How do you find new-to-you authors?

Authors talk. We share information, we vent, we cry and we rally.

Earlier this year, I was part of several different conversations all wondering how readers are finding new authors to read. This inspired me to put together a survey, which ran on my author page for about two weeks.

Here are the results.

This was far from a scientific survey. Although the link to complete the survey was posted on my author page, in an advertised post, and shared by many people on their pages, we only had 74 respondents. Since it was posted on Facebook, there has to be a preference for Facebook as a social media outlet considered. And since iBooks readers tend not to congregate on Facebook, that also should be taken into consideration.

Screenshot 2016-02-24 10.53.50

Respondents came from the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Of the respondents, 36.5% read 1-5 books  a month. 27% read 6-10 books a month. 36.5% read 15 or more books a month.

5% rarely read new authors. 57% read new authors 1-3 times a month. 26% read new authors 4-6 times a month. 12% read new authors more than 6 times a month. 

There were 26 options for the question “How do you find new authors?” The top four answers were:

Facebook posts by other authors I know about authors I didn’t know–74%

Free books on Amazon–72%

Word of mouth from readers I know in real life: 65%

Facebook posts by authors about their own books: 59%

The bottom four answers were:

Instagram: 11%

In real life book clubs: 9.5%

Best-Sellers Lists (NY Times, USA Today): 9.5%

Free books on iBooks: 7%

I’m planning on running another more comprehensive poll in the spring which will be posted here as well as on Twitter and in my newsletter. Please consider taking part in this; we want to know what  YOU think.


Five From Terry Spear

Welcome to Five From Friends Friday!

Each week, I’ll share with you five quick and quirky questions and answers

from some of my favorite author friends.

I think you’ll see some familiar faces in here, too.

Quickies from Terry Spear

Last February, I was in Daytona Beach at the Coastal Magic con. The first event was an author/blogger speed dating session. I found a place to sit and settled down, just as a pretty but slightly flustered woman joined me at the table. She introduced herself as Terry Spear and dumped out some swag to work on while we chatted and waited for bloggers. I learned that she’d had a stressful trip to Florida from Texas, as well as an anxious week leading up to the trip. What really sealed the deal for me about Terry, though, was that she gave me chocolate. Friends for life!

Q: You have two sweet pups in your life—if they were given the gift of speech, what would their conversation be like?

A: Oh, how much they love each other and me. I think that’s always the desire. That your fur babies feel as needed and loved as much as you need and love them in return.

Q:  You’re a Texas gal. If you were forced to relocate one day, what would be your number one choice of a new home state?

A: I’ve lived all over, and loved so many places. I’m actually from California, the redwoods and lakes and ocean I loved best. But Oregon, oh how I dearly love Oregon–the ocean, the trees, the mountains, the beauty. And Florida, the ocean, the palms, the warmer winters. And Wisconsin, the frozen lakes and mountains of snow, the fall colors that set the world on fire. And New Jersey, the ocean, the fall colors, the beauty of so much of the areas where I lived or traveled through. Colorado for the uniqueness and mountains, the old west feel, and wildflowers. Maryland, for the ocean, the Baltimore Inner Harbor, Annapolis, the tall ships and the quaint towns. New Hampshire for the cool summer nights and mountains and trees and lakes and fall. Texas, for all its diversity, but living near the Gulf would be the best. Do you see a pattern? Trees, water sources, fall colors, cool summer nights, mountains–I think I’m a wolf at heart.

Q: You write awesome shifter books. If your fairy godmother appeared and offered you the chance to shift into any creature, what would it be?

A: Thanks so much, Tawdra! I love all animals, and so I’d ask if I could shift into anything I wanted whenever I needed to so that I could write my books even more accurately and get the animals right. They deserve to be loved for who they are. Don’t you think that would be great?

Q: What food is your guilty pleasure when you’re deep in writing?

A: Chocolate!

Q:  We’re kicking of the Summer of Lovin’ with lots of sizzling beach romance reads. What’s your favorite part of the summer months?

A: It’s WAY TOO hot here. If I lived at the ocean, I’d be walking the beach, looking out to sea, enjoying the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, swimming, wading, watching the hermit crabs burrowing and the seagulls flying overhead. Since I don’t, I watch the birds and bunnies in my own little sanctuary surrounded by wheat and cornfields, listening to the songbirds, watching for the road runner and the shintail hawk, observing ladybugs and dragonflies and butterflies. Photographing them and the wildflowers too. Listening to the wind blowing through the corn, which makes it sound like the ocean waves, and imagining I’m at the beach.



SEAL Wolf Hunting-300Paul Cunningham has eluded many traps in his long career as a Navy SEAL, but there’s no way out of this one. On a rare visit home, he gets “volunteered” for a local charity bachelor auction, and the community is counting on him. Then he discovers that the sexy she-wolf with the winning ticket is Lori Greypaw-the one woman he could never resist. And she has plans for Paul that go way beyond a simple date. For the first time in his bachelor life, this alpha wolf SEAL is going to have to prove his worth…


A SEAL Wolf Hunting (Book 16)

(July, 2015)




Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and four medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Terry Spear, rightBook of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance, continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, having fun with her young adult novels, and playing with her two Havanese puppies, Max and Tanner.

