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Author Alarms Helps You Find Your Next Read

alarm[1]Discoverability is a hot topic in publishing circles, though not quite for the reason you might think. While readers rarely have trouble finding something to read next, publishers and authors are still casting about for a better way to get readers to buy and read their books and not books written by some other author.

This is an especially important detail for independent authors who can’t rely on their publisher to do any promotion or get their books into bookstores where they might be seen and picked up.

Today I have a partial solution for that problem, one that will help readers find new stuff from an author they like.

From the author viewpoint, this problem already has a number of solutions but they might not work for all readers. An author could set up and maintain a mailing list which would notify a follower about a new book being released, but as Rich pointed out in his post on why some indie authors fail a couple days ago not all authors want to maintain a mailing list; some will direct you to their website, Facebook page, or their Twitter feed.

Not all readers are going to want to have to sort through an author’s updates just to get that one piece of news and they might not even be on those social networks. That’s why I am pleased to share with you today a notification tool that works with or without the support of the author.

It’s called Author Alarms, and the site is based on a simple concept. Provide the name of an author you would like to track and your email and you will be signed up to receive a email notice when that author has a new ebook listed on Amazon. It also works for paper books.

Yes, I know that some don’t shop at Amazon, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use this service. Whenever you get a notice, just go to your preferred ebookstore and shop there. The Amazon integration is a matter of convenience, not preference. That retailer is one of the few that makes it easy to access information like this via some automated script.

I have not signed up for this service myself, but I can see the value. One of the laments about the passing of Fictionwise is that the ebookstore offered a similar service which former customers miss now that the site was gone. This is also one of the more common requested new features at Luzme, an ebook search engine.

Does anyone know of other notification services? Please feel free to mention them in the comments.

Author Alarms

Thanks, Rich!

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Popup February 13, 2013 um 9:18 am

Goodreads also have a similar service. They send out regular emails stating among (lots of) other things new books by authors marked as 'read'.

(And their recommendations are actually pretty good!)

Ingo Lembcke, Hamburg February 13, 2013 um 11:24 am

This is one of the reasons I like the sony ebookstore. It is easy to set an alarm, they are called author notifications here. And the volume of other email from sony is ok, unlike from other shops. Currently I have 18 Authors in my list of notifications at Sony and I have bought a few books because of receiving a mail from them, having received no other info of the new books from other sources.

I buy a lot from Amazon, but they miss a lot when they recommend me, it is almost always hit-or-miss. And sometimes items I bought there or from amazon in a different country are recommended again to me. Also the system so set up an Alarm is only with copy-paste and while I set some up for some items (films, books) I have been searching for a long time, they do not really work for me.

Ingo Lembcke, Hamburg February 13, 2013 um 11:35 am

Also just looked in my eBook-Folder in Mail, one of the reasons I like the notifications from Sony is that they are not mixed with other information, they only contain books from authors you signed up for, no recommendations, spam or other junk. The subject is simply "Author Notification" and you can sort or move them, easily differentiating them from other Sony-Mails.
I will look into Author Alarms and set up the same Authors as Alarms, to see if there is a difference.

Richard Adin February 13, 2013 um 12:38 pm

Also worth noting is that the creator of Author Alarms has set up a shortcut so that authors can add to their ebooks a specific link for readers to be notified via Author Alarms when the author’s next book is released. All the author does is add their name to the URL, which lets the reader jump straight to adding an alarm for that author. For example: would let a reader add an alarm for the author John J. Smith.

The Rodent February 13, 2013 um 3:23 pm

Sounds like a nice service… for books that are made available on Amazon… I actually like the way Goodreads will notify you of new work by authors you’ve read, or authors you are "following" via their blogs or whatever.

pidgeon92 February 13, 2013 um 6:30 pm

What I’d like to see is a list of the authors that I have already added…. Similar to the books I add on ereaderiq. It would be just like me to add the same authors over and over again.

Nate Hoffelder February 13, 2013 um 6:35 pm

That would be nice. Perhaps each time you signed up for a new notice you could get a reminder email which listed all the notices you requested.

Peter Shortland February 14, 2013 um 11:45 am

If you click on the "Manage" button on the top menu, you can see all the current alarms for your email address.

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