The Science of the Glom
2012 was the year of Kristen Ashley for many romance readers. Whether it was through The Golden Dynasty (recommended to me as Game of Thrones fan fiction) or Knight (the weirdly magnetic but hard to read book featuring the pimp hero) or Motorcycle Man (the one that I use as a gateway drug recommendation to others), many readers found their way into the deep morass of Ashley’s backlist. I spoke with readers who admitted to reading over ten and sometimes over twenty books of Ashley’s last year.
That’s the definition of a glom. To acquire the backlist titles of one author until you’ve read or bought everything she has written.
In order for author to be “glommable” (if you don’t mind me extending the use of a made up word), the author needs two things. First, she has to have an extensive backlist. I’d argue at least four or more other titles you can purchase. Second, those titles need to be consistent with the book you enjoyed. This is why publishers try to give books in a series a consistent cover look. They want you to believe that all these books with the same type of covers are going to deliver the same emotional impact.
Taking Ashley as our example. The Golden Dynasty is barbarian romance fiction with a Mary Sue heroine and lots of forced seduction (and sometimes there wasn’t even seduction involved). Few other books in Ashley’s backlist were similar to The Golden Dynasty but my friend read those and none others. She wasn’t interested.
For those who read Knight, there were a few in the Unfinished Hero series but not many. The readers who fell for Ashley because of Motorcycle Man, however, had over 10 titles to read. You could return to the backlist and get the same high off the Ashley crackpipe.
Contrast this with Joanna Wylde, the author of another successful Motorcycle Club book called Reaper’s Property. Wylde has an extensive backlist but it is mostly paranormal rather than contemporaries. I’ve been told that the books are very good but I’ve seen few readers move backward to delve deep into her backlist. I found myself more willing to re-read Reaper’s Property than delve into a Joanna Wylde paranormal.
Category authors like Susan Napier, Charlotte Lamb, Maisey Yates, and the like are easy to glom. If you like one book, you’ll like the author’s other twenty titles from Harlequin Presents. In fact, category lines are built along the philosophy of the glom. The consistent branding attempts to convey that if you liked Book A from one line, you’ll like every other book in the line as well. It’s an invitation to glom.
When you look at the more successful self published authors like Samantha Young or Courtney Cole, you don’t see a corresponding increase in sales for their older titles. Those older titles are packaged differently suggesting to the reader that those books won’t include the same tropes or characters that made the other title successful.
Consistent with the above definitions, I’ve made a list a few of the most glommable authors. Who should be on that list? Who did I include incorrectly? What do you think makes a glommable author?
- Linda Howard. Writes almost exclusively hot romantic suspense. Has at least twenty novels to glom (the cut off date is Open Season)
- Julie Garwood. Prior to her writing romantic suspense, Garwood wrote the most entertaining and historically inaccurate Scottish medievals. Her glommable backlist includes twelve to thirteen titles.
- J. R. Ward. Other than the Jessica Bird titles that only the hard core Ward fans buy (they aren’t bad either), Ward’s success was made with her Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Glommable titles is 10
- Nalini Singh. Singh’s compelling paranormal romance featuring Changelings, Psy (people with mental powers), and humans is up to 12 if you count her summer release. You can’t read just one.
- Jill Shalvis. Shalvis’ writing is very consistent and if you like straight contemporary romances with mostly affable characters then you have a huge backlist to delve into. Backlist full contemporary titles clock in at over 12.
I would add Lisa Kleypas to that list – I started reading her historical romances only about 2 years ago, and there was an extensive backlist to glom. One of the earliest memories of glomming was Georgette Heyer – the perfect example of a long backlist of similar novels. I discovered them on my mother’s bookshelf when I was about 12, and I think I had read the list of her books (including the mysteries) within about 2 years.
I think Linda Howard is glommable, but if you enjoy her more recent books you won’t find the same satisfaction in her older books. I’m an old-skool Linda Howard fan in that I loved many of her category books and early romantic suspense. But her more recent books, starting around Cry No More or so aren’t up to par IMO with her older books. I know I’m one of the few who actually liked Cover of Night but it is the last book of hers on my keeper shelf. It took me nearly a decade to “break up” with her, but I still have a soft spot for her older books.
I remember reading Sandra Brown’s Mirror Image and glomming her backlist. This was back in the days before I had internet and I can remember scouring the used bookstores in Vegas and snail-mailing other stores around the country who had ads in the back of RT. It took me nearly two years to track down all of her backlist (all those pseudo names!). Her backlist was very hit-or-miss for me, but she’s the first author I remember glomming. Like Linda Howard, I have since broken up with her as an author. But unlike with Howard I kept all of her books since it took me so long to obtain them.
Other authors I glommed back in the day include Carole Buck and Jeanne Grant (aka Jennifer Greene) both of whom I discovered via their Jove Second Chance at Love category books. Amanda Quick: I can remember glomming those early one word titles when I discovered JAK around 1995. Cindy Gerard: I started reading her just before Show No Mercy was released. I think her Black Ops Inc series is more evenly written. I enjoyed most of them whereas her Bodyguard series was hit-or-miss. I also glommed all of Shannon Stacey’s backlist after reading Exclusively Yours. I think fans of contemporaries would enjoy both her Devlin Group and Kowalski series. Though she only had three books out at the time, I remember reading your review of Lori Borrill’s Unleashed and glomming her backlist. I liked her working class heroes. Sadly, I don’t think she’s published anything in a few years.
