One of the reasons I subscribe to PodCastle and EscapePod is to discover new authors in a fairly painless manner. It's a skewed sample, since they only feature short fiction, but I've become aware of a number of writers that I might not have run across otherwise.
(I used to go to Uncle Hugo's Bookstore annually before I went on vacation and ask Scott Imes to recommend a bunch of books by new or new-to-me authors, and read them during that week. Unfortunately, there was only one Scott Imes, and he is no longer with us. And I haven't found a decent substitute.)