Friday, October 29, 2010

Why Do You Purchase a Book?

Recently, one of my email loops discussed the value of social networking to sales. According to several surveys, readers are not moved to purchase a book due to advertising on social networks, websites, or publishers websites. Readers purchase books that someone else has recommended, or from an author they have already read and love.

So what is a beginning author to do? You must be famous to be famous?

Just look at our bookstores and libraries. Shelves chock full of books, many different genres, many, many authors. What distinguishes one book over another? A cover? A title? A name?

Speaking as a reader, not a writer, what motivates you to purchase a book?

All comments today will get your name entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of my book, JOSHUA'S HOPE, and also get your name entered into my monthly drawing for a Bath and Body Works Gift Certificate. Winners will be announced on my blog on November 2. It is up to the winner to contact me with their mailing information.


JoAnn said...

I actaully look for three things when I'm out to purchase a book. The first is, I look for a publishing house I know and love. (ie: A little steeple at the top of the spine.)
Second, the cover. Yes, I know your not supposed to judge a cover by it's book-- but I'm just being honest.
Third, I read the blurb. If that catches my attention. I hooked and a sale is made.

Marie Beau said...

Give me a title that catches my ear and a blurb that makes me want more. That's how I find new authors to read all the time because if I like someone's writing I read everything until I'm done.

Marianne Evans said...

When I'm looking at a newer/unknown author, what draws me in is a captivating cover. From there, the back blurb better pull me in with a great plotline. If it's a known author that I love, I'd say after two or three great reads, I'll buy ASAP. :-)

LoRee Peery said...

Well spoken comments so far. I think emotion has something to do with buyer choice as well. Not only the mood I'm in when I'm browsing, but also if I have any personal connection with the blurb or prior visibility of the author.

Cheryl said...

I look for a cover that catches my eye first. Then I turn the book around to read the back cover blurb. If I like both, I usually pick it up. If I'm still on the fence, I'll read a page or two.

What LoRee says can also be an influence, however. Some days I'm in the mood for nonfiction, other days a good mystery, still others I am looking for romance.


Diane Craver said...

The cover blurb is important to me. Also sometimes I skim the first few pages. Also I might read a book if I see it received good reviews.

Tammy Doherty said...

I agree with the cover thing - you can tell some books are just not Christian by the picture on the front. Further, I don't go for what used to be called "chick lit" or contemporaries that are just plain romance. I like historicals and mystery/suspense and the cover can clue me in to that. Ironically, if I didn't know Teri Wilson I would never have picked up one of her books to read because the cover (while cute & adorable like Bliss!) looks too contemporary for me. Goes to show, you can't judge a book by its cover!

Once something grabs me visually, I read the back cover blurb. And sometimes the first couple pages. A blurb will pull me in but the writer's style is what seals the deal. For this reason I don't often by new authors online - unless a friend has recommended the author.

On a side note, as a self-pubbed author I can suggest one thing for new authors to gain recognition. Take advantage of the network God gave you that you probably don't even think of as a network - friends and family! And co-workers. I sold 250 copies of my first book in about 3 months, to friends, family and co-workers. They then told their friends, etc, and I sold another 200 within the following year. Fantabulous sales for a self-pub...imagine what you could do with a known publishing name standing behind you!