July 10, 2020, 01:57:55 PM

Author Topic: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?  (Read 10624 times)

Offline Elijah

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2011, 11:00:50 AM »
I tend to follow these criteria when choosing a book:

A snappy title gets me picking the book up.
To get me to open the book, it needs to have a decent cover.
If the cover comes up to scratch, I'll have a look at the blurb.
If the blurb piques my interest, I'll flick to a random page and have a preview.
If I find myself wanting to read more, I'll buy the book.

Of course, I will buy any and all books from authors that I know and love (Eddings, Feist, Weeks, Canavan etc). Word of mouth opens my eyes to authors and books, and will probably buy based on the reference just to see if it's as good as they say.
"Simply put, Dragonbone is merely a fractional crystalised form of the crystalliferous mineral known as Dragonbane. Then, the magmatic Dragonbane, called Dragonblood because of it's red colour, is put through the smelting process and ... What do you mean you don't understand?"

Offline Mark Lawrence

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2011, 11:39:14 AM »
Recommendations from other authors usually make me give a frustrated sigh, since they're usually authors who are represented by the same publishing house, so it's really selling the publisher, not the author.  But I guess most readers wouldn't notice this.

I honestly couldn't tell you who else my publisher publishes other than GRRM - not something I pay attention to.

If I knew it wouldn't make the slightest difference to any recommendations I might make. I'm pretty sure this is true for any of the authors who've had nice things to say about my own work...

Offline Shamrock

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2011, 12:03:46 PM »
Book covers are extremely important to me, just to prove a point I get my boyfriend, who is a designer, to go to the bookstore with me and pick out books for me to read judging just the cover, 9 times out of 10 I really enjoy the book.
But since I joined FF, you guys have been recommending so many books I can't keep up. Nevermind the ones I see and go "Ooo... I want."
Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind

Offline Elspeth Cooper

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2011, 12:09:18 PM »
Browsing in a bookshop, an eye-catching cover or title usually makes me pick the book up, then I read the cover copy, then the opening paras. If I like the start I'll read a few paras from somewhere in the middle to see if the author sustains what attracted me in the first place. If it's all good, I head for the checkout.

Shopping online that's not quite so easy, although downloading a sample to Kindle can be fun. Lately these days if there's enough online buzz and the reviews sound promising, i.e. "promises to be the sort of thing I'll like, even if that particular reviewer hated it", I'm buying (witness the Doug Hulick, Bradley Beaulieu and Stina Leicht currently adorning my TBR pile).

I spend far too much money on books I have very little chance of finding the opportunity to read in this lifetime, but I don't care. I wants them, precious.
The Wild Hunt: Songs of the Earth  |  Trinity Rising  |  The Raven's Shadow  |  The Dragon House

Offline Cherie

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2011, 09:05:06 PM »
Anything can pull me to a book, and that can be pretty dangerous for my bank balance!

Cover, blurb, reviews, word of mouth.. all have an effect on me. The biggest thing though has to be recommendations from people whose unbiased opinions I trust. I don't ever read the 5 star reviews on Amazon, I'll read the 1, 2 and 3 star reviews and find out the trivial things that people dislike, as you can sometimes find out more from them. I read the bad reviews for The Name of the Wind, and decided to by it from them! I've done the same thing with Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and I've ended up buying three of his books... two of them SubPress editions (whoops) when I could have just bought the standard paperbacks. Although the covers by Vincent Chong, whose artwork I love, probably had something to do with it!

Sometimes it's just complete impulse too, like I had a newsletter e-mail for the SubPress (did I meantion that I'm getting addicted to their books?) edition of The Club Dumas. I read the description, and realised it was the book that the film The Ninth Gate was based on. Wierd, but oddly compelling film about a book. So a book about a book... as a book addict, how could I resist?!

Offline ganstream1

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2011, 09:38:14 AM »
I usually go for the Title, Cover and Blurb, in that order if I'm at a book store with no access to the internet.

At home, I'd read reviews from several random reviewers and then decide whether to buy the book or not.

Offline Testwood

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2011, 02:03:19 PM »
Title and Cover get me to pick the book off the shelf, the blurb determines whether or not I put it back.

Offline Overlord

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2011, 09:08:06 AM »
I have to say that a poor goodreads score seems to put me off a book. If I read a blurb I always check Goodreads.

