The Next Small Thing

In previous posts, I’ve talked about why you should write book reviews, as well as how to write a book review. We’ve also looked at how to interpret someone else’s book review, and how to make sure your review is accepted. So this post might come as a bit of a surprise. It’s about finding books without using reviews.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

I’m ignoring the whole popularity contest of the publishing industry. There are no best-seller lists, star ratings, or sales rankings here. Instead, let’s explore how to find a book everyone else isn’t reading.

Sometimes it’s nice to do your own thing. Skip the ads, choose your own path, read something different. There are some amazing authors out there just waiting to be discovered. How hard can it be to find them?

Well, have you ever tried searching for a book with few reviews? Even if you know the name of one, and type in the exact title or author’s name, the retailer will show you a list of more popular items!

And the star rating filter is no help because a book has to have a certain number of ratings before it is included.

So how can you find those hidden gems? Here are some ideas.

Special Interest websites

If you are interested in books on a specific subject, or in just one sub-genre, there may be a website just for you. For example, my books are on Trip Fiction, which helps readers find books set in different locations.


Did you know you can search for a product at online retailers using a word or short phrase? That includes books. When authors or publishers submit a book, they provide a list of keywords to differentiate that book from every other book in the store. So you can find exactly the book you want.

Like teen travel mysteries? You can search for that. Interested in fiction about family secrets? You can search for that, too.

Just type your phrase into the search box and see what wonders are waiting to be discovered.


If you have a general idea of what you want, you may just need to narrow your category. There are set categories you can choose from. Once you have selected a genre (mystery, thriller, fantasy, romance, etc), see what additional options are made available, and choose again. For example, if you chose thriller at the top level, you can then select legal thriller, spy thriller, or political thriller. Some genres have several levels of categories to help you find the right books.

If you filter out all the books you won’t be interested in, you will be able to see more of the books you might like. Including those from less well-known authors.

New releases

If you are not looking for anything specific at all, the new releases section might be the best choice for you. And every author has a fighting chance in this section.

Here you will find all the books that are available to pre-order, and all the books that have just been released. It’s a total mish-mash of everything you never wanted. With a few gems you might never find any other way.

If you do buy a book that doesn’t have many reviews, don’t forget to leave your own. It really does make a difference.

What not to use

This is your friendly reminder that book endorsements are not a substitute for reviews. If you see something that looks like a review in the description section on the product page, or on the book cover, it’s actually an endorsement. This is just hype. Don’t get sucked in.

If you have any tips of your own to help readers find undiscovered authors, let us know!

Enjoyed this post?

You might like Worse than Being Talked About.

Why not check out my travel mystery series on Amazon. Or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads or Bookbub.


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