Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Buy The Book? Fantastic Fiction – The Best Site for Finding Book Series Information

Where does Mrs. GeekTonic find all of the books she needs for her eReader?

There are many sites to search for your next book including the sites where you are actually going to buy them (i.e. Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook). Unfortunately, I have found that for me Amazon doesn't always have the information that I need to help me determine which book should be next on my list. As previously mentioned in guest posts, I read for pure relaxation. I read a genre labeled “cozy mysteries”. They are typically written in series with the same hero/heroine so it is very helpful to know which book comes next. My mother pointed me to a website from the UK that some of you are already familiar with: www.fantasticfiction.com.

Note:  This is a guest post by Mrs. GeekTonic, the non-geek in the family ;)

Geektonic kept asking me to show him why I prefer the FantasticFiction site compared to others.  As I was explaining, he kept bringing up other book recommendation sites mentioned on Lifehacker and it continued to prove that FantasticFiction is a winner for me.  Here’s why:

1. The homepage for the author gives some basic info on the author to start. There is usually a picture, country or origin, birth and death years (if applicable) etc. It also lists any pseudonyms that they have also written under (IE – Nora Roberts – JD Robb). Then they list the most recent books available for purchase (listing the Amazon prices only – I wonder if there was a Woot-esque merger somewhere along the way).


2. It puts series in order. Below is an example from Victoria Laurie’s page. She currently is writing 3 separate series. Fantastic Fiction lists them in order and lists their publication date.


Below is a screen print of Victoria Laurie’s page from Amazon. Amazon allows you to sort, but not by series. The best you can do here is by publication date. 4858419045_0a2c797c4e_o[1]


From this view (above) you cannot even tell which number they are in the series.


3. Next on the homepage is a list of books published by other publishers or in conjunction with other authors and other information (aka the author’s websites, twitter, facebook fanpage etc). Seriously the only database I know with more information is IMDB. How they keep this thing up to date and accurate is amazing!


4. Next - Recommendations from the author. (I had to switch to another author because Ms. Laurie did not have any listed.) I have found some good books by reading what my favorite authors read. They may just be hawking one of their publisher’s other authors, but I usually research the book before I buy anyway.


5. The site then recommends other authors that write in a similar style that you may like. I have found oodles of new authors this way. These will link you to the Fantastic Fiction homepages of the authors.


6. How do you know if the book is for you? You can get more information on the books by clicking on the link for the book and opening a new page for the book itself. There will be a LARGE image of the book cover and a jacket synopsis of the book. ( Babygeektonic wrote a research paper in High School about how very important this is. She contends that you SHOULD judge a book by its cover.) 

Next on this page is a list of similar books that you may be interested in and then a list of places where you can purchase the book used (NOT Amazon). Then there are links to eBay auctions for the book as well.




While I love this site for most of my authors, I do find it difficult to use for prolific authors like Nora Roberts, James Paterson etc. Especially when (like Nora Roberts) their publishers RE-release books that are not new, but are repackaging them with 2 other titles to make a group book. Hard to keep track of what I have read – Not that that is FF’s fault.


Conclusion – Give www.fantasticfiction.com a look and see what you think and give me a comment or suggestion. If you have a site you think is better…. Let me know!


Thanks to MrsGeekTonic for this review - I really appreciate her input and hope to see more guest posts on GeekTonic sometime in the near future – when she’s not teaching.  If you have any questions about eBooks, eReaders such as the Nook or Kindle, Teaching technology or pretty much anything, feel free to ask in the comments below or follow her on Twitter.

Other Articles by MrsGeekTonic:

The Non-GeekTonic Review of the Nook – From the Recreational Readers Perspective
Teacher Tech – by Mrs GeekTonic
The Non-GeekTonic Review of the Kindle 2 - From the Recreational Readers Perspective