Having Trouble Finding Good Books to Read?

When I was writing my debut novel, I looked forward to finishing. Believing the hard part would be completed I was excited to get my book published, then launched. Once that was accomplished I thought the book would be promoted through word of mouth, sales would magically happen, and I could write my second novel.


Eleven months later, I’m still learning about the publishing industry and marketing one’s book.

Why is promoting a novel challenging?

The advent of eReaders upended the traditionally published market.

What happened?

Traditional publishers lost revenue. The financial impact caused many companies to close, downsize, or merge. Less willing to take risks, publishers now focus on established (fiction) authors and rarely accept a debut novelist.

The industry continues to evolve.

There are numerous avenues for publishing electronically and print hard copies–all offering opportunities that many authors did not previously have through self-publishing and hybrid publishing.

The effect?

There are 4,500 new books released EVERY DAY.



In my previous blogs, I’d shared that the majority of books never sell more than one hundred copies; recently I read an article revising total copies sold to fifty.

My challenge: how do I differentiate my novel in a saturated marketplace?

I learned that promoting means marketing, which means advertising.

Finding the right media to advertise has been another obstacle. I invested in services and book promotion sites that looked promising, but ended up being a colossal waste of time and money.

The learning experience was disappointing, frustrating, and discouraging.

Recently, I thought about my experience from a reader’s point-of-view. Being an avid book lover, I’m always seeking the next “good book.”

In addition to identifying the best place(s) to advertise my novel, how do readers find books in the genre(s) they enjoy?

There’s got to be easier ways for readers and authors to connect.

Every week I read half a dozen blogs about writing, publishing, and promoting. One blog referenced a technical specialist named Barb Drozdowich. Needing assistance with WordPress and my website, I investigated her services at http://bakerviewconsulting.com. Her tag line: Helping Authors, One at a Time. (Note to writer friends: I highly recommend her.)

At the end of our last session, I shared my frustration about the challenges of promoting. Barb said the best sites for authors to advertise are where readers can subscribe to a newsletter—which is a daily/weekly/monthly email recommending books in the reader’s preferred genres.

She referred me to one of her books, The Author’s Guide to Book Promotion.

The Author's Guide to Book Promotion

I found the book well written, informative, and helpful. Many chapters reference book advertising and promotion sites. However, I thought the following list would be the most informative by identifying sites where readers receive a genre-specific newsletter with promotional information featuring books at a reduced rate.

Searching for good books to read? With Barb’s permission, the following is her list from Chapter 24.

Bargain Booksy

Book Adrenaline

Book Barbarian (for Sci-Fi and Fantasy)


Book Goodies for Kids

Book Gorilla

Book Praiser

Booklover’s Heaven



Christian Book Readers

E-Reader IQ

Early Bird Books

EBook Hounds

Fantasy Book Place

Free Booksy

Fussy Librarian

Genre Pulse

Gospel EBooks

Hidden Gems Romance

Hot Zippity

My Romance Reads

Mystery Reads

Price Dropped Books (price discounts on all Kindle books)

Read Cheaply

Reading SciFi

Red Roses Romance

Ripley’s list

Robin Reads

Romance Hideaway

Romance Rock Stars

Shameless Book Deals

Steamy Romance Books

Teen Book Place

Topless Cowboy

What to Read after 50 Shades

YA Promo Central

If the list seems overwhelming, I highly recommend BookBub. When you subscribe, BookBub offers multiple genres, and you can select the ones you prefer. Every day I receive an email with recommendations. Frequently the books are best sellers and/or have stellar reviews. Some are free, or they may cost between $.99 and $3.99, max. Occasionally BookBub will include a debut author. Below the recommended list, is a single advertisement, which was purchased by an author to promote their book.


Not included in the list above is Goodreads. If you aren’t familiar with Goodreads, you may want to investigate their site. Owned by Amazon, Goodreads offers a Community tab, where you can join book reading groups by genre, or participate in group discussions. I belong to three reading groups, and recently, I read the thriller’s group selection–Force of Nature–and didn’t want to put it down.


Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Goodreads has many features—the more you use it, the more you learn.

What about you? Do you have a favorite site that wasn’t included in the list? If you subscribe to a service, what is it and what do you like about it?

Happy reading!

Warmest Regards,                                                                                                                                                       Michele

5 thoughts on “Having Trouble Finding Good Books to Read?”

  1. Tina Hogan GrantTina Hogan Grant

    Great information Michelle. I’ll be checking a few of these out. I like the fact that you are a year ahead of me in the process because I’m able to learn from you. 🙂

  2. Millie PaulMillie Paul

    Thank you for providing these lists, Michele! Well-written books enrich our lives in so many ways; it’s always interesting to see what others recommend.

    In some surprising news, the April 11, 2018, edition of The New York Times reported that John Boehner, the speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, reversed a long-held stance against marijuana. Tweeting “my thinking on cannabis has evolved,” he has joined the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis corporation that operates in 11 states.

  3. Terri HarringtonTerri Harrington

    Michele, read your blog and really appreciated your insight and tips for reading. I have been using book hub and am happy with that. Great post 😘

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