Follow Terry here:


Using the Pain

I’m veering away from bookly goodness this week to talk a little about my life beyond the page.

This weekend, I’m leaving the Sunshine State to drive north–a little further than normal. Next week I’ll be at the United States Military Academy at West Point as a guest at my father’s 50th class reunion.

1965CrestcolorWhen the planners of the reunion contacted me a few years ago, inviting my sister and me to attend in place of our father, I was glad to say I’d be there. After all, 2015 seemed a very long time away.  But as the time has crept up on us, and the reunion is more reality than it was, I have to admit to a little emotional panic.

I was close to my dad, and our bonds were built around books, a love for history and nostalgia, a passion for popular music and a shared enjoyment of football and baseball. Army football was the pinnacle for us; I can’t remember a time when I didn’t fully understand and fervently believe the phrase “Go Army, Beat Navy!” My father was a ’65 grad (Strength and Drive!), and for me, West Point, the old gray home in the mountains of New York, was always a touchpoint, no matter where we lived.

My mother and father dated all through his years at the Academy, so she always claimed to be part of the class, too. And she was.

We watched the Army-Navy game every year, mostly together, but sometimes only together in spirit, depending on travels and Thompson25688where we lived. I remember the last game we watched together; I’d stopped to drop something off at my parents’ house, and the game was just beginning. We sat in the dwindling light of a December afternoon, glum witnesses to the Army loss.

The following June, my father left this life on the 41st anniversary of his USMA commencement. That was not a coincidental date. It was a different sort of graduation.

The next year, my mother was fighting leukemia and about to go into the hospital for a stem cell transplant. My father’s class invited both my mother and me to be their guests at the game. My mother was thrilled, even though it was a bittersweet day for us both.

The following June, her funeral was held on the first anniversary of my father’s death, 42 years after his West Point graduation.

Next week will be the first time I’ll be at West Point since losing my parents. I’m looking forward to being there, to seeing places that are memorable to my husband (class of ’87 grad) and to meeting my parents’ friends. But I’m also dreading it. In a very real, I’ll be saying goodbye again.

We use our pain as writers. We use the grief, and we channel it into our stories. Even now, as I’m growing anxious about next week, what am I doing? I’m writing about it.

I had more than one person tell me that they thought I’d modeled Michael from The King Series after my dad. I didn’t do it consciously, but perhaps. There have been goodbye scenes that have come from painful days. And the dialogue between Ava and her mother, before her brother’s wedding, was directly from my own experience.

With everyone pitching in, clean up didn’t take long. My mother and I were leaving the restaurant, heading home, before I knew it.

            “I thought Daddy was coming with us.” I climbed in as my mother turned the ignition.

            “He’s riding home with your brothers. I wanted to have this time with just us.”

            My heart flipped over. “Oh.” I struggled for something to say, anything to keep her from talking about Liam and me. “I’m sorry the rehearsal was such a disaster.”

            “Not me! Bad rehearsal, good wedding. Trust me, it never fails.”

            She backed out of the parking lot and turned onto the road. “I’m happy for your brother. I love Angela like she’s one of my own. She practically is, as long as she and Carl have been a couple. This is a happy day. Tomorrow will be even better. But you know. . .” Her voice trailed off, and a sob caught in her throat. “Every happy day from now until forever will always have some sadness, because our Antonia should be here with us.”

            Tears blinded me, and I put my fist to my mouth. My sister had been on my mind all day: she should have been cutting onions with me at the table, making faces at the rehearsal, fussing over her daughter’s dress for tomorrow. But she wasn’t. All the places she should have been were empty.

            “I miss her every day.” My mother dashed at the tears running down her face. “Every day, I talk to her while I’m getting up, getting ready. When I go over to open the restaurant. When I drop Frankie at pre-school. But it’s worse on days like this, when everyone’s together.”

            “I miss her too, Ma.” I sniffed. “So much.”

            “I know you do. That’s why I wanted this time with you. My sisters, my mother, of course your father and the boys, they miss her. But not like us. And I needed to just be with you, and cry a little. Remember.”

            I reached across the seat and gripped my mother’s hand. “Wouldn’t she have loved all the family together today?”

            “She would have. But I’ll tell you something, she would have hated those pink dresses Angela picked out for all of you. Can you just hear her now?”

            And so we drove home, laughing through our tears, remembering, and somehow it brought Antonia closer to us again. I could almost hear her giggle and smell her perfume.

            When I climbed out of the car, still wiping away tears, my mother gripped me and pulled me to her for a hug.

            “I’m proud of you, Ava. Proud of your hard work and what you’re doing.” She stood back and patted my cheek. “Don’t think I don’t know things are hot and heavy with you and Liam. I don’t like it. . .but I like him. And I understand. I remember what it was like to be young. It makes me lighter to know you have someone who loves you like that.”

            “Ma, it’s not like that. Not yet. It’s new.” I glanced up to the light in my bedroom, where Liam was probably getting ready for bed.

            “Don’t tell me what I don’t know. He looks at you with love. When you know, you know.” She took my hand. “All right now, let’s go in, and watch your father and the boys pretend they don’t see our wet faces. Because don’t think they weren’t doing the same thing all the way home.”

Next week, while I’m getting through this time of remembering, part of me will be tucking away the sadness and feelings. They’ll show up in one book or another. They always do.