Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Call for Reader: If You Like Series . . .

I would like to develop an “If You Like Series” here at Dearauthor. Essentially, I want to build a library of cross referenced authors so that if a reader is searching for a particular read and likes a particular author, she might find a new author to glom onto.

I’m trying to do a better job of recommending authors to other people (and would love to be able to add at the end of a review, an “If You Like” segment). The idea is that we start out a thread with a very popular author like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and we talk about what we like about her books; what, if any, threads of commonality there are about the books; what heroine/hero tropes are in the books; and then, what other authors write books in a similar vein.

If we kind of flesh out what we like about a particular author, then we might be able to give better recommendations. Does that interest you? Would you be willing to participate? Drop a note as to what you think.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Anion
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 10:23:44

    I think this is a great idea.

  2. Keri M
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 10:42:38

    I agree with Anion and I would certainly participate. Keri

  3. Laura Herbertson
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 10:49:15

    There is something similiar Whatshouldireadnext. Maybe you can leverage this website somehow.

  4. Monique
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 10:57:58

    I am recent reader of this blog, but am now hooked. I’d love this kind of feature and would love to participate.

  5. Michelle
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 10:58:55

    Like Monique, I’m also new to this blog, and I really enjoy it.

    I think this idea sounds like a wonderful service and will certainly try to help out.

  6. Catherine
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:21:26

    I think this would be great. It wouldn’t be foolproof of course, but at least it would be a direction to start in. I’m always looking for new authors but am leery of buying the ones I see without a recommendation. (I always seem to pick the horrible ones.) I really appreciate how you are always morphing your site and looking for new things that would interest/help your readers.

  7. Corrine
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:21:49

    Sounds really good. I’m very hesitant to pick up new authors without knowning much about their writing style, and I love it when someone compares that author to a similar one so I can get better idea of the writing style.

  8. Patty L.
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:22:45

    I am a newby like Monique and Michelle and I think this would be a great thing to get involved with. Count me in, if you decide that you are going to do it.

  9. Mary M.
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:44:47

    Excellent idea. You often think you know all the good authors in a specific genre when it’s usually so not true. How long did I go with even HEARING of Loretta Chase? And now I wonder how it was possible :-D. Sometimes Amazon recommendations can be of help, but they are rather limited.

  10. Chicklet
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:47:55

    It sounds like a fantastic idea to me, and one that would encourage reviewers and readers to analyze what they like or dislike about various authors, and thereby gain a better idea of what we ourselves are looking for when we read. It’s like a very specialized version of Reader’s Service in a library. (And on that note, I encourage us to use terms like pace [fast vs. slow], writing style [simple vs. ornate], dialogue [lots vs. little or serious vs. humorous] so we can try to keep value judgments to a minimum. The goal of reader’s service is to give readers options for new reading based on what they like, not what you, the librarian, think they should like.)

  11. Jennifer
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:52:58

    Count me in, new commenter but willing to help considering the amount of books I digest in a year I should be able to offer some valid input.

    Great idea as well.


  12. Jill D.
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 12:06:25

    I think it is a good idea and I would participate as long as I was able to.

  13. MS Jones
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 13:22:07

    Yes and yes. I already rely on you Ja(y)nes and the Bitches for recommendations, and getting other perspectives would be a bonus. Since you can’t read everything that’s published, it would help to hear about newer authors who have the same sort of “voice” as, say, Loretta Chase, but who aren’t as well known.

  14. Bev Stephans
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 13:41:03

    This sounds like a great idea. The one thing that bothers me are the authors who change their writing style, plotting style, usage and syntax. You may have loved an earlier book, but more recent books have left you cold. This has happened to me several times over the past year. There are also the authors who have improved over their earlier works.

    I think for this to work, you would have to be book(s)specific.

  15. kristenmary
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 14:18:36

    I think this is a great idea. Like MaryM stated above it took me forever to find Loretta Chase. I know there are other great authors out there that I should be reading. I’ll help as much as I can but I tend to stick to a small group of authors.

  16. Gini
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 15:10:30

    Oh yes, fabulous idea. Count me in. I second Chicklet’s comments as well.

  17. Kristie(J)
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 15:24:04

    Sounds fun!! I love talking about books/authors I’ve enjoyed and why. Count me in.

  18. Ann Somerville
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 18:33:22

    If you’re interested in m/m romance, I’m your girl :)

  19. Mad
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 19:00:29

    Count me in!

  20. loonigrrl
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 19:37:51

    Great idea.

  21. JaneO
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 19:41:17

    Still another newbie here who greatly appreciates your reviews and thinks this is a terrific idea. I’m also fairly new to romance -‘ a couple of years -‘ but I’m already having trouble finding new books/authors. Of course, I started with Loretta Chase …

  22. Mireya
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 20:02:35

    Sounds good. I have only been reading romance for five years, but I’ll be happy to contribute in whatever small way I can.

