Staying Abreast of Latest Books

My taste in books spans from the serious (such as “The God Delusion”)  through to the fantastic (pick anything by “Peter F Hamilton” or “John Scalzi”)  through to comics (such as Dilbert, FoxTrot and XKCD).

An issue I’m facing right now is how to easily stay on top of new releases by authors that I favor.

For news and most notifications these days I can take advantage of RSS feeds and aggregate them in a single place – I use Google Reader – this lets me stay on top of the latest and greatest from a wide variety of sources without having to constantly be visiting and revisiting sites checking for changes.

I believe I now own every one of the non-anthology Dilbert books available (the anthologies IMHO are just a waste of time since they just rehash comics but collect them together in a theme). So I went to Amazon expecting to find some kind of Dilbert or Scott Adams RSS feed that I could just plug into my aggregator and when a new book becomes available it would pop up for me and then I could choose whether it was something I wanted to pick up or not.

Imagine my surprise to find that this kind of service is remarkably rarer than I thought. Amazon doesn’t appear to offer anything like this, although some older message board postings I saw indicate that you used to be able to subscribe to email alerts for new Author publications.

In the case of Dilbert, I went specifically to the website to see if something was available there. Scott Adam’s is a tech savvy kind of guy – he was publishing his email address and not-so-regular newsletters at a time when most authors were still viewing the internet with fear and suspicion. But even he doesn’t seem to have this seemingly obvious sales tool available.

Has anybody found a solution to this issue? I’d prefer to have some kind of consistent centralized solution rather than having to track  down every individual author’s web site and then try to fashion something from the content therein.

I *did* find this tracker based off the Amazon site which is exactly what I want but it doesn’t appear to be functional. Probably the API on which it depends is no longer functional / available? It’s a great idea though. Free for you and me, the provider gets a modest kickback from Amazon for directing book purchasing traffic to them.

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome!

Posted under Affluenza, Books, Tech Stuff

This post was written by Marc
on May 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

1,752 views

6 Comments so far

  1. King May 7, 2010 2:36 pm

    The source of your problem is trying to keep one foot in both worlds. The old world (books) provides a solution for your issue. Go and visit with a knowledgable librarian 2-3 times a month, and they will tell you when a book you will be interested in is comming.

  2. Marc May 7, 2010 6:44 pm

    What is this “Librarian” concept you describe? :)

    Sounds like something that used to be popular in the 80′s

  3. Shelley May 18, 2010 10:39 am

    there is a UK site that has an RSS feed walk through.
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-track-your-favourite-authors-new-book-releases-online/

    Or if emails will work..
    http://www.myhound.com/saluki/home

    Of course I do 95% ebooks, so I just use the ereader.com site.

  4. Carl May 27, 2010 9:51 am

    Hi Marc,

    I mentioned this one before: Karen Armstrong the Case for God. An excellent complimentary read to the God Delusion. I just finished it and it takes the whole atheist/fundamentalist debate and turns it on its head.

  5. Marc June 2, 2010 8:34 pm

    @Shelley – Thanks Shelly! When I first tried it the site was down but today all is good and I’ve tossed in some of my favorite authors and crossing my fingers that the RSS feed will do the trick.

  6. Marc June 2, 2010 8:35 pm

    @Carl – Hey Carl, I’ve heard good things about this book. I’m a little godded out at the moment but when my enthusiasm rekindles itself I’ll probably give it a look-see.

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