I trust that the community as a whole is pretty good with averages and anything that scores below a 3.5 goes further down my reading list typically.
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Offline ChristinaJL

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2011, 11:11:38 AM »
I have to say that a poor goodreads score seems to put me off a book. If I read a blurb I always check Goodreads.

I trust that the community as a whole is pretty good with averages and anything that scores below a 3.5 goes further down my reading list typically.

I always check out goodreads now, so I'd have to say that it influences my choice to buy a book as well.  If it gets a lower score then I usually won't bother unless I really like the sound of the blurb on Amazon.

Offline Elspeth Cooper

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2011, 12:14:35 PM »
I confess, it never even occurs to me to look at Goodreads. But then I don't take much notice of Amazon reviews either. I don't apply much thought to my book buying: I either get a positive gut reaction to cover/blurb/sample and buy it, or I don't. The times I'm disappointed by books are when I hear lots of "You must read this, you must!" first, and buy without applying The Gut - Wisdom of Crocodiles, I'm looking at you here.

Either my gut is wise beyond the ken of mortal men, or I'm very easily pleased.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 12:16:55 PM by Elspeth Cooper »
The Wild Hunt: Songs of the Earth  |  Trinity Rising  |  The Raven's Shadow  |  The Dragon House

Offline Bahl

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2011, 01:55:50 PM »
There's a few blogs whose writers opinion I respect, and if a few of them reccomend a certain book, I'll keep on the lookout for it / buy it for my Kindle.

If I am browsing a bookstore, I look for a name I recognise/at least heard about online, then the cover. It's good that we get the British published books in South Africa, since I like their covers a lot more than the US ones. US covers usually have characters and faces on them, and it looks crap 90% of the time. Most UK covers won't have a person, or if there is one, they won't show his face. It just works for me.

Then the blurb of course. If I do not know the writers name, and the cover looks interesting, then the blurb is a major selling point. If the blurb sounds smarmy, the books is most probably going to smarmy. If the blurb uses more than three made up words to describe races - yes, all the races are made up, but if the Barcasrst are at war with the Loigruns and the Blargs are watching from up high - it's most probably going to suck.

I want to know the outline of the story, and thats about it. Am I holding a Epic, low, urban, steampunk fantasy? That would help.
Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
Terry Pratchett

Offline AnneLyle

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2011, 04:20:27 PM »
Most UK covers won't have a person, or if there is one, they won't show his face.

That's probably true as a generalisation - but there's somewhat of a reaction against the generic Hooded Man design gaining momentum. Both mine and Elspeth's covers are not shy about showing our heroes' faces!
Elizabethan fantasy trilogy The Alchemist of SoulsThe Merchant of Dreams and The Prince of Lies out now from Angry Robot Books!

Offline Bahl

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2011, 07:01:56 AM »
Most UK covers won't have a person, or if there is one, they won't show his face.

That's probably true as a generalisation - but there's somewhat of a reaction against the generic Hooded Man design gaining momentum. Both mine and Elspeth's covers are not shy about showing our heroes' faces!

Let me rephrase. US covers usually have a person - Like the new Robert Jordan ebook covers coming out, or the new Joe Abercrombie covers.
I prefer the old Abercrombie cover - maplike, and the black Robert Jordan covers. Not the generic hooded men covers.

 I feel that having  a character on the cover takes away from the story, since the person on said cover never looks like the person I picture in my mind. I really dislike the Brent Weeks covers.
Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
Terry Pratchett

Offline AnneLyle

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2011, 08:11:05 AM »
Unfortunately humans are programmed to be interested in other humans, so in lieu of a brilliant cover concept (like Abercrombie's maps, which I too love), a character illustration is the simplest option.

I'm happy to say that my cover looks very much as I imagined my hero. Could do with a bit more beard, rather than designer stubble, but otherwise it's spot on!
Elizabethan fantasy trilogy The Alchemist of SoulsThe Merchant of Dreams and The Prince of Lies out now from Angry Robot Books!

Offline Sereg

Re: Readers and writers alike - what makes you buy a book?
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2011, 01:13:07 AM »
Image is a huge factor when buying anything in this modern world; maybe even since the beginning of humanity. The cover of a book usually is the "pull" or attention getter when buying a book. However, understanding how advertising works usually enters fore of mind and more detailed and thorough observance is required. I then look at the title and summary or description on the back of the book or in the jacket. I also like to read a few chapters, usually 3, to get a feel for the writing.
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