I’ve learned over the years that total glomming can burn me out on an author, so nowadays when I find an author I like with a backlist I try to spread the books out a bit, reading three or four back-to-back and then taking a break. But I’ve done mini-gloms of Cindy Gerard’s category titles and am still working my way through Jill Shalvis’s books. Is it still a glom if you buy all of the books right away and then space out the reading of them?
What other authors would I consider glommable?
JD Robb I’ve gotten more than one person hooked on Eve & Roarke.
Meg Benjamin’s Konigsburg series
Jayne Ann Krentz: particularly her early single titles starting with Perfect Partners before she got on the paranormal/Arcane track (though for the record I do enjoy her Arcane series)
Christine Feehan: I don’t read her Dark series and have read her other books as they were released, but I think her GhostWalkers series as well as the Drake Sisters/Sea Haven series would be glommable
Julia Quinn: though she’s an author I am in the process of breaking up with. I know many readers who have glommed her Bridgertons and other early books.
Nora Roberts though she’s written so many books readers can do gloms of her various sub-genres.
Georgette Heyer was my first glom too! I’ve been glomming away for decades. Recent happy discoveries include Sarah Mayberry, Carla Kelly, Jo Walton…Robyn Carr’s virgin river series is glom able onable, as is Susan Mallory – except for the one about the goats – avoid that one as it gives an inaccurate impression of Mallory’s abilities as a writer…I could go on – but want to read everyone else’s comments!
I read “Ain’t She Sweet” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips at the beginning of February and have read five more of her stand alone titles since. I plan to start another one in the next week or so. None of the subsequent reads have reached the giddy heights of “Ain’t She Sweet” for me but a few have come very close and, with her huge backlist, I’m hoping to find another Sugar Beth.
I am a routine glommer, if I like an author, I’ll binge on their books one after the next.
I would agree with whomever said Lisa Kleypas, I read her entire backlist in less than a month. I would also add JD Robb, when I binged on the In Death series, I was buying them five at a time. I also glommed Julia Quinn.
For contemporary authors, I find that if I recommend a Julie James book (which I do routinely), readers glom her entire backlist quickly. Her heroines are so smart, and her books just get sexier and sexier as she goes, which makes her even more fun to read!
I understand that Laurann Dohnner’s New Species series is very popular. I read a few and they felt quite “samey” to me, but her readers seem very passionate about that series and find it very bingeable. Lora Leigh also has an extensive backlist.
I also gobbled up everything Lauren Dane had ever written when I started with the Brown siblings series. Her books are varied enough to give a taste of a variety of sub-genres.
(You can tell from this list that I binge alot)…
The science of the glom really is about the feeling you get when you read that first book, isn’t it? You read more and more hoping to recreate that feeling. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. But for me, it’s that search for the feeling you got from the first book by the author you read.
I would suggest Mary Balogh and Joan Wolf. Both historical romance authors with definite styles.
I once glommed the entire Kenyon Dark Hunter series from book one to Acheron. That was fun.
I also think Cindy Gerard is a fun one to glom. Her BOI and Bodyguard series give you a really good group of books.
And oh yes – In Death series is def glom material.
I wonder to what extent glomming is a function of the reader’s propensities and how much is in fact attributable to the writing. I will glom a writer if I enjoy her ‘voice’ (broadly defined) – I do it with romance, mysteries, SFF, more “high-brow” literature and so on, and definitely, whether I like the voice or not, with non-fiction texts if the work is somehow relevant to my field. I won’t feel qualified to speak on or engage with the writer’s ideas if I fail to do so. So maybe its my training?
[ETA] And just to add – I can be pretty obsessive about this. When I like an author (non-fiction) I will generally look first at my public library system and search the online catalogues and then drive around to the sometimes far-flung libraries to find the books. On the plus side, it gives me more opportunities to explore my city I guess.
Jo Beverley, Mary Balogh, older Mary Jo Putneys (but not the new ones), Roberta Gellis, Madeline Hunter, Gaelen Foley, JD Robb, Nora Roberts’ single titles, Rachel Gibson. I speak from experience here…
Also, KA Mitchell, Marie Sexton for m/m.
Just starting my KA glom now… :)
Oh yes..KA Mitchell. One of my most favorite gloms ever.
m/m glommables for me include LA Witt (trademark sense of humour–if you like her voice, you’ll like all of them), and Amy Lane (who’s really good at emotionally intensity with an overall message of hope/humanity).
For me, I’m more into voices than genres, so if my favourite author writes different genres, I don’t really care.
Others – Johanna Lindsey, especially her early “Mallory” series, Diana Palmer and early (pre-contemporary – though I love me some contemporary romance) Elizabeth Lowell.
BTW, I’m also going to glom that word……. to glom, to collect in a glom like fashion….
I’m glomming JD Robb and Radclyffe right now. I’ve also done it with Sarah Mayberry, Victoria Dahl, Lorelie James’ Roughriders series and Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series.
Great post, Jane. I’ve never heard this articulated so well. My first glom was Mary Balogh. Her books have been amazingly consistent, all the way back to her category titles.
I’d argue that some publishers have taken the category model and applied it to their front list Regency titles. They give the books such similar titles and covers because they want you to think they are glommable–that this week’s One Night with a Duke will deliver the same emotional impact as last week’s One Night with a Viscount.
I’d add J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts, Eloisa James. :)
I’d add (to what others have already mentioned) author’s I’ve glommed – Joan Smith, Laura Matthews, Patricia Briggs, Lois McMaster Bujold, as well as mystery (with romantic elements) writers like Deborah Crombie, Margaret Maron, and Julia Spencer-Fleming. Though I’m a more flexible glommer, and would go (for example) from Briggs’ Mercy books into her earlier fantasy books.
