May 12 2013 9:00am

Find it Yourself: Finding DIY Authors

Chances Are by Christy ReeceDid you know that Christy Reece recently released a new book in her Last Chance Rescue series, titled Chances Are? I’m a fan of this series and have read all of the Last Chance Rescue books, but I had no idea that there was a new book coming out. I only learned about this because a blogger tweeted a link about it. When I went to buy the book, I learned that Reece had self-published this one. I was rather surprised because I had not heard this news. While I buy self-published books routinely, this incident highlights the difficulty in keeping track of self-published titles and their release dates. I hate missing new releases, but this has become a fact of life these days.

This same thing happened with “The Wrong Heiress,” a short story written and self-published by Claudia Dain in her Courtesan Chronicles series. I am a huge fan of this historical series which centers around the character of Sophia Dalby, a one-time courtesan turned countess. I was quite sad when I learned that Dain’s publisher would not be continuing with this series – before its completion. I was then thrilled to learn that Dain would continue the series herself. However, I stopped checking in on the series and missed the publication of “The Wrong Heiress” and also missed a previous novella released in an anthology (An Encounter at the Museum).

Discovery of self-published books is not an easy task, and there are some unique challenges for those of us trying to keep track of these titles. Because most of these books are not added to etailer sites in advance and therefore are not available for pre-order, they don’t show up in my recommendations. In order to trace such releases and be kept up to date, one has to follow the authors quite closely by visiting their websites, subscribing to their newsletters and/or liking them on Facebook. Quite honestly, I follow too many authors to check their sites regularly and effectively. Also, I can’t possibly subscribe to and read newsletters for every author I follow.

All's Fair in Love and Seduction by Beverley KendallI’ve also noticed that release dates for self-published books are an issue. Without contracts and deadlines, the timeline for writing, editing and producing titles seems to be rather fluid. Authors often underestimate the time involved, making it fairly normal for them to have to push back release dates. Beverley Kendall’s All’s Fair in Love & Seduction and Kallypso Master’s Nobody’s Perfect are two examples of books that took a bit longer to get released than expected. I hold no ill will when release dates are pushed back, but unfortunately it is then easy to forget about the titles.

And this is really the crux of the problem with self-published titles: out of sight, out of mind. Once a title drops off my mental radar, it is hard to get it back on. I might check the author’s website periodically, but eventually I’ll find another book or another author. I might remember, but I also may have lost interest.

While I do rely upon Twitter for book information for all releases, I rely upon it much more heavily for self-published titles. I follow so many authors and look forward to their tweets about new releases. But Twitter isn’t always the most reliable of avenues for this type of information. I can’t monitor Twitter 24/7, so I know that I must often miss important release information.

What about you? Do you have trouble keeping up with self-published releases? Please let us know if you have found any great ways to keep track of self-published books you want to read.


Jennifer Porter, a mild-mannered librarian by day, runs the review site Romance Novel News and is a compulsive romance reader. She has a tendency to live tweet her craziest reads as @JenniferRNN.

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Lynne Connolly
1. Lynne Connolly
Best way is to keep an eye on the author's website - everything is together there, like few other pages. Fantastic Fiction is another good place to check on books, though not other activity.
2. Lizzie Dee
I find that Facebook is the best way for me to stay up-to-date on self published authors. They seem to post more often about their new releases, so they show up in my news feed more often.
I,too, hate it when a publisher decides not to continue with a series - most recently Amanda Bonilla's Shaede Assassin series. Thankfully, she said she will continue it by self pubbing!
3. JenniferPorter
@Lynnemargaretconnolly Does Fantastic Fiction have info on upcoming books? I've never really used that site for anything other than backlist information. @LizzieDee I like your suggestion of FB. My problem is that I just don't check FB often enough for it to guarantee I'll see everything.
M. M. Justus
4. M. M. Justus
As a self-pubbed only author, I'd love to hear about the best way to make sure my readers know when I have a new book out, too. I post it on my blog, on my website, on Twitter and Facebook, and I send out an email blast. Am I missing anything? Well, except how to get more followers to notify in the first place...
Carmen Pinzon
5. bungluna
I'm afraid I have this problem too. Twiter confuses me, so that one's out. Facebook seems to be the best way, but I have to check it regularly. If I miss a few days, the stream thingy gets too long and I just skip it and I'm sure I'm missing some news. I try to do a check once a month at Amazon to check for new releases. Plus the lists of upcoming books from my favorite blog sites help enormously.

When all's said and one, I know I've been missing some books that I would definitely purchase because of lack of info.
Marlene Relja
6. MarleneR
What about Goodreads? Since you can add books to your to be read list can you also add upcoming self pubbed books to that list? I've never tried that. Anyone tried that? Would that be a good way to follow upcoming new releases? Doesn't Goodreads also send you monthly updates on authors and people you follow?
M. M. Justus
7. SarahG
I find the Goodreads newsletter really helpful for new releases (both self published & traditionally published). They send out a list of all that month's releases for authors who are already on your shelves. It doesn't help you find new authors but it does remind me of new books from authors I've already read.

Apart from that I tend to rely on word of mouth (other friends reviewing the books on their blog or on Goodreads) and the author newsletters that I'm signed up for. I do check author's websites occasionally but I don't have time to do that often
M. M. Justus
8. Angela M
I think RT Magazine keeps up with some of the self published authors or at least the ones who started with being traditionally published. I've read some reviews on self published books in the magazine.
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