No one ever told me that this is how I read.

Last month, I shared that, despite my love of the fantastic in all forms, I'd read far more mysteries than fantasies.  Imagine my surprise then, when I checked my Goodreads this week and found that fantasy is catching up!

As I was trying to figure out the reason for the upswing, I realized something.

I am an author-driven reader.

If I find an author I love, I want to read everything they've ever written. And when those books are in a great series, I'm in heaven.

The reason my mystery count has been so high is because mystery writers tend to write in longer series.  No trilogies or four book arcs here.  Mystery writers write into the double digits.

So when I get into a particular author, like Elizabeth Peters or Donna Andrews, before you know it I've read twelve mysteries in two weeks.

But my fantasy count is catching up, because my newest book-crush is the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher.  And there are a lot of them.  I'm also starting to re-read some Mercedes Lackey, who's written more books than I can even think of right now.

I always defined myself as a genre person: mystery, fantasy, etc.  And I do love them on principle.  But the truth is, part of the reason I love them is the sheer number of books that these great authors produce.

If I find a prolific author that I love, I will willingly read outside my genres for as long as it takes to read everything they have to offer.

This made me realize something else too.  The best way to hook a readers--to really create a lifelong fan--is to write MORE BOOKS.

Sure you can have one book that's a random success, driving you to the top of the bestseller list.  But if you don't write more books after that, reader excitement will wane.

It doesn't have to be a series, as my periodic Dean Koontz marathons show.  But it is a cold, hard fact that one of the best ways to hook an addicted, passionate reader like me isn't promotion or reviews or book tours or even being a bestseller.

The way to hook a reader like me is to write another book.  And another one. And then another one.

So how about you?  Are you an author driven reader too?

6 comments:

  1. I do tend to be author driven, if I like the series. Problem for me, though, is when I've read the series and then have to wait for the next one to come out, I sometimes lose interest. By the time it's out, I've moved on to another author.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  2. I am author/character driven. I find authors that I like, which by definition means I also like their characters, at least in the series I read when I discovered them. But if the author has more than one series, I may not read one of the author’s series because I don’t like the characters. For example I really like the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly, but I don’t care for Connelly’s, Mickey Haller – Lincoln Lawyer series. Also, because I am both author and character driven I tend to avoid authors that do not write series with the same protagonists. Dean Kootz comes to mind, beside the Odd (pun intended) nature of his books, he does not write many series.

    I do expect lengthier series from mystery writers than I do fantasy ones. I have accepted that a trilogy is a good series for a lot of fantasy writers, though a lot of the author’s I like have exceed the trilogy, which has almost become a cliché. In fact Douglas Adams made fun of the trilogy concept by publishing a fourth and fifth book in his “Trilogy” Some of the fantasy authors I like such as Feist, Harrison, Weis and Hickman, Hamilton , Jordan, and Jim Butcher all have exceeded the three book limit.

    Another problem I have is overcoming the resistance to try a new series by an author I like. I sometimes get peeved that she or he is not writing about my old friends, but instead has brought this stranger into my world. I will usually read one of the new series with apprehension and then decided; yes I like the characters so I will read more. An example of this is J.A. Jance and the Sheriff Johanna Brady series. I loved the Beaumont series and was dismayed to find myself, not in Seattle, but in Bisbee, Arizona with a neophyte sheriff. But I have learned to love the Brady series and read all of them. It is easier when an author spins off a character and creates another series that is related, Such as John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series which was spun off of the successful Prey series with Lucas Davenport.

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  3. Interesting. I thought about it, and I don't think I am an author driven reader at all. I don't know exactly what draws me to different books. I think I just jump around from one book that I hear a lot of good stuff about to the other.

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  4. Helen- That happens to me too. If I read a great book but the other books in the series aren't out, I tend to shelve that author until later. (You can always have the fun of rediscovering them!)

    Marty- Great characters are certainly an added pull! And I agree with you, switching series can be fraught with peril. :)

    Renee- That is interesting. I think a lot of people read that way. Sometimes I think i get too comfortable in my authors, and miss discovering new books.

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  5. I am very much that way. Margaret Atwood is my current obsession.

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  6. I've been meaning to read more Margaret Atwood. I thought "A Handmaid's Tale" was exquisite.

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