I am an anti-glommer. I do understand the impulse and I have certainly done it in the past. But mostly what I find is that glomming highlights authors’ weaknesses and tics in a way that begins to dull the pleasure of reading them. A few years ago I had a Mary Balogh glom. I like Balogh and I think she is a good and reliable author. But once I noticed that almost every single book of hers has a midnight skinny dipping scene, I couldn’t read without waiting for it to appear. If I’d read the books as published, with a year or so between, I’d probably never have noticed that or if I had, I wouldn’t have cared. Similarities of expression, description, character quirks and so on all become irritating repetition to me, if I’m reading them in swift succession.
Stephanie Laurens might be the ultimate glommable author: extensive backlist, similarly packaged, promising the same emotional experience. But once you’ve read 2 or 3 in a row you realise that the books are exactly the same. Spread out over a much longer period of time with other books in between, they would be much more enjoyable.
I do agree with everyone, however, about the glommability of Heyer. Her books have sufficient variety and individuality, while still being reliably brilliant. The world is recognisably the same, but the specifics of each book are uniquely wonderful.
Mary Balogh. I had been reading her single titles for years and still hadn’t even touched the surface of her early books and old- skool Signet Regencies. At an estate sale, I purchased a box packed full of old Signets and most of them were Baloghs. So In 2011 the entire month of February was given over to Balogh. I am a prolific reader and those signets go down easy and quick and yet I read no other author for the entire month. And she still has a few I didn’t get my hands on.
@Ros: So agree with your statement of glomming highlighting authors little tics and twitches. Years ago when I first was introduced to genre romance by a co-worker I glommed everything that I could find by Jayne Ann Krentz. A surprising number of her heroines from those early books had hair the color of toast.
With easy access to ebooks though I don’t feel the compulsion to glom that I once did. When the only source was a finite number of used books or unreliable reprints it was best to get all of a favorite author’s books “while the gittin’ was good”.
My last glom was Sarah Mayberry. I loved Susan Napier’s books and I’m very sad she doesn’t appear to be writing anymore. I’ve never read category romance that was done so well – I think I may have to re-glom….
In my mind there’s a delicate balance in achieving good glom ;) I may try a second book after enjoying the first, but I must love the first or second book in order to start a serious glom. As @Aleksandr Voinov said, the author has to have a voice that I like. Once I’m firmly entrenched in glomdom, that voice must be maintained. If the writer completely changes from one book to another, or between genres, that definitely harshes the glombuzz. But at the same time, there can’t be too much sameness in plot, character, etc. because that puts the glom to sleep.
Try as they might, publishers aren’t going to induce glomeration with the packaging, however back-cover blurbs and cover art may influence the order in which I read the books.
Glomming reminds me of the college maxim- take professors, not classes. A good prof. can make anything interesting. A bad prof can make the most interesting subject a snooze fest. (EDITED- Wrote that backwards.)
Glomming doesn’t just look backwards, it also helps me determine what authors to put on my autobuy list for the future, and which are prioritized. A new book from an author with a backlist that I’ve glommed and loved is a much safer buy than one that didn’t tempt a glom, or no backlist at all.
I very much agree about the glom-ness (haven’t had a full cup of coffee yet) of Nalini Singh. I would also add Ilona Andrews and the “Kate Daniels” series. I’d never heard of either of these authors but bought an anthology, “Must Love Hellhounds”, that had a Charlaine Harris short story and Singh and Andrews were in it. Read all the stories and glommed all of their books. Oddly, I stopped reading Harris.
@Aisha: What a GREAT idea to go check out libraries around town! I will do that. Thank you.
I used to be a glommer, but I have been actively fighting against it for a while now. I glommed Jude Devereaux, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas back in the day and now I don’t read these authors at all anymore. I actually started on Stephanie Laurens but stopped myself. I find that it just gets too expensive and I don’t have the time to read everything I would like to.
Oops, forgot two things-
The unfortunate side-effect of glomming- The post glom hang-over. A sad, sad time.
And my personal gloms- All time greats include Jennifer Crusie and Michael Connelly. I think my most recent was Josh Lanyon.
Back in the day Suzanne Brockmann was a huge glom for me. She had branched out from the harlequin books into the longer novels, had two of them out and one more on the way. I got hooked right before “Over The Edge” came out, and glommed all the backlist she had related to the SEALs (in used paperbacks) and even bought some of her older straight romances. I agree about Linda Howard- that was another huge glom for me. I’d add Nora Roberts to the list. She has so many books and trilogies you can just gorge on them when you first discover her.
DS said “I glommed everything that I could find by Jayne Ann Krentz. A surprising number of her heroines from those early books had hair the color of toast. ”
OMG! Thank you for saying that! I remember reading Gamemaster by her and the heroine kept mentally referring to her hair that way (but never said it out loud) so when the hero was cuddling with her and referred to her “toast colored hair” I was like Argh!! NO ONE calls hair “toast colored”. Of course it didn’t stop me from reading pretty much all her books under all her aliases.
I’m a recent glommer of Sarah Mayberry. I’ve also read my first Sarah Morgan HP and I have a feeling glomming will soon commence. I also recently read 7 of the Julia Spencer-Flemming Russ and Clare books. I was so hoooked and so addicted that I decided Russ and Clare and I needed a break from one another.
Our relationship wasn’t healthy.
