What’s your favorite way to find new books?
Tired of the summer heat? Cool down with some summer reading!
As both a reader and an author, I’m always on the lookout for good books. What’s your favorite way to find new books?
My three favorite ways are libraries, indie ebook distributors, and indie bookstores. I’ll talk more about the details of each one below.
I’ve loved libraries for as long as I can remember. My wife and I are constantly picking up new books from the library, especially for our daughter who’s still learning how to read.
Most authors don’t talk about libraries often because they want you to buy a copy of their book instead of borrowing one! But library sales do help authors too, especially now that ebook lending is a thing. And libraries do so much to help readers and the entire community, so I love to promote them. Our local library, Carbondale Public Library, is one of our favorite local community organizations.
Did you know that your local library probably has a way for you to borrow ebooks for free? Some libraries even have multiple ebook borrowing options available. This offers you a variety of choices for borrowing books, movies, and other digital content.
My books are now available at libraries through Bibliotheca (cloudLibrary app), OverDrive (Libby app), Baker & Taylor (Axis 360 app), and Borrowbox (Borrowbox app). Hoopla is becoming notorious for its long delay times in adding indie authors and books, but they might add my books sooner if readers like you ask for them.
If your library uses one of these services, you can borrow my ebook for free! In theory, anyway. For some of these services, each book is only available if the library has added that specific title to their digital collection. In that case, it’s up to your local library to decide if they want to buy a digital copy to loan out. If you don’t see my books listed in your library’s ebook or print catalog, please ask them if they’re interested in adding my books to their collection. If they’re not interested, thank them for their consideration and find the book on another service or through your favorite bookseller.
Indie Ebook Distributors
Yes, my books are all available on Amazon. But I don’t like Amazon, so I love telling my readers about other places you can find my books (and all of your other favorite books too).
I publish my books through an indie book distribution service called Draft2Digital. They distribute my ebooks and print books to a wide range of online booksellers. Amazon is on the list, but so are a growing number of alternatives. You can see the full list on my Books2Read page. (Click/tap on a title to see where it’s available.)
Once you’ve found my titles at your favorite online bookseller, you can also bookmark that site and do your future book shopping there too. Any step we can take to transition away from Amazon is a good thing in my book.
I also love indie bookstores. Did you know that I used to co-own an indie bookstore here in Carbondale, Illinois? Like so many other indie bookstores, Rosetta Stone Bookstore didn’t survive the rise of Amazon. However, indie bookstores are back on the rise, thanks in part to online services like Bookshop. Your purchases help these indie bookstores keep their doors open.
Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. If you want to find a specific local bookstore to support, find them on the Bookshop map and they’ll receive the full profit from your order. Otherwise, you can start at my online bookshop. Either way, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop).
Did you know that most indie bookstores can also special order just about any title currently in print? Some people who are fortunate enough to have an indie bookstore in their town or city will check there first, but then just order the book on Amazon if they don’t see it on the shelves. That’s a big mistake. You have other options! If you have an indie bookstore in your town, they’ll surely be happy to special order any titles that aren’t on their shelves. Or you can hop on Bookshop and get it there. Whichever route you choose, there’s always an alternative to Amazon.
Keeping Track of Reading Lists
How do you keep track of all of the books you want to read? I currently use Goodreads to keep track of my reading lists. I don’t like their new owner (Amazon), but I like the fact that the site is free to use and all of my reading lists are in one place rather than scattered across several library and bookstore wish lists.
If you’re on Goodreads, you can follow me there too to stay up to date on the latest news. If you use some other site or app to track your reading lists, let me know. I’ll still keep a Goodreads account there for professional purposes, but I may switch over my personal reading lists to a different site or app if you know of a good one.
So what’s your favorite way to find new books? Let me know if I’ve missed any of your favorite places to find books. I want to see what I’m missing — and make sure my books are there too!