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Author Topic: Why don't you buy a book?  (Read 2294 times)

Offline G_R_Matthews

Why don't you buy a book?
« on: September 10, 2015, 09:55:00 PM »
A conversation on the Facebook group sparked a thought, or several - not all at once, I couldn't cope with that. I'm only man (so goes the rumour) after all.

We love books, we (I anyway) love buying them... so how do I chose the books I want to read and why do I not buy others?

My thoughts captured on a blog.
Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
Silent City : myBook.to/silentcity

www.grmatthews.com

Offline Hedin

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 04:11:11 AM »
My subjective criteria in rough order:

1) Familiarity & trust with the author - I am much more likely to buy a book by an author that I have previous experience with and enjoy their work.   
2) Price Point - I will try anything I hear decent things about if it's $1.99.  Conversely there have been prices of authors who meet #1 that I find too high.   It all depends on what level of "risk"  I want to take but generally for ebooks I won't pay over $10.
3) Word of mouth - If I hear good things from people I trust in book judgment I am more likely to buy.
4) Library availability - Unless they meet #1 or the price point is super attractive or it has a bunch of recommendations I will always see if it's available at the library first.   If the author puts out a work that I enjoy & would want to read again I will buy later.
5) Cover art & title - No idea what specifically turns me on or off books by their covers or titles but there is something there for sure.
6) Sample chapters - If the book is something I am unsure about I will read the Amazon sample and see how it starts.
7) Whim -  And sometimes you just ignore all logical rationale and just impulse buy.

Offline ClintACK

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 01:44:38 PM »
I pretty much always get the e-book free sample, now.

So reasons I don't buy a book:
1) I never read the sample, after downloading it.
2) I started the sample and didn't finish.
3) I read the sample, and it was okay, but the price was higher than just "okay".


Offline JMack

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Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 02:23:50 PM »
I pretty much always get the e-book free sample, now.

So reasons I don't buy a book:
1) I never read the sample, after downloading it.
2) I started the sample and didn't finish.
3) I read the sample, and it was okay, but the price was higher than just "okay".

I'm doing the sampling more and more as well.
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 03:12:01 PM »
I pretty much always get the e-book free sample, now.

So reasons I don't buy a book:
1) I never read the sample, after downloading it.
2) I started the sample and didn't finish.
3) I read the sample, and it was okay, but the price was higher than just "okay".

I'm doing the sampling more and more as well.

indeed.  i sort of use the samples as reminders to read a book.  i have about a bazillion of them on my kindle.  (well, more like, 20 or 30)  i'll read through the first few pages and either the writing is good or it's bad.

based on that, if the ebook is reasonably priced -- less than 6 or 7 bucks -- i'll pick it up.  if i end up loving the book, i'll shell out the cash for the 'collector's edition'.  aka the hardback specifically for signing.  (woo hoo for living close to mysterious galaxy!)

granted, i won't even download the sample chapter if i use amazon's 'look inside' feature and the writing is crap.  i'll read the first couple paragraphs (9 times in 10 that's all i need) and if the writing is decent, i'll scan the first couple pages.  if it passes from there, i'll download the sample.  or, if the book is really cheap, i'll just grab it there.

finally, yeah, if your cover art sucks?  that's not going to sell your book.  best case scenario, i'll click the 'look inside', but my opinion on the writing is already colored by that awful cover.  it's more of a 'just in case the writing's not terrible' thing.  it always is.  is it because the cover is terrible?  or is it because terrible writers have terrible taste in covers?  dunno.


extra bits to note:

1) content glut -- if your publisher is forcing you to price your ebook in the ridiculous range ($10 or more?  even $9 for a book that is 15 years old?  c'mon!), i won't read it.  there is waaaaay too much choice out there and waaaaay too few hours in the day for reading.  our tbr piles are huge.  and, yes, i'm looking at you authors from places like hachette and random house.

2) cover art -- spend $200 and get a professional, quality cover for your book.  you will make it up in book sales GUARANTEED.

3) look inside -- never, never, never click that option to disable 'look inside' on amazon.  you won't sell anything.  (see the part about huge tbr piles above)

4) piracy -- the elephant in the room.  if you price your book out of the 'collector click' range?  like, say, more than $4.99?  a substantial number of readers will start downloading your book from other, dark and scary places.  your best hope then is that they like your book enough they'll throw you a few bones and buy one of your other books to support you as an author.  it's purely anecdote, but some 30-40% of my friends pirate books.  (none of them pirate exclusively, tho)  it's a reality you HAVE to deal with.  cut your ebook price in half, sell three times the books.  don't wait.  do it now.