I am not a glommer. I just don’t get the appeal. Probably the closest I’ve come is four Kristan Higgins books over a year, and all of Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove books in 6-8 months or so (3 novels + novella). There are only a handful of romance authors I’ve even read more than 2 books by, though that’s in part because I’m rather new (2-2.5 yrs) to the genre. The others I can think of: Julia Quinn, Courtney Milan, and Julie James. And I think after 4-5 books I’ve completely OD’d on Julia Quinn and Kristan Higgins, and might never read them again. My problem is that I start getting sick of an author’s style and characters pretty fast. Tessa Dare is probably the easiest for me to read a lot of as I find there is quite a variety in her heroes and heroines, something I don’t find for a lot of other authors. Anyways, glomming has always been a bit of a mystery to me, and I don’t think it’s a case of me just not finding the right author to glom. If I find an author I like, I generally just read another of their books 6 months or so down the road.
In addition to not being a glommer, I am also not someone who finds a good book highly addictive and un-putdownable, and I never stay up late reading.
I actively fight my glomming tendency because whenever I glom, I then get burnt out on the author’s writing style and that author is then ruined for me. I’ve found that spacing books by the same author out by at least a month gives me the maximum enjoyment and excitement from each successive read. However, the spacing is tricky because if I go too long between books, I forget about the buzz that I had gotten from the previous book and lose the glom impulse altogether. On the other hand, when I finally do pick up another book by that author, it’s like I get to start all over with a new glom LOL.
Also, for me, price is an important glom consideration since I read so many books. Because self-pubbed books are often cheaper, it’s much easier to give in to the impulse to glom those authors’ backlists so I find that my biggest gloms are usually on self-pubbed authors like KA, Marie Force, and Debora Geary. It’s a lot easier to justify buying 10 books at $3.99 than 10 books at $7.99. If large publishers were smart, they would offer a volume discount for those of us who like to glom and are willing to buy several of an author’s books at the same time.
My name is Kelly, and I am a Glommer.
When I first got my Kindle, everything was a glom – the instant gratification thing was GLORIOUS. Quinn, Kleypas, Long, London, Jeffries, Hoyt, Dare, Kelly…. *~*happysigh*~* And then m/m authors like Cullinan, Sexton, Witt, Mitchell…. *swoon* The only contemp author I got sucked into was Marie Force, but that fascination is waning.
Oh, and my print collection too – I also have the complete backlist of Jean Plaidy (only the re-releases, still hunting some of the OOP ones), Victoria Holt, Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Daphne DuMaurier.
Now I actively try to avoid glomming, and I’m very reluctant to start any new series because my OCD will compel me to buy EVERY SINGLE ONE NO MATTER HOW CRAPPY and then I will get disgusted with myself and never buy that author or even genre again [*ahem*Laurell K. Hamilton].
Most of those early glom authors are still auto-buys, and many of them are comfort reads as well. Three years of reading romance, and I’m already nostalgic, but I blame that solely on YOU PEOPLE who EXPLOIT MY WEAKNESSES.
In addition to the authors named, I’ve found Eva Ibbotson, Loretta Chase (especially the early ones), and in sff Megan Whalen Turner and Lee/Miller eminently glommable.
I love this description of the process.
@Liz H.: “glombuzz” – chapeau, what a beautiful new word. I shall steal it hencewith!
Me too, JenM. I might be one of the few readers out there who wishes that certain favorite authors would release books less frequently so the anticipation has more of a chance to build!
@DS: I don’t even know what colour ‘toast-coloured’ is supposed to be. In my house it’s quite often a shiny blue-black. ;)
@Ros: I was thinking “white? or wholegrain”?
My classic gloms were Linda Howard and Nora Roberts. JD Robb and Nalini Singh are definitely glommable. I also had a Christine Feehan glom a few years back.
My most recent (thanks to a review here on Dear Author) was Pamela Clare’s romantic suspense books.
I’m with @Liz H on the post-glom hangover. Bad, bad, bad…
My first glom was Jo Goodman, and I still read her books. I love discovering someone I have not read before and then reading everything, or almost everything! Another favorite glom that I didn’t see mentioned previously was Maggie Osborne.
Most recently , I glommed Julie Anne Long. I read one of her Pennyroyal Green books, I think How the Marquess Was Won, and then went back and read everything she ever wrote. Loretta Chase a couple years ago while on vacation. Long, long ago as a college student who should have been reading other things, I glommed Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, Amanda Quick, and Nora Roberts. I sort of did it with Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series – discovered it mid-series and then followed it from then on out. You could do it with Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, Jennifer Crusie, Rachel Gibson, Shannon Stacey, Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens.
@Anna Hackett: Lol, it is SO bad. Post-glom hangover or syndrome (PGS?) is worse than PMS. Ice cream or chocolate does not make it better.
I’m in desperate need of a good glom. My last was Abigail Roux. My first one was Lisa Kleypas. My most expensive one was Anne Stuart.
I think Julie James should be added to the list. Her backlist is not as long as the other authors mentioned, but her books are just as addictive.
@Vi Dao: Abigail Roux. Hm. If you like that sense of humour and hotness, I’d suggest Anne Tenino (Frat Boy and Toppy was reviewed on this blog if I remember correctly). Her backlist is still manageable, and I find her sense of humour irresistible. I’m currently glomming LA Witt. Got a whole pile of them.
A couple summers ago I glommed Christine Feehan’s Night Walker and Sea Haven books. Looking back, I’m not sure they were actually very good, but that really didn’t seem to matter at the time. More recently, Karen Marie Moning and Jeaniene Frost were glommed in rapid succession. In both cases, I wondered why I waited so long to start reading their books. Mercifully, my KMM glomming started after she’d wrapped up the Fever series, so I didn’t have to lose my mind waiting for Shadowfever.
