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Laying aside the fact my TBR pile is somewhere around 50+ right now, because I found this genre late (I was a sci-fi kid in High School and watched too many movies and did too little reading in college. jokes to a minimum please, Shelby). Yeah, if authors I liked were to rec a book by another author, I'd at least look into it. Some I'd buy, others I might library the first, and if I liked it, buy it or the next.

But then, I'm the guy who leaves his paperbacks at the back of his classroom so his students will look through them and give authors, midlist and bestseller alike, a try.

They better take my advice because at this point they should know that I know everything.

(And I'm picturing Nantz walking around his high school in a Star Trek costume, muttering "Beam me up." Anybody else?)

I almost never just pick up a book off the store shelf and buy it. Just about everything I read comes as a recommendation from someone I know or from a blog or website of a writer I've read before.

I started reading Joe's books because my wife met him at a mystery convention and "he's so funny." Funny is good. Especially when you're as funny as Joe is in his books. But don't look for funny in "Afraid". It is not funny. Not at all. I described it somewhere else as "bloody awesome" and said you could take that in the British sense of "great" or in a more twisted, American sense of "awesomely bloody." Either one works.

But back to the point. (Joe's point; not my point; I seldom have a point) I find lots and lots of great writers but following the recommendations of other writers. That's how I found out about Charlie Huston, Ken Bruen, Marcus Sakey, Sean Chercover, and on and on.

plastic santa

Thanks for blogging today Joe, you always give us all food for thought.

For me, friend recommendations carry some weight, but I'll admit a lot of times I buy the book they suggest and then I don't read it immediately.

I always find new authors to me in bookstores...

Welcome, Joe!

I find new authors and books by reading blogs and reviews as well as friend recommendations. I'm more apt to buy my daughter a book off the shelves in a bookstore without knowing about it first.

Thanks for having me here today.

To make the question more specific: If you signed up for an author newsletter, and they recommended another author in that newsletter, would you follow the recommendation?

I'm a sucker for: "If you like X, then you'll like Y." If one of my favorite authors said, "You need to read this," I would, if it was in the same genre as that author.

How about you guys?

I always try to promo my friends on my blog--karma is some of it. Knowing how hard it is to make it in this biz and wanting to do for others . . . heck yeah. And as recently as a week or so ago, I told everyone to run, not walk, to buy a spy thriller by Mike Lawson. I do not know the guy, but I LOVED his character. A lot. Why wouldn't I say "I read this awesome book and if it's your kind of read--go BUY IT."

Some of it is, I think, personality. Joe and I have only met in cyberspace, but he is obviously an open, outgoing guy and likely "thinks" in terms of people and connections and promo naturally. Others don't have that gift--and should take notice. It can be a learned skill.


I would definitely read recommendations from an author, and I wish they did it more. Friend recommendations are okay, and book reviews can be helpful, but what is better than a recommendation from a person whose writing you know, like and trust. I'd be way more likely to purchase a book recommended by a fellow author than the NYT, Amazon or whoever else.

Not even close Shelby. Star Trek? Dude, Star Trek is for losers. You should give it a try....

And besides, even if your vision of me WAS realistic, I'd still look cooler than that photo of you up there, surfer boy.

I just finished Yellow Medicine, bought because of Neil's hanging out here at FO.

Oh, and I will mention it at the Planet. I usually do.

Just don't nag.

If any of the First Offenders were to recommend a book to you, their loyal blog readers, would you take their advice?

As long as they share why they're recommending the book. I like reading book recommendations from other authors, providing they aren't blanket, "Read this book because my friend wrote it" messages.

I want to know why a particular book jazzed you as an author and a reader.

Good idea, Joe...

I just finished STARVATION LAKE by Bryan Gruley. Small town secrets told in a big way. And if you know any middle aged men who play hockey late at night, you'll score by giving them this mystery.

Also, author Konrath was nice enough to sign some copies of his Jack Daniels series for me at Love is Murder. I clumped them and a couple of bottles of booze in an attractive basket for a church silent auction. Oh the bids!
Thanks, Joe. See you in Orlando at RT .

Yes, I would read books recommended here. Last week Alison recommended Mario Acevedo and I got his first book and loved it.

Please recommend authors. I sometimes read 6 or 7 books a week and need help finding books. While I would love to say I buy 6 or 7 books a week, I don't have the money or the space to do that. But when I do buy books, it is usually books I have already read and want to have them at home to re-read.

I tend to lean towards recommendations from authors I already read and by their reviews, as well as friends who have similar tastes.
I love looking at for authors and then scroll to the bottom to see what they are reading or recommend.
This blog tour of Joe's is helping add to my behemoth wishlist, too.

If the book being recommended is by an author I've never heard of or read before, then I will be more inclined to consider it. I've also discovered some wonderful writers when they have been guest bloggers (so it does work). But before I actually purchase a book, it has to pass the first page or so reading test.

(Julie, was the church by any chance Episcopalian?)

My most recent string of finding new authors (including Joe) was to read anthologies. These collections are nothing more than a grouping of authors who share a genre.

When I later found out how many of these authors know one another and routinely recommend one another, I was shocked. My writing groups have always been cross-genre and encompassed writers of all levels of experience and skill.

I'd certainly welcome recommendations from authors I enjoy. Books are like music, there's a lot out there, and it helps to have a trusted voice to sift through the white noise. Don't think that there are way too many bands in the world? One word: MySpace.


Welcome, Joe! Yes, I'd totally take a recommendation from a favorite author, provided he/she explained why I'd like the book. As Mary said, you want to make sure the author isn't just doing a favor for a friend.

Hey Becky, all congregations like a good drink now and then.

Joe specifically asked about author newsletters. I read few of those, but if I saw a book recommended, I'd check it out. Like most folks, I suppose, I get books after hearing the buzz via the lists and blogs and such.

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