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 05:38:21 PM »
how do I chose the books I want to read and why do I not buy others?

I never realised this was such a hard question, but I started thinking and... wow :o

I choose to buy:
- books from series I'm following
- new books from authors I love
- sometimes the promotions at the shop - from authors I've heard about, or stuff I wanted to buy 'one day'
- timing: I balance buying books with reading from the library, and even re-reading the ones I have
- nowadays with F-F I have a very big wishlist from stuff I've heard about here (either recommendations or just mentions), so it's very rare that I actually buy random unknown books; I do read random ones from the library, though - and if I really enjoyed them I go and buy them to keep

And yes, covers do make a difference - even sometimes at the library...
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 05:59:37 PM »
I've started doing more of the 'look inside' thing more, but "why don't I buy a book" is a harder question.

1. The first three pages are all dense, wall of text, description.
2. The cover is the first thing I see... if it doesn't appeal I won't look.
3. If I hear a lot from FB, FF, Twitter etc that the book isn't good, even if the cover is great

But when I am randomly browsing in a bookstore... it becomes a lot more "mood" related and blurb can turn me off a book!
Staff Writer and ponderer of many things @ fantasy-faction

The Stone Road (4/5* Bookwormblues.net) : myBook.to/thestoneroad
Silent City : myBook.to/silentcity

www.grmatthews.com

Offline madfox11

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 10:42:51 AM »
Blurb, cover, prize and page count are the first things I look at. I am not sure what draws my attention or pushes it away, but they are definitely important. In regards to price I seem to give authors a bit more leeway than others. Still, if I pay more than $1,- I do want a full fledged book and not a novella.

I also tend to look at the reviews. I am well aware they contain a lot of nonsense, but they do help. So I look at certain things in reviews, such comments about spelling, grammar, predictability, confusing matter and subjects that I dislike.

Of course, authors with previous work I liked have a head start, but only to some extent. I have ended with a couple of series that started great and became long drawn out affairs with no progress or events that started to stretch my sense of disbelief (how often can the world be threatened?) lately.

I probably should spend a bit more time to read the first few pages though. Then again, I think I have not finished only one books because it was utterly crap. Sure, there has been some mediocre stuff in there, but I rarely regret paying a few dollars for something that kept me at least entertained for a few hours.

Offline JamesLatimer

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 12:33:54 PM »
I agree with most of the common hurdles: cover, blurb, sample, reviews, price, familiarity with author, etc., but I think I'm really picky in what I'm looking for in all of these, so the turn offs are quite a lot quicker.  With the huge range of books out there, and my limited reading time, I can afford to be choosy. 

At the end of the day, if I'm going to take a chance on a book I wouldn't normally choose, it will largely come down to personal (including internet) recommendations--or if it's FREE (the ultimate price point for readers).  On the other hand, if the cover, blurb and sample promise something that does seem exactly what I'm looking for, I might take a chance even in the face of lukewarm reviews, lack of hype, unknown author or bad cover. 

In general, this has worked out pretty well, and I have to say I've been disappointed more often reading books I got mostly because of hype, reviews, etc. than by the books I've chosen on my own judgment (not counting covers, I'm a sucker for a good cover).  I mean, it's not like you don't have a lot of information these days with which to make a choice!

Offline Rostum

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 03:43:11 PM »
I read widely fairly widely although I have focussed on SFF again this year. I will read most things if the blurb sounds interesting, The cover art catches my eye or I have read the author before or have a recommendation from someone with similar reading habits.

I would not buy or read a book from an author I have a low opinion of as a person. Benjanun Sriduangkaew (may or more likely not exist) may or may not be a fantastic writer, but I will never know as I will never read anything accredited to her.

I wont pay for anything by an author whose work I have been disappointed before. This means they get one shot and it means I take little notice of someone progressing as an author.

I don't read teen aimed drivel, most romance or Biographies on living political figures....but do selectively read YA, some romance and historical biographies. I am ancient I am allowed to be selective and employ what little taste I have. I am also very aware That I will die before reading everything I want to so why waste time on a book if I would prefer to be reading something else.


Online Yora

Re: Why don't you buy a book?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 04:43:45 PM »
First reason is a cheesy title.

Second reason is a terrible cover. Even though I know that the cover generally doesn't have anything to do with the book.
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