Therein lies the writer’s dilemma! Readers want consistency, but writers can get tired of a series or a period or even a whole universe! The famous story about Conan Doyle trying (and failing) to kill off Sherlock Holmes is certainly not the last time a writer bowed to reader demands for more of the same.
As a writer, I get that, but as a reader, the one thing I can’t forgive is starting a series with an overall story arc and not finishing it. I don’t think that happens much in romance, but it is the bane of epic fantasy.
@carmen webster buxton: Well, epic fantasy had a couple high-profile deaths of guys who didn’t manage to wrap their series… meaning I tend to only buy a series if it’s finished (the lesson I learnt thanks to David Gemell and Robert Jordan). There’s also a thing about publishers killing series because they are dwindling in sales numbers the longer they go on, so I can completely see how it’s sometimes not the author’s decision to kill a series. That’s where hopefully self-publishing comes in – to give that kind of closure at least.
Another Brockmann glommer here. I read one and downloaded the other sixteen right away. This coming from someone who has purchased maybe 30 or 40 e-books in total over the last three years… I just love the way the romances build over a series of books and get revisited. It was such a satisfying reading experience. And pretty much all my favourite UF series are repeat glommers. I’ll re-read all the books before the new one comes out – Seanan McGuire’s Toby Day series, Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts and Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series.
And of course, Harry Potter. My glom binges with that series are pretty epic.
I glommed Anita Blake in 2010-ish. From Guilty Pleasure to Blood Noir or Skin Trade (I don’t even recall) in a matter of a month of so. The wakeup call was brutal and I overdosed on [insert all sort of words that would trigger the comment filters ;)].
I’ve also generally binged on UF as a whole and I had a tendency to read the first in a series and then buy the rest of the books and read them all at once (I was lucky I worked at a bookstore at the time). I’ve been through so many series that way. And I have so many books gatherign dust on the book shelves, too, because of that. *sigh * Cos I got sick of UF after a while (a year?). They almost all tasted the same. But yeah.
For binging: Patricia Briggs (*everything*) and Kelley Armstrong (both the adult and the YA books. She’s good at novellas and short stories, too. And I just saw that there’ll be a third Nadia Armstrong novel, published at the end of 2013, I’m chuffed!).
I am currently glomming Garwood’s historicals. Why has it taken me this long to do this? It’s a wonderful thing.
I glommed up Kresley Cole’s IAD series when I first started reading PNR. I could re-glom that series.
Has anyone mentioned Kresley Cole? I think she is very glommable because the world and voice–she has a terrific girl-power sense of humor–are consistent, even though the stories and characters are delightfully, radically different from book to book.
Though not a romance author, a lot of romance readers have a soft spot for George MacDonald Fraser’s rakish Flashman. I glommed and loved not only his short fiction, his memoir of the Burma campaign and his unrelated novel, Mr. American, but his screenplays too. So it was a cross-media glom. A direct romance comparable might be Kate Noble–you can glom her books and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, although the LBD might count as a binge…
On my way out the door so apologies if this one’s already been mentioned, but Linnea Sinclair would probably be a good example for glom-able scifi romance. I hope she’ll have some more full-length books available in the, er, future. :)
When I read the end of Jane’s essay I thought “meh, I’ve only done this with a couple of authors…maybe SEP, and Kresley Cole, and most recently Kristen Ashley.”
Then I started reading the comments, and Whoa Nelly, I’ve been reminded of the 92 or so more authors that need to be added to to the aforementioned list:
And the list goes on and on. I mean, I’ve literally [figuratively] devoured these backlists! I think I have a problem. Is there a 12 Step Program for Glomming?
The best/worst part of e-books – the ability to find almost every book a author has and get it NOW… Here are my favorite and most notorious glom purchases..
Lauren Dane – hot romance, paranormal, shapeshifters, sci-fi – she does it all and all of its hot. I started with one book then within a month – I bought her entire backlist.Maya Banks – variety of romances – hot, historical or suspense.
Linnea Sinclair (as mentioned above)/Thea Harrison/Ilona Andrews…all great – read one…then bought everyone.
Shelly Laurenston/G.A. Aiken – started with Bear meets Girl and ended up buying her entire backlist.
For m/m – Cameron Dane/Mary Calmes/Kaje Harper
I still love my Jayne Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle – I’ve read almost her entire backlist and keep several in pb for comfort reads
I am currently glomming Susanna Kearsley. One thing is for sure, Glomming is not good for my wallet.
Yay! Kresley Cole is so glommable!! Her historicals are also great–same wit and attention to detail plotting, without the paranormal elements.
I would also add Roxanne St. Claire too, as I spent the summer wondering what rock I had been living under that I missed her. But then, I could enjoy a good summer glom.
@Liz H.: PGS…love it! And I think ice cream and chocolate help a little (-:
Kresley Cole was another glom for me too!
I glommed Anita Blake too. That was fun (at least at first. LOL)
I was going to say that I don’t glom, and then I realized that um, I’ve read every book written by Jennifer Crusie, all of the Psy/Changeling series, almost every book written by SEP (I’m in the process of breaking up with her, so I’ve skipped the last couple), most of the JAK/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle (but not the early Samantha James) backlist, a lot of Amy Lane, almost every K. A. Mitchell, etc.
So yeah, I do glom, but I usually glom over a longish period of time. Once I find an author I like, I often work through their back list, but not usually all at once (as Ros says, too many in a row and their quirks are too obvious).
