A challenge to all Readers …

Earlier in the summer, I wrote and posted this to my blog: Why not read books simply because they’re well-written?

Then I asked Chris Graham, aka The Story Reading Ape, to create three memes that promoted three of the ideas I’d covered in this post: Ask for a meme …

For the purpose of this challenge, I want to focus on the suggestion in one of these memes …


Why not, indeed?

I recently began following two Facebook pages that were set up for the benefit of Readers. The gist of both sites was an exchange of reading recommendations and a place where readers could find out what they might want to read next. On the one site, there were a lot of rules posted restricting Indie Authors as to how much they could self-promote. Understandably so. However, authors were also restricted from posting links to our own blogs, and I was reprimanded by admin., even though my blog link in question was a list of the best books I had read this past year and not self-promotion at all. I’d apparently over-stepped the limit of one self-promotion post per week on the site. I’ve removed all my previous posts from that site and have stopped posting there altogether. I know, it is their site and they are allowed to make and administer the rules. But, in the meantime, other site members will never see that list of books by other authors I was recommending they consider reading. Not my own books, mind you, but the books of many other fine authors.

Meanwhile, I continue to read posts by other site members in which they’re asking for reading recommendations – and contributing to discussions surrounding reading books written by the same-old bestselling authors or series or genres that the members have already been reading. And no one is asking for something new, something different, something outside of their comfort zone. An author who is new-to-them who will make the reader stand up and take notice and have that reader recommending the author to every other reader they know.

So, this is my challenge to all readers out there … And this includes all authors, as well, because you’re all also readers, right? (If you answer “No” to that, then SHAME ON YOU! You SHOULD be reading. You can’t write well if you don’t read. But that leads us to another blog post: Writer = Reader. And I digress …)

Here’s what I challenge all Readers to do:

1. Discover a new-to-you author. Look for authors who write a different genre than you usually read.

2. Purchase a copy of their book or borrow from the library. (Preferably purchase. I understand if you can’t afford to buy. However, I give you the inimitable Seumas Gallacher as an example of someone who supports Indie Authors by making a point of purchasing one Indie-Authored book a month. That kind of committment is not going to break the bank.)

3. Read.

4. If you enjoyed what you read, tell your friends and other readers. And if you REALLY enjoyed what you read, become a champion of that author. Read more of their books. Follow them on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, their blog. Write a review if you like to write reviews. Post your recommendation to your own blog or social media sites. Spread the word about this new-to-you author as far as you possibly can. (If you want to write a review and don’t have your own blog or don’t like posting to Amazon, contact me about publishing your review on reading recommendations reviewed or this blog.)

5. Write to the author directly to tell them how much you enjoyed their book. Trust me! We love receiving fan mail!!

6. Repeat #s 1-5. Many times.

Simple, right?

I know you’re probably thinking, “It’s easy for her to say. She’s an author who has connections to lots of other authors and knows where to find new books to read. Where the heck am I going to find these new-to-me authors and their books?”

Well, yes, I am well connected, but I have discovered many of the authors I now enjoy reading by watching for listings on Goodreads, Facebook, and mainly through other bloggers. So here’s a list of places where you might consider looking for suggestions on the next great book you’re going to read so you may become part of my challenge!

My blogs (of course):
Reading Recommendations
reading recommendations reviewed
And specific blog posts:
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 1
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 2

And blogs written by many friends who support their fellow authors:
Seumas Gallacher
Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life, Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore
Chris The Story Reading Ape – Authors Hall of Fame
Allan Hudson – South Branch Scribbler
Tricia Drammeh – Authors to Watch
Dylan Hearn – Suffolk Scribblings: Recommended Reads
Anne Logan – I’VE READ THIS
Mary Bailey – 1WriteWay: A Different Kind of Book Review

There are many, many more. I leave it up to you, Readers, to discover the best places for finding your own new-to-you authors. Don’t forget the local library, too! Most libraries have websites, and librarians are always eager to create and post lists of books that will be of interest to their patrons. (And, thanks to Calgary Public Library, my first novel, Island in the Clouds, has been listed on two such lists, their Around the World in 14 Mysteries and Accidental Sleuths and my second novel on the eponymously named One Woman’s Island recommendations!)

One other source for discovering new-to-you authors – especially poets, in this case – and even new-to-you music, as well, is Bob Chelmick’s The Road Home. This is 24-hour streaming of Bob’s radio program’s that have long been featured on CKUA Radio. Give it a listen. It’s addicting!! (I’m listening as I write this and just heard one of my favourite authors, Robert Kroetsch, reading his poetry.)

So, off you go! You’ll find a lot of fun in the discovery, but I hope you find even more enjoyment in the reading!

Ready, set … READ!

