Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Makes you Decide to Buy a Book?

What I want to know is if there is any particular promotion that might tickle your fancy enough to buy a book? I don't care if you buy it for your Kindle or Nook or other reading device, or a paper book.

In today's world so many people are writing books because it is no longer necessary to go through the agent/publisher process to get a book published. For no dollars you can publish on Kindle or Smashwords. If you have a good book,  you can find a small press who will publish you in paper and electronically for not outlay of cash.

So what tickles your fancy enough to make you buy a book?

Is it the cover? The blurb on the back of the cover? What you've read about it on the Internet? Reviews? What people are saying about it?

Have you ever bought a book because of what you read on a blog? Or followed an author on a blog tour promoting a book?

What about Facebook, has that ever influenced you to buy a book? Or any other social media?

Today we're told over and over if you want someone to buy your book you have to tell him/her about it. A reader won't find you unless you're promoting  yourself everywhere possible.

What I want to know is if  you've bought a book because of any of these things? I'd like to know I'm not wasting my time with all the promotion that I do.

Answer whatever questions appeal to you. I'd sure like to know where to concentrate my efforts and what to forget about.

16 comments:

Lorna Collins - said...

I have bought books for the cover (most recently "Sundays at Tiffany"), the cover blurb, or because I know an like an author. I'm in the same quandary.
A good cover will help a good book, and a bad cover will turn readers away.
The blurb must truly capture the essence of the story and remain intriguing enough to tempt the reader to actually buy the book.
Another reason today might be the trailer. It also has to capture the story in a way that makes a reader want to spend the money and time to invest in it.
The other challenge is all the free books on Kindle. I have nearly 100 on mine and plan to get around to them eventually. If I like one, I'll write a review of it. If I don't, I just archive it.
Let us know what the consensus is, because we're all facing the same challenges.

Duffy Brown said...

Word of mouth mostly gets me to buy a book. If a friend says... You gotta read this...I usually do. The blurb on the back is a big selling point as is the first page or two. I need to like the characters, root for them from the get-go.

C.K.Crigger said...

Great questions, Marilyn, and I for one will keep checking back to read the answers (and on Facebook,too). I go for the blurb and word of mouth. Sometimes because I know the author. Titles seldom attract me, nor do covers although I think I'm in the minority on that score.

Deborah Hall Kinley said...

Often I buy books because I know the author, but I will buy a book if the blurb on the back or inside the book jacket has something that tickles my fancy. It usually has to place the protagonist in some kind of situation that I want to know how he or she gets out of it.

I also will buy a book if I see a particularly intriguing or clever book trailer. That's the newest way to attract readers.

The cover will also attract me if I see it at a bookstore. Pastels don't jump off the shelf.

Grab me and you have me.

Gayle Bartos-Pool
www.gbpool.com

GBPool said...

Often I buy books because I know the author, but I will buy a book if the blurb on the back or inside the book jacket has something that tickles my fancy. It usually has to place the protagonist in some kind of situation that I want to know how he or she gets out of it.

I also will buy a book if I see a particularly intriguing or clever book trailer. That's the newest way to attract readers.

The cover will also attract me if I see it at a bookstore. Pastels don't jump off the shelf.

Grab me and you have me.

Gayle Bartos-Pool
www.gbpool.com

BillieJohn said...

As a publisher, this question and its many answers are practically a heartbeat for me...so I will be interested to see all the comments.

I'd also like to add a question: when reading reviews/review blurbs are you more persuaded by big name endorsers than lesser known or even unknown names?

Just askin'!

Billie Johnson
Oak Tree Press

Joe Vadalma said...

First, I have my favorite authors. I will usually buy a book that I haven't read by then. Secondly, I believe it's the blurb either online or on the back cover. If there is something about it that intrigues me, I may buy the book. Sometimes a reader review is helpful. I rarely pay attention to ads or any other promo by the author or publisher.

Kathleen Kaska said...

Word of mouth is the best way to sell a book. I was told this a long time ago and it is still true. If I listen to an interview (TV, radio), or if a friend tells me about a book, my attention is grabbed.
Great question, Marilyn.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

What great comments you're all making. I confess, I buy a lot of books because a friend wrote it. Sometime I buy a book because of the review on DorothyL.

What about an Amazon recommendation? I confess, I have bought a couple of their recommendations. I was caught up with the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy because everyone talked about it.

Joe Nowlan said...

Reputation of the author is a factor. Sometimes, though, if I don't know anything about the author, I'll open the book and read a few pages, maybe less. If I like how the writing feels, how the plot and dialogue flow(always important, the dialogue)... that might do it.

Reviews, of course, can be a factor. But less so these days because there are SO MANY sources for reviews that it seems you can always find a rave review of something as well as a pan, often on the same blog or discussion board.

Holli said...

If the plot looks interesting from the book's description, I will buy the book. Since I purchase most of my books online, I don't feel cover is that important, unless it's a romance novel. I won't buy a romance novel that doesn't have a great cover.

I hate to admit it, but the last few books I bought on Kindle were because of their price. Of course, the plot had to be something I was interested in, but I find it hard to pass on a $.99 book.

I also buy books when I see one similar to my own, especially if the book involves a female prosecutor who shares any of the same traits as my protagonist. I also buy mysteries that are set in New Orleans like my own, because I really like to compare them to my novels. It may sound narcissistic, but I want to know what my immediate competition is like.

I don't buy books based strictly on reviews, but I will say that if a reviewer has said the book is poorly edited, full of typos, or something like that, it will dissuade me from buying a book that I am interested in.

If a reviewer complains about the characters or the plot, I don't pay too much attention because that kind of thing seems to be more about personal taste. If someone else has commented on errors in grammar, punctuation, changing names through a story or things of that nature, I see that as a red flag and ordinarily won't buy the novel.

Holli Castillo

Dawn5782@sbcglobal.net said...

I usually go with an author I have experienced and like. Otherwise, I read a few pages to get a feel for the writing style. And then the blurb can catch my interest. Covers don't mean much for me, nor do titles.

Sue McGinty said...

I love to read author blurbs but rarely buy because of them. If a cover catches my eye, I check the jacket material and if the subject and/or character interests me, I read 3 pages or so for the setup, then make my buy/nobuy decision. Like Marilyn, I buy a lot of friends' books. If a fellow writer buys mine, I will generally buy theirs, especially the e-variety. That just seems like professional courtesy and I've had some great reading adventures as a result.

Polly said...

I buy writer friends' books but I'm mostly drawn to the author or the character s/he writes in a series. There are some characters that I fall in love with. Also, I like darker mysteries/suspense/thrillers so lighter fare has little appeal to me. But I'm all about the characters.

M.M. Gornell said...

For me, it's cover picture and blurb. And if I know the author it's a big plus.

Madeline

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