I'll admit it: I've always been a monogamous reader. Not dedicated to one author exclusively, but to a harem of authors I adore, both male and female. These are the authors I pant for, the ones whose writing makes me clutch my book buying money in my grubby little fist from the time I finish their most recent novel until the next one comes out. I love these authors so much I re-read them while I wait.
Who are these authors? For me, it's always been a short list stacked with thriller, mystery, and the occasional horror writer, including Karin Slaughter, Mo Hayder, John Connolly, Daniel Silva, Stephen King and a few other recognizable names. I'd grudgingly allow new writers onto my list based on recommendations from highly respected sources, and rarely kick anyone off. (It almost happened to you, Elizabeth George, when you killed one of my favorite characters and then wrote a book about how that killer came to kill her. I don't care what came before he shot her. I want my character back.)
If you're an avid reader, I'll bet you have a list, too. One you treasure and guard. After all, the big names are reliable. But what if you decided to cheat? Could your reading life ever be the same? If you adore reading, are the kind of person who disappears into a book, you might be surprised at how good a little promiscuity feels.
Over the last couple of years I've become reckless with my reading relationships and strayed from my favorites. It was hard at first, deciding to cheat on the authors who had given me so many characters to love, new places to explore, and clever plots to untangle. I practiced safe reading when I first started to cheat, selecting a new author only occasionally and always reading a sample before I dug in deep. Now I'm downright promiscuous when it comes to finding new authors, and will happily pick up a book by an author I've never read before.
Why did it happen? you ask. How could you betray those you love?
It's simple: I started meeting other indie authors on Twitter and Facebook. They're interesting and accessible. They love talking about their characters, their ideas, the way they write, and what they've got in the pipeline. Before I pick up one of their books I have an idea of the voice I'll hear, the passion that feeds the story, the wild ride they'll provide. Sometimes I'm disappointed, but more often I'm pleased that I've found a book by a new writer and rush to grab the next one they publish.
Having so many new authors in my reading stable means I never have a reading dry spell. When I'm in between books, all I have to do is ask for a recommendation and we're off to the races again! And there's no jealousy from the big names - they have no idea I'm frolicking with a new author.
If you decide to try a little safe cheating, check out the serialized novels on Venture Galleries (click the badge to go to the site). You can sneak a sample or read the whole book for free - your choice. Then check out The Book of the Moment Club - another free way to find books. After you find new authors to love, remember that books by indie authors are reasonably priced, meaning your book buying money goes farther. Leaving you plenty of cash to buy the latest book by the big names on your list...
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