Thursday, June 29, 2017

5 Strategies For Finding Under the Radar Books

If you spend any time in the online book community, you've probably noticed that often the same books get talked about over and over again. There are just those books that you can't seem to stop seeing on Twitter, other people's blogs, the NYT Bestseller list, EVERYWHERE. (And also people constantly tweeting screenshots of that book on the NYT Bestseller list.)

I have nothing against really popular books, they're some of my favourites! But if you only pay attention to the hyped books, you are missing out on a ton of great, unique reads. Unfortunately, because smaller titles and under the radar books have less hype, they are harder to find. But don't worry! I'm here to help you out today by sharing some strategies that I use to find under the radar books, and improve your quality of life (or at least your reading life) in the process.

1. Ignore popular feeds

If you want to find under the radar books, you should probably stay away from the big sites and lists like the New York Times bestseller list or Even their "books you may not have heard of" lists are read by hundreds of thousands of people.

2. Find and follow tiny indie presses

Indie presses are awesome, and publish some of the best and most interesting books I've read! Like Terri Favro's Sputnik's Children from ECW Press, Dawn Dumont's Nobody Cries at Bingo from Thistledown Press, or Victoria Jason's Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak from Turnstone Press. I'm sure there are tons of lists of indie presses on the web that you could find somewhere. It's really easy to suddenly have a bunch of lesser known books recommended on your Twitter feed if you follow some indie presses on Twitter!

3. Find and follow blogs that promote and review under the radar books

Unfortunately, these are harder to find because usually the cycle is that the more popular books you review, the more popular your blog becomes. But there are some good ones out there! Some of my favourite bloggers at the moment are Casey, Shvaugn and Laura. I am always finding new books that I'd never heard of on their blogs, and all of three of them pick the books they read purposefully and analyze them thoughtfully. I'm always challenged by their reviews to look at the world and the books I read differently. 

4. Go to the library and pick books randomly off shelves

The old-fashioned route! If you really want to find books you and nobody else has ever heard of, go for the older, weirder looking books. You can also find a lot of random books at used book sales or in Little Free Libraries if there's any in your neighbourhood.

5. Search hashtags 

There are a few hashtags dedicated to finding under the radar books, such as #quietYA and #undertheradarYA. I haven't heard of any hashtags for under the radar adult books, but please comment below if you know of any!

These are just a few of the ways that I've found some great lesser known books. It's a bit more work than just putting whatever book you see most often on your TBR list. But it is soo worth it. It's worth it to know that you're supporting an author that likely doesn't get as much as support as big titles from big publishing houses do. It's worth it when you get to the be the first one telling someone else about this awesome book you've read. And it's worth it because there are so many more cool books out there to read, you just have to find them!

How do you find under the radar books to read? Who are your favourite bloggers that promote smaller titles? I need recommendations!

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