Friday, September 24, 2010

Unknown Authors Are Like Broccoli

When you’re looking for something new to read, where do you look? Most people check out the new releases in their local bookstore, glance at the NY Times Bestseller List or the bestseller list on Some look for new releases from their already-known, tried and true, favorite authors. I have my favorites whose new releases I watch for, also—authors like Lisa Scottoline, Sherryl Woods, Elizabeth Berg, and Janet Evanovich.

As readers, have you considered the lesser known authors published with small presses who just might have a gem of a book waiting for you? I never did until I became one of those small press authors. Now I have occasion to read excerpts and novels by my fellow authors whose names may still be unfamiliar to you. Reading material can be an acquired taste.

I never tasted broccoli until I was twenty-two. Seriously. Didn’t know what it was or how it should be prepared. My mother was a meat-and-potatoes kind of cook. Our most exotic vegetable was glazed carrots. I lived for a time with friends who had more eclectic tastes and broader culinary experiences. And I discovered broccoli—and cauliflower, and asparagus, and kiwi, and a whole new menu of foods that I enjoy.

Why not make a resolution to broaden your reading menu in the coming year? Sample a new main course. You don’t have to give up steak and lobster. But add something new to your plate. When you order your next
Tami Hoag or Linda Howard , have a side of Lynn Romaine. Check out her romantic eco-suspense, Long Run Home. How about Deborah Hale or Cathryn Fox with a helping of Carol McPhee? Try her romantic suspense novel, A Structured Affair. You might enjoy Kris Radish or Nicholas Sparks topped off with Linda Rettstatt's women's fiction for dessert. Something like Shooting Into the Sun. Have an appetizer of Kimberley Dehn 's romantic comedy, Southern Exposure before diving into your latest Mary Kay Andrews or Jennifer Crusie.

I know some of you are saying, “But I don’t like broccoli.” Well, I’m sure a few folks shook their heads and hesitated at the first presentation of Cherry Garcia ice cream. And it’s now one of the bestsellers for Ben & Jerry’s.

So, go ahead. Dig in. Visit the websites of these authors and check out the links below of just a few e-publishers and small presses. You just might add new flavorites to your reading menu. But, like broccoli or Cherry Garcia, you don’t know until you taste for yourself.

Wings ePress
Champagne Books
Class Act Books
The Wild Rose Press
Turquoise Morning Press

Happy reading!



Donna L Bolk said...

Hi Linda,

What a wonderful post. As both an author and a reviewer, I can say some of my favorite books have come from small presses. That's not to say I don't still enjoy my Sandra Browns and Linda Howards, but I also enjoy the new kids on the block.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Linda,
Great post, and you said a few things that needed to be said. Why not support small presses and their authors, because they write wonderful stories too. It was the small presses that started th e-book phenomenon after all.



Lilly Gayle said...

True words were never spoken! I used to read tried and true authors and any romance prominently displayed in the bookstore or grocery store. Now, I troll my own publisher (The Wild Rose Press) for great reads as well as Amazon. Famous Authors don't always write great books and obscure authors aren't necessarily bad writers. At least, I hope no one thinks Out of the Darkness is poorly written just because it isn't published by some big, NY publisher!

Unknown said...

You did a bang up job here Linda - great analogies and food for thought - very well done and so right or is that write on!?!

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Linda,
Great post and very support of the small presses. I've found some wonderful authors through the small presses, some of whom have gone on to big presses and national lists.

The stories are wonderful and not always the same old fare that I get with the tried and true or national authors.

Unknown said...

Hey Linda,

Firs time to your blog, saw it posted on TWRP yahoo loop. I love it. I love books from TWRP, Class Act Books, and several other small presses. To me it seems they look for the authors who have a great voice and are passed up. I usually pick a book from them over some of the major publisher's.

Jill James said...

Linda, wonderful post. As a new, to-be published author with TWRP I was thrilled to read all about the new authors to be found at small presses. Great reading!

linda_rettstatt said...

Well, an amazing response. Keeping with this 'menu' theme (can you tell where my mind is most of the time?), perhaps we need to think buffet as opposed to ala carte. There's room for all of us on the bookshelves and in e-readers.

Marie Beau said...

Hi Linda,

Great post! How could you miss out on broccoli for so long? It's my favorite vege! I think e-publishing has opened a lot of eyes to the smorgasbord out there. I have a release coming Oct. 1st from Whispers Publishing, Wolf! As long as it's a good story, I don't care who publishes it. Happy reading from every venue!

Fiona McGier said...

Or to continue the food analogy, indy press books are the spice that makes life more interesting. Some are so good you are staggered...most will be at least as good as something produced by the big publishers, but with a more interesting twist. Indys don't have to conform so much! And since we indy authors get to help choose our covers, "what you see is what you get!"

Victoria Roder said...

What a great post!

Martha Eskuchen said...

I really liked this post too. I review so many new books now that I rarely get to pull from my old list of favorite authors. :) I stopped reading at least one of those better known authors you mentioned when the language got a bit too rough for my tastes. I love to read and encourage newer authors. Thanks for the some of the "side dish" recommendations.

Lemur said...

Great advice. Actually I love broccoli. I'm the kind of person who will actually look at half the books on the shelf. If the title or the blurb, or the first few paragraphs catches me, then I don't care if the author's a best seller or not. Hubby knows that, "I'm just going to stop at the bookstore," means, a three hour jaunt at least.

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