Listmania – why is it important? by Rosanne Dingli

Author Rosanne Dingli.  Photo Credit Jill Beaver
Author Rosanne Dingli. Photo Credit Jill Beaver

Amazon is the mecca for readers of all kinds, and it is fast becoming one of the world’s most innovative publishers. So it has turned itself into a place for authors and readers to interface. Few others do it so successfully and with such apparent ease. The facilities Amazon offers make it the online traffic cop for books. It’s where people look first for direction. If a book is not on Amazon, it’s virtually invisible. Whether or not people make actual purchases there, it’s where they go to seek books. One way they look for the next thing to read is on Listmania!

In an age where the sheer quantity of available reading material can be overwhelming, readers like recommendations of different kinds. Listamania! is where lots are to be found. Recommendations in list form are rather special, because they group books by certain criteria. They can save time, they can prevent confusion and disappointment, and they can introduce a reader to new books and authors, sometimes in unusual combinations.

In brief, Listmania! is the place on Amazon where one can find lists of books grouped by subject, theme, topic, location or style. If you like books about Venice, for instance, you can hop over to Listmania!, put “Venice” in the search box, and you are presented with several lists, compiled by different Listmania! aficionados, of books whose central location is Venice. Fiction, non-fiction, reference, history, academic, geographical … the “list”, as they say, is almost endless.

You can add titles to your wish list or purchase immediately, scribble down titles, share with friends, and totally enjoy what you find.

Try it – but beware. It has the engaging quality that can keep you absorbed for hours without reading a single book! The lists are fascinating in themselves, and Listmania! compilers sometimes offer their reasons for grouping certain books together. They also write helpful descriptions and notes.

Can anyone compile a Listmania! list? Yes – any Amazon member can put together a group of at least four titles, give it a name, such as “Books about clowns” or “My Childhood Favorites” and post it. Starting one of these lists can turn a boring afternoon into a fascinating Amazon search for books that can be grouped together. I have compiled a few, one of which is “Books about priests in love”, and another “Fiction about Malta”. They are both topics I find fascinating, and about which I have written books.

Yes – authors often use Listmania! as a way to promote their own titles while grouping them with similar books. It is clever, discreet and effective. It is free, and only requires a very enjoyable afternoon to do. All an author needs is to think of a group of books that can neatly include one or more of their own titles.

To make a Listmania! list, go to one of my lists, such as “Six books that would make great movies

Note how I have compiled and annotated mine. At the bottom of the page, you will find a link that says “Create a Listmania! list” – click on that and let Amazon walk you through the process. Be careful – this can be too much fun. It can also become a great way to let your readers know exactly how your titles fit into the grand scheme of things, when they are seeking great reading material.

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ROSANNE DINGLI, author of Death in Malta and According to Luke, has compiled a number of Listmania! lists, and often uses the lists of others to seek good reference books, interesting fiction, or more of the same in a particular genre or category. Find all her Listmania! lists here

For more about Rosanne Dingli, visit her website.   [subscribe2]

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18 thoughts on “Listmania – why is it important? by Rosanne Dingli”

  1. Thanks for the suggestion, I shall definitely visit and explore. Meanwhile, I've started composing my list of books that would make a great film and in the gripping thriller category I nominate According to Luke. Not only has this a gripping story line and a plot that should rock the Catholic church to its foundations, it also has stunning visual potential for the cinematographer.

    Next I'll put Nathaniel's Nutmeg, by Giles Milton. This qualifies for history as well as thriller for it's the gripping tale of the spice trade and the competition between the British and the Dutch to control it. Buccaneering stuff with bags of cinematic potential.

    If you like jungles and isolated tribes, try Bride Price. There is tension enough there to make a good thriller with the bonus of it being a true story. Or another true tale: Man in a Mud Hut, which provides excitement ans adventure for the faintest heart.

    Does it matter if some of my books are in another language? I have a few French ones to add to my list, but perhaps I'll go and explore Listmania and come back with those.

    I see what you mean about it being addictive; I've started making lists before even looking at the darned website! AAaarrgh!

  2. Great post, Rosanne.

    And not only am I going to make Listmania list or two of my own, I'm going to check if my own book's been included in anyone elses! x

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Rosanne. Are you worried that their might be any backlash at including your own books in a list…or do people even notice who wrote the list. I'll have to look into this.

    1. Many, many people include their own titles, Dan – I guess you just keep it reasonable, and make other lists from the books of others, leaving yours out every now and then.

  4. Another good post, Rosanne. I too find Amazon's lists useful for finding new authors and books.

    I also find Amazon invaluable when trying to work out a title for a new book I'm writing. If I think of a title, I check that it hasn't been used lately. So many titles are perennially popular.

  5. Well – I see that I've hit upon a great topic there. Hang around Indies Unlimited, guys – it's already a bookmarked treasure chest for many readers and writers!

  6. Doesn't have to be by category, Russil – say you have a book that includes motorbikes, or wine, or is located in Greece… just find other books with the same inclusions, and list them together!

  7. Oh dear, Rosanne, I'm already doing 8 things a minute, and this sounds utterly, utterly absorbing. What fun. Thanks for the reminder. Especially fun if one includes a book of one's own.

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