@Aleksandr Voinov: As for glomming voices or genres, for me that depends on the author. There are authors that I’ve followed across genres and styles because I love their voice or their worldview or their something, and authors that I haven’t, because what I like is their one specific world (more than their voice or their writing). I think that happens for me more in SF/F and PNR. I’ve read all the Psy/Changeling books but I’m not interested in the rest of Nalini Singh’s backlist. I obsessively read the Pern books in my youth, but only tried one non-dragon book by McCaffrey (and it was meh).
I have an ongoing glom of Mercedes Lackey, as despite having outgrown her some of her series I continue to re-read them and buy new ones, but am loving her branching out in her Luna-published books.
My first real introduction to romance reading was Nalini Singh, which is a happy glom for me, and recently I’ve also done the same with Julie Anne Long and am in the process of Julia Quinn. I’ll also quietly admit to glomming Philippa Gregory.
I’m seeing lots of names to definitely look into though!
I am a reluctant glommer, now more so than ever. Not having enough funds tends to cramp ones abilities to glom, even with the help of libraries. But I remember *happily* glomming Nalini Singh (went through ALL of her psy-changeling backlist before KOS), Jill Shalvis (still am buying her books as they go on sale- wee!), Moira Rogers, Anne Bishop, Jim Butcher, Julia Quinn, Jacquie D’Alessandro, Anne Gracie, Jillian Hunter, Jayne Ann Krentz (and her aliases lol), and of course, the author with the mother of all backlists, Nora Roberts. :)
Definitely Jill Shalvis! She is my one true glom and I am working my way through her backlist. I have also glommed Victoria Dahl and, as of a few weeks ago, Julie James. They don’t have huge backlists (I only like contemporaries so I haven’t tried Dahl’s historicals yet) so there’s not really much to glom.
I think there’s also a relationship between glomming and long series. Lots of people read one Cynster novel, for instance, and then immediately gobble up the rest. With those longer series, I think that has more to do with the author than with the characters, as they branch out so much.
This is so interesting! I’m with the non-glommers. I find that the more of an author’s books I read in a row, the less I enjoy them, so I tend to hoard up the backlists of people whose work I love. I’m great friends with Cara McKenna / Meg Maguire and love her work deeply, but I still haven’t read all of it. I save them up — and the work of reliable others like Molly O’Keefe, Julie Ann Long, Sarah Mayberry, Julie James, and more — for when I need something I can count on.
Klepas? yes. Singh? Definitely. Jill Shalvis, Laura Griffin, Kristen Ashley, Lauren Dane? Absolutely.
Lately I just not feeling the glom-buzz. As others have mentioned, the downside is the buzz wears off. Lately I just want to discover new voices, new plot devices, new angles to the old, comfortable ones I’ve grown used to. That’s why I’m such a fan of DA, Smexy, SBTB, and other blogs. In a world where Amazon is taking over Goodreads, we need spaces like this for discovering something new.
I glom, even though I know it can be bad for me. I tore through Mary Balogh’s backlist, then had to take almost a year long break from her.
Other glom authors I’ve not seen yet-Carla Kelly & Lois McMaster Bujold. It probably only took me two months to go from zero to A Civil Campaign in the Miles series. The hangover effects of the Kelly glom were proba
Stupid, dying phone keyboard.
My library didn’t carry Kelly, so glom was spread out over ILL requests, which helped prevent hangover.
Quitting before keyboard crashes again.
Oh yes, I’ve glommed Carla Kelly – I went through one of her trilogies very quickly and then on to others.
I also glom genres / sub-genres. I went on a huge BDSM romance glom last year, during the height of the 50 Shades hullabaloo. I worked my way through the “if you like…” recs on DA and SBTB. And it was like eating potato chips – I just kept compulsively reading them. I think that lasted 2 or 3 months, and then I was done. They all started to seem the same to me – didn’t matter if they were fem-dom, male-dom, m/f, m/m, or m/m/werewolf.
I’m still in the middle of a serious m/m glom – it’s lasted over a year now. I keep expecting to get tired of it, but not yet.
As much as I’d love to glom series, I just can’t do it. I can read 2 or 3 Nalini Singh books then I need to read something else, just so I won’t get the stories mixed up. I think I have about 20 or so series ongoing right now. I guess I like the variety and I never get bored of the same author.
I’ve been sick recently and have been on a HQN Presents glom, both old and new books. I was wanting strong emotional content and payoff. :) It was a bit disconcerting to see the changes over the years. They tend to be sketchier nowadays because of decreases in word count, I guess. I find I generally like older ones better which is inconvenient when it comes to backlists that haven’t been digitized.
Thanks to PaperBackSwap, I did manage to plug the holes in my Susan Napier collection but it means I have no more books of hers left to read.
I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for e-readers/tablets/etc cuz I am a glommer! Though, as some of you noted, glomming on an author tends to lead to burn-out. Authors on my list:
Iris Johansen – started with her standalones and moved on the her Eve Duncan series. Sadly, after many rewarding years to together, the Eve/Quinn/Bonnie trilogy was so difficult to get through that I haven’t read any of her new Catherine Ling series. – I also like when she writes w/ her son, Roy Johansen
Cherry Adair – I love the action in all her books! And I stalked her ruthlessly at RWA last year and she was so sweet about it!
Allison Brennan – I’m still not through her backlist and I have to read them all in order.
Linda Howard – I totally agree that her newer books have lost a little magic, but I could re-glom her books all over again for their emotional impact.
