Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book Buying: What Persuades You?

I was involved in an interesting conversation the other day, and thought I'd ask here on Five Scribes. Do you buy a book based on:

author favorite
word of mouth
bookstore or e-reader browsing
e) other

I'm curious. What persuades you? I hope you'll share.


alanarose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alanarose said...

I'm a total loyal author follower. It takes a lot to draw me away from an author I love. Must have damn good premise and a book that nails the promise. If you can do that, I'll read every book you've ever written. :) Rachel Firasek

Marcie said...

My answer is all of the above and more.

I purchase books for what they can do for me - add to a story line I'm already following, be a good example of writing technique on some element that I want more help on, be the perfect story for the person I'm shopping for, garner me a real or perceived favour somewhere down the line, etc.

Also, most of the time, I have already read some or all of the book before purchasing.

kakiwarner said...

By favorite authors and reviews. And now, I pick books by friends who write. Actually I don't have a lot of time to read lately, but when I do, I pick a writer I can trust to give me some needed distraction.

ML Guida said...

I buy books based on the blurb on the back and hate to admit it, but the front cover. Something about a guy with long hair just always draws me. I'm loyal to my favorite authors, but will venture to purchase new books based on the blurb. I will read Amazon's reviews, but negative reviews do not deter me. Reviews are opinions and are not the end all.

Cynthia D'Alba said...

I never use reviews, except to decide to NOT buy a book.

word of mouth is important.
Favorite author is important.

I have been known to buy books of friends, even if I have no intention of reading them. :)

Vince said...

Hi Donnelle:

I’m a man so my answers may not be typical of romance fans but here goes:

1) my auto-buy list; this is getting bigger and given there are only so many free hours in a day to read, this is a problem for new authors.
2) authors that might just make my auto-buy list; I like their books and I read their blogs.
3) cover/theme – one works to reinforce the other: I probably buy every ‘runaway bride’ theme story I see. Also, I buy most of the southwest setting books if I like the cover. (I want a panoramic landscape and a promise that a lot of the story takes place outdoors).
4) time period: I like books from 1873 to 1900 set both back east and in the American west.
5) medical romances: I have to read at least one a month; if it takes place in New Zealand, it is an auto-buy for that month.
6) reviews: these only are useful if they reveal the above information.
7) price: if a book is under $3.00, I’m likely to give a new author a try.
8) oddity: sometimes a book is so odd, I feel like I just have to read it. For example: steampunk.
9) length: the longer the book, the less likely I am to buy it – especially if I don’t know the author.
10) publisher: I want a well edited book. This usually acts as a veto.


Donnell said...

Thank you, Vince! I read cross genre, so I am not talking simply about romance. I'm talking multi-genre, what persuades you to buy a book?

Great reasons to buy a book. Thank you! I'm buying so many these days my family's considering calling for an intervention.

Susanna Fraser said...

Once I'm hooked on an author, I'll keep buying his/her books unless I notice a sustained drop in quality or s/he switches to a subgenre I don't care for--and even then, if I really love the author, I'll give that book a chance.

For new-to-me authors, I go by reviews and recommendations from friends whose taste I trust. Every once in awhile I'll look at my Amazon or LibraryThing recommendations, though I trust them more for finding nonfiction on topics that interest me than on fiction with a voice and characters I'll like.

Donnell said...

Ah, I'm seeing a pattern here. Once you read a particular author and like him or her, you stick with him. Good information and a heads up to authors to aspire to make the next book even better than the last.

Michelle Diener said...

Donnell, I buy based on what catches my eye, and being active on social book sites like Goodreads helps me a lot. I also have a lot of author friends and I buy their books. I do use reviews to get a feel for the book, and word of mouth is important, too. So lots of things. said...

I buy based on three different things. One, word of mouth. Two, scanning shelves and touching the book-do I like the title, cover, blurb on the back etc(yes, I'm a diehard book store person). Three (and nowadays this is where most of my money goes) do I know the author. I guess that's what happens when you make the move from total reader to author.
Great question Donnell!

Theresa said...

I'll follow an author, but if the plot doesn't grab me, I won't buy the book.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Author first, if it's someone I really enjoy. Sometimes word of mouth but only from someone I know has similar reading tastes. Reviews - very little. Mostly I'm a browser. I love to go into a bookstore (or library) and pick books up at random, see what catches my interest. But I don't use my Nook to browse. Most of my e-books I've picked out first and then gone online to purchase.

Donnell said...

I received an excellent comment who didn't post to the blog, but I wanted to share...


What makes me buy a book... greed, addiction—I know, that's not what you meant. I often go against the flow of reviewers, so a bad review, depending on what it says, often spurs me to purchase. I have my favorite authors, and will buy anything they write. They earn their spots through talent and hard work (thank you Melissa.) You might also ask what keeps us from buying a book. I hate to admit this, but an extremely racy cover will sometimes keep me from buying a book. I don't feel free to take it around with me. They don't set a good example to little kids who see you reading in public. And I am NOT a prude. I just find them unnecessary and too blatant.

Leslie Ann said...

Hi D,
Fun questions.

Hey Vince,
Your $3 price point was a surprise. I've been researching price points and have found (as I'm an indie author almost ready to put my work out there) that $4.99 was the "magic" price point.

I want something in a book that is exotic, be it a place (which can be foreign, Hawaii, the Southwest (which is why I loved Hillerman's stories) or even my own city if it's not just "everyday."

Exotic can be a career, a "McGuffin" in the story, or a type of magic.

That's what draws me. So....I may buy an author I love b/c I know the author caters to my needs, or I'll try a "newbie to me" if it feels "exotic."

So precise, I know.

~LA of the scribes