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Slush Tail

Choosy Readers Choose

My method for discovering new fiction on the Kindle is evolving as I learn this new medium and adjust to the current markets for finding e-books.  In reality, it’s no different than what I do in a brick and mortar bookstore while browsing. Basically I’m cutting down on the noise and filtering to find the books that I would enjoy reading.

The first thing I do is go to the best seller list for the sub-genre I’m interested in. Say that I want to read a good Space Opera book. I start my search on that category in the best seller listings and then browse down the list looking for covers, titles and descriptions that look good to me. When I find one that looks good, I then download the preview and read a few paragraphs. I can tell right away if the author has a voice that I like and if the action is grabbing me. When that happens in the previews, I will probably punch the One Click and buy. But what about all those books not on the list? What about those books down in the slush pile of the Long Tail?

What is needed, I think, is a Trust Agent for self-published authors in the SF genre. Ideally this could be a blog that lots of different readers contribute to and review which books they have found to be good. Then I could go to that site and do a search on a prospective book title or author and get instant reviews.  This would also be a news service for press releases, so I can see what new titles are appearing weekly. The two sides of the site would have to be separate but would compliment each other.

Perhaps it would be less of a reviewer site and more of a fan site. Books could get a page in a blog with a blurb about them and the author. Perhaps list the Amazon ranking there too. Then those who have read the book can leave posts either for or against the work. In a way, Amazon provides this with reviews, but most readers don’t leave reviews. If you knew that lots of people were coming to a certain blog to leave opinions, you may be more inclined to tout your opinion too.

Over time, such a release and review site could be a valuable reader tool and it would validate the good books and elevate the social awareness of new authors. Let’s face it, those undiscovered authors could languish in the Long Tail for years before anyone finds out about them. This site would get the good stuff the recognition it deserves.

Just a thought. Anyone else have a way to find the good authors down in the Slush Tail?

2 thoughts on “Slush Tail”

  1. This imaginary site might start off by simply importing the Amazon reviews to give it something to start off on, but many books have no reviews. I think the only way it could work is if lots of people made it work. But it would give my mother some place to go and send her friends too. LOL

    I think I would hang out at such a site, if I knew I could find a jewel or make a rough rock into a jewel by boosting awareness of it.

  2. In theory it sounds great. Wonderful, even. Useful.

    If you’re sensing a “but” somewhere, yeah, there’s one.

    There already seem exist some sites providing reader reviews, I think. Most of them are on writer’s blogs and that’s where the fans tend to congregate, post their reviews, comments, and discussions. Granted, your concept is author-independent, a sort of library of reviews rather than a fan spot.

    But…why hasn’t this already been done? Why are there so few reader reviews out there anywhere other than on a writer’s blog/site? Writers aren’t the only people that blog, and there’s even the notorious Facebook and other social sites. People do leave reviews, but they do so where it’s most convenient for them: their own sites. So, this begs the question…where’s the hook?

    As much as we would like such a site to spring up, it’s going to have to have some kind of hook, some kind of ‘come-on’ that will draw readers in to provide their reviews. In this case, I’m afraid the simple no…sheer size of the WWW and the multiplicity of search engines is against this working.

    Someone prove me wrong. Please!

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