Friday, April 01, 2011

emergency book tracking

I have long been a fan of This is nothing new. They introduced author RSS feeds a couple years ago which was also fantastic, but now that has been discontinued. I used to be subscribed to the RSS feeds for my favorite authors so I could know about upcoming releases with minimal effort. Since they have discontinued the RSS feed service, I suddenly I find myself without any way to keep track of favorite author new releases. (A very serious problem!) My research on this issue has come up with several things:

1) I am not alone. Many people want this sort of tool.

2) Many publishers let you do author tracking via their website, but you have to go to a bunch of different websites for various publishers (not all of which will offer the service) and that takes too much effort. I want something centralized.

3) LibraryThing does not offer it. From what I have read, any author feeds they might automatically produce would be 99% alternate editions of old works, and not new stuff.

4) Goodreads has a new releases monthly email where they will email out the new releases for the upcoming month from authors that you already have on your goodreads shelf. The problem with that is it only draws from a public shelf AND from every author on the shelf. You can't select specific authors regardless of whether they are on your shelf or not.

5) Fictfact is a website that lets you track series. This could be helpful if you only read series that already have at least one book published. This will not track authors alone and doesn't have standalone works on the site at all. It does have RSS feeds though. Fictfact as it is does not meet my needs.

6) AuthorAlerts is likely the best option so far (for me) for a centralized author tracking system. I am trying it out. It looks like a relatively new site and imposes limits on the number of authors you can track. You start with 10 but can increase that to 100 if you "like" them on facebook, tweet about them, or blog about them (and then tell them you did it). I asked the site owner if the limit will ever be higher than 100, and they wrote back saying that the limit is really more like 3000, so basically unlimited. This site has RSS feeds for both upcoming books and recently released books for the authors you select, which is great. I'm hoping this website works out.

suggestions are welcome.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish.