illness, and want a body that just works, and Celia gets a robot body that should work. I got most of the way into it, but the story gets darker and darker...

I guess it would help to find short stories by each author. But what if they are better at writing novels?

I guess I could skip to the endings, note the ones I do and don't like, and wait a long time before returning to the books I do like.
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Old 11-02-2020, 09:54 PM   #2
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I'm a series reader, and will wallow in a series I like until it's done. But even if I loved the author, that doesn't mean I'll follow them to another series.

I just go by mood, summary, read some reviews, then jump in. Not always successfully, but I don't know that there's any really good shortcut than to have a well-read friend who likes 99% of the stuff you do, then follow their recommendations.

Other than that, I think everyone suffers from 'hit or miss' syndrome.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:09 AM   #3
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I go through cycles where I try new authors, mostly because of no new book from my existing authors. Sometimes it's a recommendation from someone, sometimes just a book I spot that strikes my fancy. It's very much a hit or miss thing. I find that the most difficult are those books that are almost good, but just lack that spark that separates the good from the mundane.

At one time, I thought by this point we would have all these curated book lists, review sites and this week in books sites to told you want was coming out, new books to try and the like. The new books coming out sites were killed off by Amazon. No idea why the other stuff never really happened.
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Old 11-03-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
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I get more books every day than I can read. I subscribe to bookbub email for their weekly bargains and only download the free ones. I also subscribe to eReaderIQ's email for free books, although I also get an rss feed from them going to feedly which gets many more books. The third one is my local library.

For me the one thing that makes a book worth reading is when the characters have some depth, or what I call have a heart. The author makes me care about the character(s). The vast majority of authors treat the characters like they're merely chess pieces on the board to be moved around to make the plot work; the characters are flat and don't engage me. And I've realized that authors that do good character development do it right from the beginning, so it doesn't take long for me to tell if the book is worth finishing. I realized long ago that life is too short to force myself to finish books that I don't enjoy and as I said at the start, I get more books than I can read.
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:07 PM   #5
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I try new authors all the time through KU because there isn't financial risk. Since I read a wide variety of genres and numbers of books per year I end up trying several new ones. I find recommendations on book twitter and goodreads and it can generally be peoples opinions that I trust. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesnt.

If you use Amazon, you may want to try their "sample" feature that lets you read a small portion of the book before purchasing. That way you can test the writing style
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Paperbackstash View Post
I try new authors all the time through KU because there isn't financial risk.
Same. I also have used my library heavily for the same reason. I find that I read more widely when the risk is minimized.
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:46 PM   #7
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I try new books through the library. I usually read the available sample first and have ruled out some books that way.

If I think the book was not great, but not terrible and I'm not sure if I want to try another book by the author I'll look for reviews. If a lot of them say "this book is not up to the author's usual standard, his/her other books are much better" then I might try another book from the author. If there are tons of positive reviews for a book I didn't particularly care for, then I might decide that author is just not for me.
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Old 11-03-2020, 08:06 PM   #8
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Depending on your genre, try checking out books by award winners as a means of finding good authors. Then work outward from there. I joined WorldsWithoutEnd.com and found a lot more scifi books that hit a 5. I don't like all scifi, I prefer action/adventure over hard science although Peter Hamilton is an exception. With fantasy, I'm much more selective as I too have hit a lot of books that while popular, don't fit me. Also, as someone said, go to your library. Librarians are great sources for books that are similar to what YOU like. Finally, try the literature map. I put Terry Brooks (sword/sorcery fantasy) in that and only one author (Elizabeth Moon) comes up that I don't really enjoy (too detailed). Same thing when I put in Michael Connelly (detective) - the surrounding authors are right up my alley with only a couple of exceptions.

I love anthologies and yes, some authors are excellent short story writers and their novels suck and visa versa. But I feel most whom I've enjoyed as a short story writer, I've also enjoyed as a novel writer.

Finally, it helps to try out books recommended or commented on by others here on Mobilereads. Some members here clearly have tastes similar to mine, so I'm happy to try out some of their authors.

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Old 11-03-2020, 09:14 PM   #9
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I realized long ago that life is too short to force myself to finish books that I don't enjoy and as I said at the start, I get more books than I can read.
I agree.

I do not care if it is an author I usually like or a new author I am trying. If the author has not grabbed my interest in the first three chapters, I give up on the book. Usually books I think are good grab my interest in the first few paragraphs/pages.

Too many books so little time.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:28 PM   #10
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Thing is, some stories get better as I get further into them, and some worse.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:34 PM   #11
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Thing is, some stories get better as I get further into them, and some worse.
Too true. But if a book has has not got good enough by he end of the third chapter, I do not care any more.
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:25 PM   #12
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A personal reason:

I was bullied and beaten up all through school, for being autistic and queer, and eventually beaten unconscious in high school. I also protested against the Iraq War, and was badly gassed and badly beaten there.

So if authors cheer on power-down violence, scapegoat minorities, equal-rights movements, anti-war movements, etc. I want to avoid them. Cancel them if you will.

If they scapegoat other non-violent, or less-violent, or anti-violence movements, likewise. It often crosses over into scapegoating the victims of violence.

I haven't touched Edgar Rice Burroughs' work since I read *The Moon Maid*. I don't often read H.P. Lovecraft but don't always avoid his work. I sometimes read spin-offs of both authors' works though. I have set aside a couple authors over similar issues, and unsubscribed from some mailing lists.

It's different if they portray toxic tendencies within these movements, without condemning everyone.
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:19 PM   #13
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I don't think in terms of authors until they're a known quantity.
Unless the author *is* a known quantity (which takes more than one good read) what I look for is an intriguing story idea.
Depending on how well that turns out I'll look for more or move on.

The story is what I'm about.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:27 AM   #14
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Why are you afraid ?
I don't think they're afraid, just wanting to figure out how not to waste so much time finding something good.

I have more 'Did Not Finish' books in my list now than did when I was younger. But I don't have that kind of time, or attention, to waste anymore. Right now, there could be a million gems out there for me to read, and every one that doesn't work for me just wasted time I could have spent on one of the great ones.

So I'd rather work harder to dig out the good ones and avoid the bad ones, than struggle to finish something that isn't working. It's just figuring out how to go about choosing, and how much time to give a new one.

And how bored I may be getting with the genre I've been wallowing in. Sometimes, it's just a sign to experiment.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:33 AM   #15
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Same. I also have used my library heavily for the same reason. I find that I read more widely when the risk is minimized.
I agree with using the library. I do take more of a chance when I can borrow the eBook for free.
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