Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's Author Guest: Jeffrey Marks

As promised yesterday, Jeffrey Marks is my guest today, talking about where to find the latest in mystery titles and releases. To read his bio and see his photo, please page down to yesterday's post. Above is the cover art for his extremely useful publication, Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel. It is the first and only how-to book on marketing and maximizing sales of genre novels, and I use my copy all the time.

From the early chapters of setting up a website and writing copy about your book to niche marketing, this book contains information necessary to navigate the quickly changing environment of bookselling. The fourth edition has a brand new chapter on social networking and how it can be used to sell more copies of your title. While specifically written for the mystery genre, the steps given can be applied to any genre. If you're an author and don't have a copy, get yours now! Here's Jeffrey's guest post:

Finding Information on Mysteries

I'm back again, celebrating the release of the 4th edition of Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel. Beth and I are having a bit of fun today, and instead of talking about marketing your own book, I’m going to talk to you about where to find the latest in mystery titles and releases.

My goal when I’m looking is not to find a group of authors who are promoting their own books, but to find sites that are mainly interested in listing new titles for me to read. In this manner, I can find the latest releases of my favorite authors, and occasionally I can find a new author to read. I’m always looking to read a book and these sites help make it easier for me to find them.

There are places that just list new titles for you. One of those places is The Blood-Stained Bookshelf, which lists by month new titles. It’s a great place to see the newest books and what’s soon to be released. The bookshelf is a wonder, if you know what you’re looking for. I can easily find titles by authors I’m familiar with, but it doesn’t help me to find a “new to me” author. Plus there aren’t many reviews to guide me in deciding if I want to read the latest or not.

Many of the people I know who attend conferences use the Edgars’ site to locate books by category. Again, this doesn’t tell you anything about the books themselves. It just lists books by the major publishers in the current calendar year. It’s not a review site. It was developed for authors to see if their book has been received, but I’ve found it to be a very handy site for looking up new titles.

I Love a Mystery Newsletter is another place to find new books. They do a great job of printing in depth reviews of recently released books and series. I tend to go to them if I’m unsure about a new title or series by an author. The reviewers are professional and share what I need to know without giving away spoilers.

Goodreads is another fun place to check out new mysteries. You can record books you’ve read or are reading and rate them both via a star-system and in reviews. I’ve found that most of the real book discussions take place in the groups, so look around for groups related to mysteries and many of them will discuss recent releases. There’s some self-promotion by authors, but it doesn’t drown out the collegial feel of the groups.

Another site that deals in books is Shelfari. This site lists the bestsellers lists in fiction and non-fiction, popular series, and recommended books. The site was acquired by Amazon in 2008, and it has some of the feel of that book-selling site. One of the features is a virtual bookshelf that allows others to see your books and vice versa, similar to Goodreads.

Library Thing is another similar site. I especially like the LT Newsletter that appears monthly. It has a number of suggestions on new authors and interviews with those authors.

Finally, there’s always the good old Amazon recommends. I usually look at the “coming soon” selections under that and check out the interesting titles.

Of course, in one blog, I can’t mention every site that I search looking for new books. I’d love to hear from others about where they find titles to read.

Thanks, Jeffrey! Now, who has a comment or question for him?


Mario Acevedo said...

This was a great post. I'm always looking for new authors. Thanks.

Beth Groundwater said...

Welcome, Jeffrey! I'm so pleased to have you as guest on my blog. I will add my favorite source for information about mystery series:

You can search for series by author, geographic location, job title, and more.

As a mystery author, I try to make sure that this website has up-to-date information about my series books.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Interesting post but I wish there had been some mention of reviewers as a source of new books.

Kathleen Kaska said...

Thanks for reminding me about these great sites. Enjoyed the article.

Unknown said...

That was fun! I knew most but not all of those sites - going to check out the new-to-me. Thanks!

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Lots of great information here. Thanks, Beth and Jeffrey!

Duffy Brown said...

Intent to Sell is amazing. I tell all my author friends about it. Thanks for putting it out there.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you Jeffrey and Beth. This is a very useful blog and I will bookmark it.


Jacqueline Seewald
THE TRUTH SLEUTH--now in large print
DEATH LEGACY--new release

Marilyn Levinson said...

Jeffrey and Beth--
great post. Thanks for the new mystery sites to check out.

Nancy Adams said...

Thanks so much, Jeffrey, for this list. Since the demise of my very favorite source, Mystery News, I've been looking for something like this. Now, I'll be checking out this great-looking sites!

Cynthia Becker said...

Thanks Jeffrey and Beth. I'm about to do some travelling and need to find new reading material to pass the wait time. These sites will give help.

Jacqueline Vick said...

Thank you! I didn't know about "I Love a Mystery" newsletter.

Jeffrey Marks said...

Glad everyone found this helpful. It's always amazing to me that we don't share this more. I use these sites all the time to read new authors!

Kevin, I would have loved to include all the reviewers, but space was too limited -- on the other hand, I did mention you in an interview I did with John Kremer -- Am I forgiven? :)

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Don't know about the interview, Jeff and for sure there is nothing to forgive.

YA Sleuth said...

I'm coming in a bit late, but I'll be buying Jeffrey's book for sure! As a debut author, I feel like I know nothing :-)

Thanks for these websites to check out!

Jeffrey Marks said...

I was saving it until it goes live as a podcast in April, Kevin, but no reason not to mention it now.

This was a fun piece to write. I'm glad it struck a chord with so many people!