Many thanks to Riptide Publishing for pointing me in the direction of this new(ish) website, which combines a promotional tool for writers with a lot of fun for readers.
Basically writers or publishers submit the first chapter of a book, which is displayed on the site with (as the name suggests) no further identifying details. No author name, no bio, no cover, just a genre tag and the writing itself. Right at the end of the excerpt, there's a small link to 'find out what the book is and where you can get it', so at least if you've dipped into something and enjoyed it, you can follow up.
As they themselves say: "No Names, No Jackets is a blind taste test for books, backed by a StumbleUpon-style lucky dip system and a total and deliberate lack of star ratings, likes and reviews. Whether it’s your first book or you’ve written dozens, whether they’ve sold thousands or none at all, whether your cover copy is woeful or superb, whether your jacket design is jaw-droppingly awesome or looks like it was made by a child using MS Paint, all that matters here is the writing..." You can't help feeling they have a point.
The site is searchable, but only on a randomised basis - either a totally random choice, or a random choice by genre. This means you can't just go in and search for your favourite author, but you can discover gems that you would never have come across before. On a whistle-stop tour I found a short story by an author I'd never heard of, and like it enough to follow it back to her web page. So this really can work, both for readers looking for new reading material, and for authors looking for new readers!
Want to join in the fun? The pop along to No Names, No Jackets and hit the 'random pick' button at the top of the page. I believe both my Riptide books (Necessity's Door and Gleams of a Remoter World) are on there somewhere, though it might take you a long and strangely rewarding time to find them.