What was it that caught your eye? Something about that cover made you reach for the book. Maybe something about the back cover lured you in. Maybe you didn’t even look at the price
I’ll bet you can remember more than one time that you’ve picked up a book for the cover alone. I know I have. On the other hand, I’ve passed by some terrific stories because the covers turned me off. I can think of one in particular. I got the book in my stack of entries to judge for the RITA awards. I even put it off until the last, only to discover it was an incredible story that hooked me from the get go and never let up. I liked the author’s voice and style so much that I hunted her backlist and read as many as I could get my hands on. So what was it I didn’t like about that cover you ask? It was a cartoon cover. I have never purchased a book with a cartoon cover—well except the others by that same author.
I think most of us here have auto buy authors – an author you buy simply because you know they’re going to deliver a story you will enjoy, no matter the subject or the cover. For me there are several of those: Sharon Sala, Anne Frasier, Janet Evanovich, Robyn Carr just to name a few.
I’ve purchased books based on reviews – sort of like movie reviews that tempt me. Not because the review was glowing, but because the synopsis told me the book was about a subject or character I knew I would like. I’ve bought books because someone recommended them to me. I have purchased a book because of an ad. That could have been because of the cover or the blurb. I’ve never bought one because of a quote on the front or because I saw a book trailer.
If I had to say where most of my book buying was done over the past couple of years or more, I’d have to confess it wasn’t done in stores, but online. Convenience is the reason – and because the chain stores carry less and less of the mid-list books. At least one huge chain store near me no longer carries Harlequin or Silhouette lines.
Online book shopping is different. You pretty much need to know what you’re looking for, or at least I do. amazon has that clever suggestion feature that shows what they think you’d like based on your previous purchases. And you can subscribe to any number of newsletters by your favorite authors and be prepared for new releases.
Something about picking up that book, seeing it in person…up close and personal, covers are enticing. For me — If it has a western or an Americana look, I’m a sucker. There was a day when some readers would buy any book with Fabio on the cover. I’m probably in the minority of romance readers who aren’t impressed by cover models. In fact, if I recognize the guy on the front, it’s a complete turnoff for me. He has become a model in my eyes, not the fantasy hero I’m going to meet for the first time. I guess that’s it – a recognizable face spoils the fantasy.
So, do you read outside the romance genre?
What are your criteria for spending your cash on a new author’s book?
Have you ever bought a book because you’d met the author and liked him or her?
What are the top three elements that entice you to buy a book?