Lisa Gardner – I almost didn’t include her because I am still raw over our breakup, but if you like a great twist at the end of your romantic suspense, she has some freaking fantastic ones! The Perfect Husband is the first one, and I still get all worked up about it. However, stop when you finish Love You More because she takes one of the most bad-ass heroine cops out there in authorland and changes the character of the character so much that it’s just not even D.D. anymore. I’m still depressed.
I did just pick up my first Jill Shalvis book and I’m excited so many of you love her – I’m always in the mood for a new author to glom!
I totally agree with 1-4, but for me, Shalvis is hit or miss. I started reading her a long time ago (I think a Harlequin Heat maybe?). I’ve really loved some of her Lucky Harbor novels, but others just didn’t work for me. I think, for me, sometimes the emotion is definitely there and sometimes it’s not. One of my personal hang-ups too is that for straight romance (as opposed to erotica), I want the sex scenes to be important to moving the story along. One of her Lucky Harbor novels whose title escapes me had a lot of sex for sex’s sake, which became repetitive for me.
That said, I adore her blog and she’s funny as heck on Facebook.
I don’t glom nearly as much as I did when I was younger (now that just sounds dirty) and I’m not really a glommer by nature. But I remember glomming Barbara Michaels hard back in the day.
My most recent gloms were probably Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay — but I have the same problem others have noted: after a few, the books really blend into each other.
I know a lot of series have been mentioned as a “glom” here, but for me, a glom’s not a full glom unless it reaches outside a particular series or connected plotline. A series is a…series. Yeah, you read the series to find out what happens in the series. SERIES! Heh. But a glom…well, that’s where an author gets you with her voice and her wily ways and you must read her other books, be they series or standalone or the same genre or not. THAT, to me, is a glom. I’ll read a series because it’s a series, not because it’s a glom. But I’ll read Carla Kelly on a napkin if I have to.
I, too, glommed Kristen Ashley. Before her, my early authors discoveries included Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter (her older releases), Jude Deveraux (again, older releases), Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Andrea Kane, Judith McNaught, and Diana Palmer.
The more recent author discoveries include Julia Quinn, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Kresley Cole, Lauren Dane, Lisa Kleypas, Lora Leigh, J.D. Robb, Karen Rose, Nalini Singh, Cherry Adair, G.A. Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, Susan Andersen, Jennifer Armentrout, Allison Brennan, Suzanne Brockmann, Meg Cabot, Jennifer Crusie, Christine Feehan, Kay Hooper, Brenda Jackson, Deirdre Martin, Shannon McKenna, Karen Marie Moning (highlander books)…and I think I can still go on. lol. I love glomming!
Oh, lord. I’m beginning to think I need treatment because I’m such a serial glommer. I was a glommer even as a child. Back then, I glommed everything from Pearl S. Buck to Barbara Cartland (my first romance glom?). I went thru Victoria Holt (and all of her other alter egos), Taylor Caldwell, Rafael Sabatini, Samuel Shellabarger, and countless others. My mother gave me my first Agatha Christie in the 3rd grade, and I went thru all of those. I later found Ngaio Marsh and read all of them. If I read (and liked) one, I had to read them ALL.
A few years ago, when I saw that first episode of the Sharpe series on PBS? Yep, had to acquire and read the entire series (up to that point) ASAP. My glomming is not bound by genre–I even had a Harry Turtledove glom.
I had quit reading romances for a number of years when I picked up a copy of Amanda Quick’s The Paid Companion. That, of course, led to the AQ backlist, plus Jayne Ann Krentz, Jayne Castle, Stephanie James (altho I gave up on those pretty quickly). Everything romance was new to me so I went thru Howard, Goodman, Beverley, Lowell, Lindsey, Coulter, Garwood, Alexander, Deveraux, Moning, Robards, Putney, etc, as fast as I could. I glommed authors I’m too ashamed to admit to.
Recent gloms have been Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price. . . but you know there’ve been others.
I’ve never read any Nora Roberts and I’m a bit scared to even stick my toe into those addictive waters.
I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THERE WAS A WORD FOR IT.
I glom. Muchly. I am currently in the midst of a Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Judith McNaught (rereads) glom-fest. Julie Anne Long, too. Thinking of starting an Elizabeth Hoyt and Loretta Chase glom soonish.
What I really enjoy, I think, is the “research” aspect of it. Discovering an author/book that I really loved, and then systematically going back through the backlist of the author, researching and listing down what titles I should read next (I tend to go in order of stars and recommendations). I love lists. Staring at the book covers. Reading people’s reviews of the books on Goodreads and Amazon and this site.
I love to glom!
Ah yes. The glom does indeed expose certain author tics- Jayne Ann Krentz and Mary Balogh certainly have their little tricks.
Sarah Morgan and Rachel Gibson were recent gloms, and I can remember methodically working through the Penny Jordan categories years ago in England.
Some authors are tougher, simply because they do vary in story/structure/mood. I love Connie Wills, but I slow down on any attempt read all because she is either really funny or really sad. Also Lois McMaster Bujold- she varies mood even within a series.
I remember “glomming” Victoria Holt books when I was in high school- which I was able to do because she had a lot of books that I could check out from the library. With the availability of authors’ backlists in digital form I have become a serial glommer too. My most recent gloms were Lorelei James’ Rough Rider series and Elle Kennedy’s Out of Uniform series. I love discovering new to me authors with a ready backlist to read so I don’t have to wait too long for books.
There’s a word for my behavior? lol
I’ve been glomming forever. I’ve glommed so many authors, like Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, and my latest is Sarah Mayberry. Paperbackswap and my Kindle aid and abet my addiction.
