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Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Do You Choose What Book to Buy?

When I was younger (like, elementary school), I'd flip through the Scholastic Book order-form and choose books based on the summary. Same with the book fair and the library. On towards junior high and high school, like most teens, I loved going to the mall. But invariably, I spent all my time in the bookstore. Trying to decide which book to buy. (I didn't start caring about fashion and clothes until, um, college. Did I just admit that?)

One of the worst things I ever did was join a book club. I'm sure this works great for some people, but me, well, you can't judge a book by its cover, or its jacket. I had so many books that were just unreadable. Awful! I hate buying a book only to discover that you can't stand it!

After that I began borrowing heavily from roommates and the library. Isn't it great when you find an author you love? Then you can just buy their books at leisure, confidant that you'll enjoy everything they write.

Now I don't buy books unless they've been recommended to me. Sure, I can look at a book review, but opinions are so varied. It's when friends of mine who have enjoyed what I enjoy and like what I like say, "This book is awesome!" that I decide to buy it. I'll admit, it's hard to venture out and try new writers. At least for me. The feeling of disappointment when the book doesn't hold up to its promises dampers any adventurous-book-shopping plans I may have had for the future.

That's why I'm realizing how important it is to do things like blog tours and goodreads. If my friend's blog says the book is great, I'm 100% more likely to look at the book than if the blog said nothing. (Seriously. And sometimes it takes seven of such blogs before I add the book to my shopping list.)

What are your shopping habits? Do you buy spontaneously? Or go to the store with a book in mind? Or both? When my book comes out, are you going to buy it based on a pretty cover and nice summary, or because all of your friends recommend it? (Just wondering who I'm going to have to bribe here...)

Sequel Stats:
today's goal: 36,266
actual: 36,410
tomorrow's goal: 38,410

12 comments:

T. Anne said...

I love to browse Amazon and read the reviews. What a help!

M. Gray said...

I love Goodreads--I have a large network of friends on that there I trust.

Last week I had a friend watch my two kiddos and I spent two HOURS in the bookstore ALL BY MYSELF! I like YA so spent 90% of my time there. I picked up anything that sounded even remotely interesting and caressed its pages and read the first bit. And I was guilty in this instance for judging the books by their covers. That's why I bought the rules of survival--the cover is amazing and then of course the intro was just as amazing.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

And I live for people like you, Mary. Who take the chance for me and then tell me what's good!

Cindy said...

I used to mostly buy books based on the back cover summary. Now I buy heavily based on recommendation or from authors I've read before and trust.

David J. West said...

I buy books from authors I like all the time but I also still judge books by their covers and I take chances that it will end up being something good. Granted I do spend a lot of time at used book shops so they are cheaper but thats also because I buy a lot of old and out of print titles, I may be pickier with new titles, it may be a combination of cover art, back cover blurbs and opening the book to a random page and seeing if it grabs me within a paragraph. If it does I would certainly buy it.
Recomendations are good too, but I don't know anyone who reads as much as I do so those can be a little on the sparse side-thats where all the interweb friends come in handy.

Elisa said...

...dare I admit this on a blog that is frequented by writers?... I don't buy books. I check them out from the library. I only purchase a book if it was so incredible I think it needs to be in my collection. Which, has only been once since 2008. I guess the appeal of free pleasure reading (and even cook book reading or gardening or sewing or whatever kind of book you might like!) is just so enticing. But. That said. I will be buying Tamara's book when it comes out because I want her to have the revenue. That's the honest truth. If I didn't know her, I'd check it out from the library first. Just my policy.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I guess we'll forgive you, since you're buying my book. Don't tell the other writers, though. :)

Melanie J said...

I get pretty much most of my book recommendations from Goodreads these days. I love it because it cuts out a lot of guess work.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love to read reviews, and the more positive ones I see, the more likely I am to buy the book. There's nothing worse than spending $18 on a hardcover only to be disappointed! If I'm unsure, I'll get it from the library. But if I like it, I'll go the the book store and buy it and anything else by that author.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I really need to frequent goodreads more, apparently!

Jane Finchwood said...

I will admit that I always judge a book by its cover. I actually had a book by a favorite author that I couldn't start because every time I saw the cover it bored me. I even went back to the book years later and still couldn't start it.
If I like the cover, and the price is right, I will read the first page or so and if it catches me then I buy it. I have yet to be disappointed with this technique.

Vicky said...

I'm just like you. I very rarely go out and buy books by new authors (unless they are on the clearance rack at Half-Price books). If I don't know if I'm going to like it, I check it out from the library. But if it's an author I like, I don't even hesitate. However, every once and a while, I'll just be DRAWN to a book, you know? I'll hear about it, and then I'll see it in the store, read the first few pages, and can't stop thinking about it. So, then I'll order it. But usually, I'm pretty picky.

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