How do you possibly choose?

1 Feb

As I’m working on my new series, my thoughts have already skipped ahead to thinking about readers and reactions to it when it’s published. With the explosion of ebooks and the mass amount of books now available at the touch of a button, I can’t help wonder how readers choose books? I mean, the choice is staggering these days, especially as books are digitized more and more, they never really go ‘out of print’ either! Sure, everyone has their ‘auto buys’. Those authors whose latest books will likely be pre-ordered or purchased without much thought to what the book is about, how the blurb reads, what the cover looks like or what anyone else might have thought about it. I have my very small list of auto buy authors too. But what about the rest? How do you find those gems amongst the masses? For authors this means the market is becoming really quite competitive, especially for authors starting out. It means trying to find creative ways to get the message out, trying to come up with something that will work to differentiate your product. But it’s hard, particularly because you never really know what works in time to do anything differently :)!

So…how do YOU possibly wade through the mega amounts of authors and books, what criteria do you use to choose books, what’s the most important factor for you that would make you buy a book? Does the social networking scene play any role in this? How important is price?

Come on…I’m gonna pull up a chair for this one :).

13 Responses to “How do you possibly choose?”

  1. Angel February 1, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I choose based on the title and cover and then the synopsis. If they can catch my eye, then I’ll get the book.

  2. Cara Bristol February 1, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I actually wrote a lengthly blog post a few months ago on what inspires me to buy book. In general, the blurb is what sells me. The title catches my eye and the book cover plays a secondary role. I know people say that covers sell books, but in my case, I find that so many covers look alike, that’s not as a big a factor to me. Samples are huge. I almost always download the sample before I buy the book.

    I only have time to read so many books. Because I’m an author who wants to support other authors, I try to focus on the authors I know who aren’t “big names” yet to give them the benefit and publicity of my sale and possible review. These include debut authors and authors who’ve had a few books published. This year I’m committing to reading more authors I know who I haven’t read yet.

    A good part of my TBR list comes from the Six Setence Sunday blog posts.

  3. Eileen Gormley February 1, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Word of mouth, obviously. If a friend tells me I must read a book, I do.

    When I enjoy a book, I always look at the “Customers who bought this also bought…” thing on Amazon.

    Sometimes I just do searches, but I made sure I read a preview before I buy. When I skip this step, I’ve finished up with some real poke-my-eyes-out stuff.

  4. Kaily Hart February 1, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Angel, sounds like it all has to align for you!

    Cara, very comprehensive and I love your attitude about supporting new authors. That’s awesome!

    Eileen, yes, I think word of mouth is very powerful. I always look at the ‘customers who bought this also bought…’ on Amazon. Sometimes it’s very enlightening LOL!

  5. mywithershins February 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Like Cara, I often choose books of debut authors, especially if I meet them at book-signings. I respect the opinions of my friends and will often choose a book they recommend. I will pick up a title, if it’s a new one out by a favourite author or if the cover really catches my eye, but the blurb at the back of the book needs to grab me before I lay down the bucks. I haven’t downloaded a lot of books yet. I am too old school, I guess, and buying things on-line is still a little scary, so the jury is still out on that one. Mind you, I just picked up a story on-line that was offered for free after reading someone’s blog. If it’s something I like, I will purchase other work by her. I think that about covers all the basis. I’m a bit of a book-a-holic so I’m probably a little too easily swayed!

    • Kaily Hart February 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      mywithershins, for those that look at a book carefully, I think there has to be an emotional connection at some level. What triggers that might differ for people, of course. I love book-a-holics! 🙂

  6. mahalia2010 February 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    I have a hard time choosing. It can be via net or bookstore. What really catches me are blurbs and partial chapters. I’ve read great books with just okay covers and books not so great with spectacular covers. I choose by the small teaser 🙂 most the time!

    • Kaily Hart February 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

      Mahalia, the choice for me is becoming more difficult. I have limited time to read, but still want/need to. A cover might catch my eye, but it’s the blurb that really tells me if I’ll enjoy the story or not. Funnily enough, I don’t usualy read sample chapters.

  7. MichelleKCanada (@AnotherLookBook) February 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    If I put my autobuy authors aside, I select a book by a few methods.
    First let me say, that I have NEVER selected a book because an author DM me on Twitter or if they sent me their book recommendation on Goodreads after requesting to be my friend. Also if every other Tweet is somehow threaded with “buy my book” I am so very turned off. Even if the book is fabulous. So that’s #1 on how NOT to get me to select a book.

    Now regarding Twitter and Goodreads, those are fabulous spots that I have found books. I discovered some of my autobuy authors from Goodreads.
    If a bunch of book bloggers are talking buzz about a book on Twitter, I’ll get it. If I tour around on my book blogs and see cover art that caught my eye, I’ll stop and take a peak and read the blurb and review.

    In addition to posting my book reviews on my blog, I also post my book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads so the “recommend for me” feature they have built in usually hits the nail on the head for me.

    But saying all that, the #1 has to be word of mouth. If my friend, co-worker, blogging buddies raves about a book, I will get it. I discovered the entire UF genre by book blogging friends. I never even picked one up before this year and now I own a quite few series. Yes, if it is an established series and I am hooked I buy the entire series.

    Pretty cover art is a totally draw for me. I wish authors had more say in the selection of their cover art. I am a total cover girl. I admit it.

    • Kaily Hart February 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      You mean those “buy my book!” posts don’t work?? Kidding!! See? I figured selecting good reading material was down to a science for some :).

  8. Lisagk February 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Sometimes it is just the blurb. Very infrequently is it just the cover. Usually it is the blurb, excerpt, hopefully a larger sample to draw me in, and then the cover.

    • Kaily Hart February 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      I will say a great cover gets my attention and I may take a further look. A really bad cover (unfortunately, because I know the author likely has had limited input) can turn me off a book. I mean ‘bad’ by poor quality. I do try not to let that influence me but I’m a “feel” author. I read books because of the feel they have and it’s also the way I write. I am to create a certain “feel” for the story and hope the title, blurb and cover are all consistent in portraying that.

  9. Crystal Kauffman February 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    It is ALL about the description, and I think now more than ever the mini-synopsis is critical. You’re right, there is a lot to choose from out there nowadays, so not only does the book have to be in one of my favorite genres, the description has to convince me the story will entertain me. Right now my Kindle is filled with more books than I can read in a year, so I have to really want a book before I’m going to buy it. Pricing is a secondary consideration. I will never pay more than $7.99 for an ebook, and even that is high in my opinion. Covers don’t really matter to me so much because in general they’re really good these days, so of course a bad one stands out negatively.

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