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Apr 27, 2005


Dan Wickett

Some independent booksellers have great reading series that I'll scan just to see what books are new:


Dan Wickett

Another source I use is Literary Journals. If I like a story or a poem by somebody, if it lists a book title for them in the conributor's notes, I'll tend to look for it, or maybe even order it.



I find books to read & to consider by scanning publisher catalogs. Particularly appreciate the ones that indicate which ones are really new. Since I look for a certain area (Michigan authors & Michigan books), I have a Google newsalert set up to alert me to anything published in newspapers about those topics. You could do the same for small presses or independent publishers?

Bud Parr

I'm fortunate to live in New York City where there are a lot of great independent bookstores.

If you frequent them enough (and I do) you get to know their taste a bit and you can speak to the owners or employees who often know what's coming out, what they like, what's selling or that good ol' If you like this, then you might like..." game.

In NYC, the best place for this is Three Lives & Co.


I check out a lot of the same independent bookstore sites that my friend Dan W. mentions above, plus there's a half-dozen or so of the blogs that I find helpful for finding new stuff as well. I also keep abreast of the daily give-and-go at, where their regular retinue of published writers, reviewers, bookstore/library people, and book ninjas of all ilks ensure that hardly any new release of any importance goes unnoticed or unmolested. Many new things often get hashed and rehashed well before their pub dates over there.

Kirby Gann

One of my favorite methods for discovering new writers is to read interviews with writers I like already. When they praise the work of someone I don't know, I usually check it out and am edified.

Dan Wickett

I like Kirby's comment.

I'd say by far the biggest means of my finding new writers is to listen to writers whose work I enjoy. Probably close to 60% of what I grab to read (or ask for) comes from this type of source.


Lauren Baratz-Logsted

A poster above mentions and I'm wondering if others here have checked it out and, if so, what they think. I ask because I've noticed that when online booksites get mentioned in the press, that name rarely appears. I've seen stand-alone articles on it, and I can certainly understand why it doesn't come up when the article topic is blogging, since it's more of a group effort than a single guiding consciousness, but I undertand it less when, say, somewhere like Writer's Digest lists the best sites for readers and writers and that's not on there.

As for how I pick books, I've been reading so many this year it's hard to say how I pick them: some from reviews, more when someone I respect recs a title, authors I love, cover art, and sometimes because the book is skinny and I have the obsessive-compulsive need to get my damn quota in!

Dan Wickett


I don't recall the details but recall having a great difficulty getting registered and then when I tried to go back it was a pay only site or some such? Again, I don't recall the details, only that it was going to be too much of a hassle for me at the time.


Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Thanks, Dan! Hopefully, I'll get more responses to my query, because I am curious.

Scott, hey, if you want recs, you can ask me! Of the 125 books I've already read this year, many are real clunkers, but some are pure gems.


Readerville is wonderful, wonderful! But one must pay a monthly fee of about 8 bucks to access the conversations. Well worth the 8 bucks, mind you, but it can be steep for struggling writers/bloggers.

Speaking as a lonely writer without a publicist (my publisher is the independent house MacAdam/Cage), I would encourage book reviewers to request catalogues from the independent presses. That way you can see what's on their menu and then request review copies. My paperback is coming out in May, but without a publicist it's hard to get noticed. Catalogues allow you to see what the forthcoming books are about and, in the case of paperbacks, to read reviews the books got in hardcover.

And litmags, YES! I agree with Dan. Litmags are a great way to find books by new writers who aren't getting a lot of press.

Dan Wickett

I see Readerville as being wonderful for authors, not necessarily readers - because of the fee. It's not a lot but it is almost one hundred bucks for the year. That's four to five hardcovers, 8 trade paperbacks, subscriptions to four or five lit journals?

With all of the Litblogs popping up, I'm getting involved in great conversations without making that payment. But, I don't have a book I want people to know about - I just have a website and as it has nothing to do with my livelihood, I have a harder time paying to promote it.



Thanks everyone. These are great suggestions.

Health News

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