It can be a dangerous thing as others have said. I’ve definitely reached burnout on some authors. Damn the person who noticed the skinny dipping quirk of Balogh’s because now that’s all I’m going to notice. I do try to space it out a bit more now. I may order the books all at once, but I don’t read them all immediately.
I also glommed SEP looking for another Sugar Beth, but no such luck.
When I find a writer I enjoy I tend to glom but have found that after reading 3 or 4 books in a row, certain words, phrases or tropes start to be very noticeable, and sometimes even the feeling that its the same story by different protagonists. I still think nothing beats finding a writer that you really enjoy and discovering they have an extensive backlist – unless its finding out that writer has a series that is already 10 or 11 books in!.
Who I’ve glommed?
Stephenie Meyer – short backlist
just started Sherilyn kenyon Dark lovers but thankfully my sister glommed them last year so that’s easier on my wallet cos there’s about 16 or so.
I originally glommed historicals, due to my late arrival in romancelandia. Not so much since I’m dipping my toes into other subgenres, and yet this morning I grabbed a Kleypas that I remember really loving because I want to see if it seems as wonderful to me now.
My entire romance reading history is one big long glom from the Anne of Green Gables series onward. Iglommed Norma Klein and Paula Danziger before I moved to the adult section of the library and spent years glomming the backlists of Julie Garwood, Catherine Coulter, Sandra Brown, Lori Foster, and Jennifer Crusie. I’d roar through an entire backlist of an author before I either got sick of them, discovered someone else, or got backlist fatigue. I notice that with a lot of authors, things often get dicey for me once I get into multiple digits of backlist titles–I need to take a break and pace myself or I’ll burn out around book 10 and not return. I broke my foot in 2006 and a friend brought me all her Suzanne Brockmann books in two boxes. I think Brockmann is perhaps the most glomm-able writer I’ve ever discovered. I read her entire 20+ book backlist without coming up for air. I went through a long regency glomming stage, inhaling the entire backlist of Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julia Quinn and Sabrina Jefferies. In recent years, I’ve glommed a lot more since getting my Nook: Lorelei James, KA Mitchell, Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan, Laura Griffin, Pamela Clare. Clare is interesting because I glommed her RS series like candy, but I still haven’t bought the historicals–they are on my TBR, but not bought yet. I’m in the process of glomming Cara McKenna, Del Dryden, Ruthie Knox, Victoria Dahl, LA Witt, and just finished glomming all of AM Arthur’s short backlist as well as Dev Bentham. I notice that my glom-ing tends to end or take a short break as a series ends–I glommed Jefferies’s school for heiresses one right after the others but the rest of her backlist took me a while. With an author with multiple series like KA Mitchell, I tend to glom each series then take a break and read someone else. I’ve also noticed that I don’t follow authors across price points–I inhale Lorelei James’s Samhain titles, but I haven’t read her higher priced series beyond the first two books.
One author not mentioned is Joey W Hill. I have glommed most of her books. All of her Ellora’s Cave books and many of her Berkeley books.
Favourite Harlequinn glom – Betty Neels, I was at a book sale last year that had at least 50 of her books from first printing. Ah the doctors of Holland and nurses from England…
First glom experience – definitely L.M. Montgomery and her Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon and others.
I glommed on Megan Hart after I read Dirty. I read practically all of her contemporary backlist. I’d Lauren Dane, Jennifer Cruise, Victoria Dahl and of course KA to my glom list. Part of the beauty of the glom, is that you pretty much know what you are going to get and that you’ll enjoy it.
@Jody W.: I get what you’re saying, Jody, but for me a glom has a little bit of addiction to it. There are some series I enjoy but I can take my time reading them. When I glom a series, I have to read them as fast as I can get my hands on them!
@Teresa: I’m a Joey W. Hill glommer too! Mainly her Berkley books (those EC books are expensive!)
@Annabeth Albert: I did exactly the same as you with Pamela Clare’s books – loved her RS but haven’t touched her historicals yet. Maybe one day but I’m not a huge historical reader.
I try to resist glomming these days (too busy) but usually fail since there’s nothing I love more than discovering a new author with a good backlist. Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changelings series gets a full reread every so often and Meredith Duran was one of my big gloms last year. I do start to have that author overload after awhile where I need a break where the small repetitious elements become glaring. Three to four books is usually a good balance before I burn out. After the review here a few weeks ago for Ruthie Knox’s How to Misbehave I may have spent an entire day on my couch reading two of her books back to back which made for a lovely Saturday.
The other authors I’ve glommed to a ridiculous degree are:
Well, I do forgive the author is he dies before finishing the series! And I agree with you on self-publishing to finish a series. It’s a wonderful failsafe, if the author is still willing to invest the time.
I’m a glommer from way back! My first gloms were the Bobbsey Twins, Betsy/Tacy and Trixie Beldens as a child and then moving on to Phyllis Whitney, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Andre Norton, Mary Stewart and, god help me, Barbara Cartland (What can I say? I was young and hungry!)
Now I tend to glom mostly series because I love getting into a world that’s familiar with familiar faces appearing and being referred to. I just stay there and wallow usually, but the Cynsters finally wore me out. I do still have a few favorite authors that are pre-order proof like Jayne Anne Krentz and her alter egos, Loretta Chase, etc.
The Kindle apps really speed up going through series since I can read a chapter whenever I have a few moments on my smartphone (in line at the grocery store, in dr’s office, waiting for something to come out of the wash/microwave, etc) and then pick up where I left off when I’m back with my tablet or my Kindle.