Sunday, February 21, 2010

An e-mail I received recently...

I love the GoodReads site. I use it to track the books I have read and occasionally to get recommendations from people I trust. There is a "social" component to it, where you can "friend" other people and follow each other's reviews. There are also a number of authors on the site, too. It was there I first became "friends" with Dave Cullen.

Now, it was Dave Cullen who reached out to me, on the GoodReads site, to push a Q & A session he was "hosting" to discuss his marvelous book "Columbine". I had recently read and reviewed it on the site. He apparently tracks those who write about his books and engages those people. He never asked, but I did some shout outs on Twitter for him pushing the book and the Q & A session and eventually connected with him on Facebook.

All in all, a nice guy and a pleasant experience with him to date.

Recently I received the below e-mail. Now besides it revealing that I am WAY behind on my e-mail and am one of probably a dozen people still using AOL, it shows what authors need to do today to get their books read.

The e-mail reads:

You have received a book recommendation from Lesley Livingston! Darklight (Wondrous Strange, #2)
by Lesley Livingston

"Since you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you might be interested in Darklight by Lesley Livingston. "Fans of Livingston's first book, Wondrous Strange (2009), won't want to miss this action-packed sequel... Bad-boy Fennrys adds an interesting wrinkle in Kelley’s devoted but increasingly strained relationship with Sonny... Readers will anxiously await the concluding volume." — BOOKLIST"

A few things jump to mind....

First, I did NOT like "The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins". As a matter of fact, rereading my review, I bemoan the fact that the book is a "series" starter and the fact it is so bleak.

Second, the above description for this book reads very "Twilight-esque", another series for which I am probably not the target audience.

Third, Ms. Livingston is the second most followed author on GoodReads. However, she and I are not "friends" at this time. While comparing books (a feature GoodReads offers to let you determine your compatibility), four of the ten we compared were books Ms. Livingstone wrote!

Now, I am not sure where I am going with all of this, as given the fact Ms. Livingstone is wearing a Flash t-shirt in her GoodReads profile pic, I'll probably friend her anyway. It just struck me as an interesting snapshot on the state of book publishing, where authors need to track down readers. I liken it to some local "band" sending you links to their music on iTunes.

1 comment:

  1. Haha. Very amusing post--especially for me, since I came to it via a google alert of myself.

    (Which I'd taken a break from for awhile, but since my book is launching in paperback, got to follow every lead again.)

    Yeah, publishing, the glamor business. Where you write a book and then track down potential readers one by one. It is amazing that anyone has time to write book #2.

    There has to be a better way.

    The upside is that I do enjoy connecting with readers, and I learn some surprising things, sometimes. But truthfully, it eats up a LOT of time.


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