    *rubbing hands as there are four new releases from autobuy authors out tomorrow: Christina Dodd, Lisa Marie Rice, Lynn Viehl and Angela Knight and all but one are part of series or starting one*

  23. Jane
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 20:38:52

    Welcome newcomers! Thanks so much for commenting everyone. It sounds like everyone likes this idea. I’ll start it up on next Monday then. Maybe we’ll start with a contemporary since there seem to be a drought of those and perhaps we can, amongst us, find some new authors be excited about. I think the idea of some kind of template is a good idea such as was suggested by Chicklet:

    Maybe something like:

    Heroine type:
    Hero type:
    Plot (slow/fast):
    Writing style (simple v. ornate):
    Dialogue (lots v. little):
    Humor (Yes/No-serious/some):
    Emotional Angst (high/low):
    Conflict (externally driven/internally driven):

    Any more suggestions?

  24. Tabitha
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 20:49:45

    I think this is a wonderful idea. I’m [recently] new and have started to rely on your site for new authors. I second both Chicklet and BevStephans. To add, I think it would be nice to elaborate on certain genres (ie. if recommended genres include erotic romance, and if there’s menage a trois b/c some may not prefer it)…hopefully, that makes sense.

  25. Alison
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 22:13:32

    I’d love to play!

  26. SonomaLass
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 00:21:43

    What they said. I like this idea a lot.

    Per the template, you might want to leave room for other comparisons too. Sometimes it’s hard to anticipate they ways in which two authors’ works can “feel” similar. You’re going to get some “she does this neat thing that reminded me so much of X by so-and-so,” and you’ll go crazy if you try to design a template that covers all possible bases.

  27. Janine
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 10:01:59

    Heroine type:
    Hero type:
    Plot (slow/fast):
    Writing style (simple v. ornate):
    Dialogue (lots v. little):
    Humor (Yes/No-serious/some):
    Emotional Angst (high/low):
    Conflict (externally driven/internally driven):

    Any more suggestions?

    A few more suggestions you can use if you like:

    Setting (geographic): (foreign/U.S. urban/U.S. small town/U.S. rural/variety):

    (For historicals this would obviously invite different choices and probably require two setting categories, one for eras, perhaps medieval/Regency/Victorian/other/variety, and one for geographic settings England/U.S./Canada/Scotland/Ireland/other European/Asian/African/Australian/South American/variety)

    Heat level: (kisses/warm/hot/scorching)

    Plot: (action-oriented / character-driven)

    Pace: (fast/medium/slow)

    Also, some books have both internal and external conflict, so I think it might be better to have the conflict category read this way:

    Conflict (externally driven/internally driven/both)

    And FWIW, I would also prefer “Emotional angst” to have a medium option (high/medium/low).

    So my proposed template would look like this:

    Heroine type:
    Hero type:
    Plot (slow/fast):
    Writing style (simple v. ornate):
    Dialogue (lots v. little):
    Humor (Yes/No-serious/some):
    Emotional Angst (high/medium/low):
    Conflict (externally driven/internally driven/both):
    Setting (georgraphic):
    Setting (era):
    Heat level: (kisses/warm/hot/scorching)
    Plot: (action-oriented / character-driven)
    Pace: (fast/medium/slow)

  28. Gini
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 15:23:08

    Under the humour category, is it possible to allow for quotes?
    Humour is so subjective and varies so drastically in style that to try and categorise it, especially when the blog is read internationally, is more or less impossible in any meaningful way. But at least with a quote you can see for yourself what the humour is like and whether it’s your cup of tea or not. While on the subject of quotes can we have space to provide tiny urls linking to book extracts available on author web sites etc if we want to?
    Also under writing style heading can it somehow include how much slang/colloquialism it contains. I ask because most of the romances I read are american market, I’m in the U.K. and I’ve come across books that I barely understand because I don’t understand the slang. I don’t mean the references to things or culture I’m not familiar with, because I ingore it and it usually doesn’t detract from the story. However it’s a different matter when I’ve no idea what the characters are saying. I know that readers in the U.S have said similar about U.K. published chic Lit books but mostly in that references are made to English culture/celebrities/or “in things” etc that haven’t crossed the pond.
    I do appreciate that this might be catering to too small a minority group.
    Regarding time scales on these recommendations. Are you thinking of these posts as being replied to in the next few days otherwise don’t bother as everyone has moved on to the next thing in the way that most blog posts work or is this going to be a kind of reference thing where it can be added to indefinitely and is easily searchable?
    I’m asking mainly because I’m not a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal nor can I reply at blog speed (at the speed of blog or maybe Blog Speed 10 Mr Spock?)so if you make a post on Monday, by Friday I’ll have ruminated on it, fished out some books and looked at them and come up with some ideas and answers to the template categories that I think are worth passing on. Surely I’m not the only one who’s like this? Otherwise I’m doomed…

  29. Anadaslu
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 05:30:22

    This is a great idea. I’m thrilled dearauthor is doing this. Pls realize it soon?

  30. Brooke
    Jul 20, 2008 @ 13:12:40

    I am new as well but read incessantly. I would love to add to this. Great idea.

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