These days it’s becoming more and more easy to keep track of your favourite artist, whether it be a singer, band or author. We’ll come back to tracking music artists another time but for today, I want to take a look at how you can keep track of a book author’s new releases so you don’t miss a single thing.
I am a big fan of Fantastic Fiction – my reading list is so huge that FF helps me to keep on top of new releases by the best in the business. But up until now, the only way to check up on each author was to individually go to their FF page.
This as you can imagine was very time-consuming and I silently hoped that one day they would introduce RSS feeds. That hoping seems to have worked as each FF page now has its own unique RSS feed which will alert you to that author’s new book releases.
Using the site is simple. First, just use the search engine to find the author’s page. I will search for Jasper Fforde, one of my favourites.
You’ll then be taken to his page and part of the way down, on the right hand side, is a small RSS icon.
Click on the icon and you will be taken to your default RSS reader (mine is Google Reader) and you will then see his new book scheduled for release in a couple of months.
In this way, you can input all your favourite authors into FF and get all their RSS feeds running through your Reader. Then when a new book is announced, you’ll hear about it pretty much straight away. The only downside to Fantastic Fiction is, of course, that it is limited to fiction. So any non-fiction fans are not going to get any use out of this new feature.
If RSS isn’t your thing or if you’re more into non-fiction, and/or if you prefer email, then most authors nowadays have a web presence (it’s pretty much essential) and some even embrace social networking with fan pages on places like Facebook (Daniel Silva, for example, has a busy and popular Facebook page and so does John Grisham).
So check to see if your author has a personal website and if so, if they offer a mailing list. Big thriller authors like Ken Follett and Jeffery Deaver have websites and mailing lists for example (Deaver even offers an exclusive short story to his mailing list subscribers). Author sites like these will also feature other news such as upcoming TV / movie adaptations and perhaps even podcasts. When the author brings out a new book, they will immediately notify everyone on their mailing list.
Here are some more big fiction writers with websites and mailing lists. Stephen King’s site is particulary impressive with its artwork.
Some authors though prefer to defer to their publishers to do things like newsletters. So if you went to John Grisham’s website, you’ll see that he promotes his publisher Doubleday’s newsletter. Virtually all major publishers have their own newsletters and if you subscribe, you’ll be kept up to date with their authors new books. For example, here’s Random House’s fiction email newsletter with an option to subscribe at the end. If you go here, you’ll get a complete list of all of Random House’s email offerings.
If you like to keep track of where your favourite author will be appearing in person to sign books, a good site is AuthorsTrack. It only shows US events though which is not so great for non-US fans.