Goodreads. I love it!
That isn’t what this post is about, but it is the major source of the information for it. I joined as a reader, got upgraded to an author, though I have to admit the time I spend on there is definitely reader orientated even if my reading habits reflect otherwise.
What am I talking about?
Research, my friends.
As a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author with a debut novel, which just happens to be a first in a whole set of stories I hope to share with the world, I am IMMENSLEY intrigued by what keeps a reader returning to the same author and characters, book after book, year after year.
I’d only been on Goodreads a matter of weeks when invitations started rolling in to join various Groups. I thought I was being strategic by joining all the PNR and UF Groups. I had a shock when I got there. Conversation after conversation rolled on and on … about books and authors I’d barely heard of, let alone read. I kept creeping on in, reading what people had to say, found myself awed by the passion with which these readers spoke of the stories (that I’d never heard of) … and man, my curiosity nearly burned a hole in my brain.
Yes, the reader in me so wanted to be able to be a part of these conversations. But the writer in me was totally overtaken by a desperate need to know why these certain series’ are so popular with the mass readers of the genre(s).
So what did I do?
Well, I went on a whacko book ordering frenzy.
But not before I’d asked for a couple recommendations.
The moment I did, I was accepted into the fold. People of Goodreads: you are amazing!
They nudged me in the right directions. Told me where to start. Told me what they loved about the books and why and convinced me I’d fall in love with them, too.
I was dubious. I always am when someone I don’t know tries to convince me I’ll love something. My dubiousness was short lived.
Yes, I needed to know what was so special about these books. Yes, I had to understand why readers keep coming back for more. Yes, I wanted to ‘feel’ the passion that provokes so much discussion of one series.
And I may actually be getting to the bottom of the mystery. Because I have found some great reads.
Sure, there have been some series where I’ve bought the first book and wondered what all the fuss is about.
So I head into my groups, type out words along the lines of: I don’t get it.
Like vultures, the groupies (ha! Sorry, GR friends) jump up and yell, no, the first isn’t the best story, you need to keep on, please keep reading, please don’t give up, listen to us we know what we’re talking about.
So I listen to them. I am an author. These people are readers. I have to trust they know what they like or I’m doomed … right?
And every time they have made me read on ‘because it only gets better’, they have been so totally right!
Thanks to listening to readers, I have stumbled across some amazing series’. Series that have left me hungry for more (or not—but the encouragement of others has swept me along). Series that I have been unable to put down. Series that I have fallen in love with.
And I shall be sharing my thoughts on these series with you. I’d love for it to be every week, but alas, I just can’t read an entire series that fast AND write new stuff to send to my editor for publication. So I shall aim for once a month. The second week of every month (starting 12th September), I shall be chatting about series I have been introduced to by readers and what I think brings folks back for more.
What about you? Are there any book series’ you’ve fallen in love with that you’ve just had to read because you’re not ready to say adios to the characters? Any you’d care to recommend?