(No need to comment here that you’re taking my challenge, unless you do find a new-to-you author you’d like to crow about. I always welcome accolades for authors! And if you already review books and authors on your own blog, please include your link in the comments section below.)

30 responses

  1. Great post, Susan. I bookmarked it. 🙂 — Suzanne

  2. My blog next week (Monday) features the top 16 books I’ve read this year. As an Indie author of 7 books to date I’m always lookng for new readers – dare I post my link here? OK, yes I dare http://www.lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

    1. Excellent news! Thanks for posting your link, Lucinda. I’ll watch for your list of top reads and share that, as well.

      1. these are the books that captivated me, when I left the dishes, didn’t make the bed and sat enthralled – not the only good books I’ve read this year but the ones I remember.

  3. As an author (and a reader) 😀 I’ve discovered a myriad (love that word) of new writers mainly through online sites. In fact I think all the books I have read in the last six months have been by ‘yet to be discovered’ Indie authors, many of whom have become friends.

    I try to give them publicity whenever possible (even if they are kilt wearing ex-pats) 😉 and love the mutual support they provide. Of course it’s also wonderful to get signed, first editions for when they become super famous in a few years time so I can get rich off e-bay.
    Just kidding, I treasure them, and a big Mwah to SG for his once a month purchases.

    I gave up my once a week self-promo slot to list some recent releases and think it’s a wonderful idea to encourage readers to spread the word. My give and want list for Christmas both include books by new authors although currently my blog only includes my own short stories. Definitely something to look at in the New Year to add a ‘Have you read this?’ section. Thank you and keep up the good work. x

    1. Thank you very much for your comments and for reading, Voinks, and for your support! Am heading over to your blog right now!


  5. Reblogged this on Wind Eggs and commented:
    I’ve said many times in this blog: If you want to learn how to write, you need to read widely and in depth. That includes writers you’ve never read and genres you don’t usually follow. If I haven’t inspired you, maybe Susan will:

  6. Reblogged this on Creative State of Mind and commented:
    Here’s a fun challenge for readers and authors. Susan Toy is a blogger and author who is constantly encouraging others to read and share to their love of reading. When was the last time you told a friend about a book you loved? Have you ever written a fan letter to an author? Personally, I love the idea about writing a letter to a new-to-you author. I’ve received fan letters and there is nothing in the world that compares. I need to do the same. A few words telling an author how much I love their work could mean all the difference to that person.

    Let me add to Susan’s challenge: If you loved a book, why not buy a copy (or a few) and give it as a holiday gift to friends or family members who might enjoy it as much as you did? I love receiving books as gifts, not just paperbacks, but ebooks too!

    1. Thanks for reblogging and for the extra challenge, Tricia! Have also just included a link to your Authors to Watch blog!

  7. Well done, Susan! Mega hugs.

  8. Great work, Susan, as always! My blog seasonally has blurbs about books I recommend. The last was in October (though more will follow soon). Here is the link with details of excellent works Stone Woman (Gernica) by Bianca Lakoseljac, Dawning of a New Garden (Inanna) by Tara Nanayakkara, and The Money Shot (Breakwater Books) by Glenn Deir: https://paulbutlernovelist.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/october-ink-stains/

    1. Thank you, Paul! A great list of authors who are all new-to-me – and this comment from an author himself, Paul F. Butler, who I have long admired and have promoted since I first “discovered” him when I was his sales rep. I highly recommend his novel, Hero.

  9. Lovely post. Since I started blogging a few months ago I am reading a much broader range of books.

    1. Excellent news! Please feel free to add your blog link here if you are reviewing those books you read.

  10. I just read a book by a new author, From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle, and loved it. It will be released Aril 2017. I hope to see more of his work. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/177168111X/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

    1. Thank you, Darlene! Another to look forward to reading!

  11. You are so right about the merits of reading outside of one’s comfort zone. It was a big stretch for me to read YA, but I saw the author Pat Conroy had written his last book blurb, before his sudden death, and that it was a YA book! Being a fan of Conroy’s, I bought the book on Kindle and was floored. The lyrical language this author employed in this book is artwork, and stands up against some of the greats. I’ll being reading whatever the author Kerry Kletter writes from now on. Here is my review of her YA book, The First Time she Drownded https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/cffullerton.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks so much for commenting and adding that link, Claire! Another new-to-me author, so thanks for that!!

  12. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Susan Toy with a challenge that is good for everyone.. readers and writers alike.. head over and find out more.. clue.. it involves reading.. pleasurable.. right…

  13. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    …more wunnerful authors’ support from the irrepressible, Susan Toy.:) 🙂 🙂

    1. The feeling is mutual, kind sir!

  14. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Susan has a little challenge for us all 🐵

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