I just discovered a blog called Bookavore, which published a great little essay this week. The topic was ‘book discoverability’ and Bookavore wonders just how big a problem this really is. From the article:
I agree…that there is an audience discovery problem for authors (and publishers). But I really can’t get on board with this idea that readers have a book discovery problem, no matter how many times I hear it. I think publishers just really want readers to have discovery problems, so we can all be in the same boat.
It was an interesting observation, and, I think, a true one. Most readers have the problem of too many books they want to read, not too few. I have been an avid reader for years and I don’t think I have ever finished a book without having another few ready to go. Of course, I am not opposed to suggestions—my mother and my sister will sometimes suggest a book I might try, and a Kindle-owning co-worker has recently been trading ideas with me on the bus since we take the same route.
But those suggestions are usually extra to the books I plan to read already. I have more than a few that have been sitting in my Calibre library for a year, or longer, waiting to be gotten to. In fact, I recently stripped my Kobo of all library books and internet freebies so I could spend the rest of the year trying to mow through some of the books I’ve paid for! If the co-worker or Mom or sister do suggest something I might like, and it interests me enough to read it right now, all it’s doing is delaying whatever was next in the queue—and there is always something else in the queue!
I don’t doubt that authors have a ‘discoverability’ problem—they want readers to discover them and they want to stand out from the noise of all the other books and all the other authors in a growing playground where anyone can play. But I agree with Bookavore that this is not necessarily a problem for most readers.