Saturday, June 9, 2012

Deer in Headlights or Which Of Your Books Do You Recommend a New Reader Start With?

Just released!
Lately, I've experienced a few lessons courtesy of my life as a writer.  Among these lessons:

  • I will edit my "casual" emails for passive voice
  • I will stare at edits and realize that every manuscript seems to be a love letter to a particular word and whichever word that is -- well I'll use it often
  • I will stare, eyes wide, when asked by a potential reader "Which of your books do you recommend that I read?"
In nearly every profession, you have a learning curve to deal with the tough challenges. Writing doesn't always prepare you for people and it prepares you even less for those hard questions. In fact, one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of writing is meeting new readers who are curious about me.

Granted, recommending one of my books shouldn't be tough. Notice, the word is "shouldn't," not isn't.  I don't have a canned response because at last count, I have eight released titles in four series with six upcoming releases in the next four months.

This is all incredibly awesome news for me, but it makes pinpointing "what book of mine would I recommend a new reader start with" hard - particularly because I am writing in three different genres.  Yes, I know, there are worse problems. I totally accept this and I even accept that this post is vaguely narcissistic and shallow, but I need help.

But I really do get stuck on that question, because it makes me want to ask:

Well what do you like to read? Do you have a particular genre? Do you like snarky heroines? Do you like hot guys? Do you like historicals? Westerns? Paranormal? Romantic suspense? Military guys?

See, if I get to know you, I can answer that question.  But most of the time when this question comes up, there's a hard pressure to answer it and answer it right now. Which series do I choose? Which hero do I push?

And for the record, just picking my favorite won't work because they are all my favorites.

So what do I do? I'm going to start by asking you what you like to read and how you pick your favorite books (or even what they are). Readers and authors are both invited.  Help a writer out.  How do I answer which of my books a new reader should start with!


Rebecca Royce said...

Hmmm. Thats a good question. I know which one of your books I'd recommend they read first..or maybe I don't because I've been lucky enough to read so many of them.

Kimberly Quinton said...

I have no idea what to say.. I think you do have to ask a follow-up question before you can recommend. Either ask them what genre they like or tell them the first in each genre and let them pick. I know they'll come back for more whichever they choose! :)

When I'm picking a new author, I usually like to start with the first in a series even if I've heard it's not the best... If there's no series, I just pick whichever one has the most eye-catching cover/back copy for my mood of the day!

Annie Nicholas said...

6 releases in 4 months? You go! LOL