What Can You Do When Your World is Ending?

Lois walked in and looked at me sadly. Lois is one of my favorite customers, so I was immediately concerned. “How can I help you today, Lois?”
“I love James Patterson,” she said.
I smiled. “That’s great! You know I have lots of Patterson, he’s one of my most popular authors.”
“But I’ve read all his books,” she said with a near wail. “The next one won’t be published for another six months.”
I understood immediately. Lois was at the point that many dedicated readers reach. They have been living in a special world created by their favorite author, but now they have finished all he or she has written and they feel that unique world has ended (and this one might not be far behind!) Lois was feeling something very close to grief.
“It’s ok,” I soothed. “I’m sure I’ll have a copy of Patterson’s newest book soon after it comes in. A lot of my customers don’t mind paying retail somewhere. They snap new releases up as soon as they hit the shelves, read them quickly, and bring them right in here to trade. In the meantime, it’s time to try a new author.”
I could tell Lois wanted to argue, and I could understand her frustration. She wanted her world back! But she agreed, and I led her back to my Mystery/Suspense room, where we spent several minutes checking out possible new authors.
This scene happens quite a bit, especially for those who read a lot or are fast readers. People fall in love with an author and read everything they can get their hands on by them. But eventually, they will run out of new titles, and often they have no idea where to go from there. Roaming the aisles in a well organized library or book store will sometimes give them an idea of who to choose, but not always.
But trying a new author doesn’t have to be traumatic! At Bookaneers, we try very hard to match what you like to read with a storyline and writing style that you will enjoy. Our customers themselves are the best teachers, as they bring their books in to trade. When I get a stack of Brad Thor, David Baldacci, Harlan Coben and John Lutz in all together, it is easy to get a feel for similar authors-even though I have not, in fact, read all 14,000+ books in the store. (A favorite question that people ask!) Fans of Clive Cussler are not necessarily going to enjoy Margaret Truman, any more than Debbie Macomber fans are likely to enjoy Christine Feehan.
I love introducing a reader to a different world through the writing of a new author. If that author has written several books, all the better! It takes time for authors to publish a new book. Discovering a prolific author after their fifth or tenth book allows readers to catch up on all the older works, thus prolonging the time before they once again find themselves feeling a little lost-like Lois!
To get you started, here are some authors that are similar to the top 5 authors currently in the Mass-Market Paperback Fiction section of the New York Times Bestsellers list. These are just suggestions, so when you visit your local bookstore or library, take the time to read the backs, check out the storylines, and above all… stay positive!
Robyn Carr: similar to Catherine Anderson, Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Jill Shalvis
David Baldacci: similar to Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Brad Meltzer, John Sanford, Nelson DeMille
James Patterson: similar to Greg Iles, Jeffery Deaver, Tami Hoag, Lisa Gardner, Michael Connelly
Harlan Coben: similar to Lee Child, Stuart Woods, David Baldacci, Karin Slaughter, John Lescroart
Janet Evanovich: similar to Donna Andrews, Stephanie Bond, Diane Mott Davidson, Joanne Fluke, Sue Grafton
Have fun searching for your next fictional world, and happy reading!