Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

By Ambrielle Kirk (Guest Blogger)

What factors come into play when you’re book buying?

Buying a book isn’t like buying a car. Well, for some of us anyway. Purchasing a car is a major investment. In some cases, after the transaction is complete, you can’t just take the car back to the dealer. Even though cars depreciate during the entire time you own it, you'll keep this car several years or more before buying a new one. Car buying requires lots of prior research before you even step foot on a dealer lot. You Google the year, make, model car you want to buy, the options, customer reviews, the invoice price, warranties, insurance, future value, etc. etc. etc. So, why did I just tell you that…?

You don’t have to go through all that stress when buying a book. Like a car, a book is something physical, something you can enjoy and keep. Do you pick it up for the pretty cover art? Did you open it and check out the pages, the prose, writing style? Did you read the first chapter? Did you skim the blurb? Was this an author you'd read before? Did someone recommend this book to you? Was it on the clearance rack the day you’re low on funds? Are you interested in a certain genre? Culture? Subject matter? Was it part of an “unputdownable” series?

Are all these factors are part of my book buying process? (LOL) Sometimes I walk up and down the bookstore aisles or surf e-book vendors just as if I’m buying a car. After all, I don’t want to be disappointed with my purchase. The funny part is that any one of these factors in the negative can make me put down a book. I normally judge a book by the cover more often than I should.

Just think about it. The cover, front and back, has everything you need to know before you buy that book. With ebooks, you can read the blurb right there on the World Wide Web. So, sometimes you never have to leave your home to buy a book. If I’m on the fence, I’ll read the first chapter or an available excerpt. Excerpts and first chapters generally don’t tell me anything, for I have read books that had excellent first chapters and flawless excerpts, but whose plot fell flat somewhere between chapter two and the end.

Truthfully, I wish I could read each and every great book out there, but we all know there’s just not enough time in one human lifespan for that.

Maybe I missed some factors. Are there any specifics you look for when buying a book?


Ambrielle Kirk's fiction ranges from contemporary erotic to dark paranormal romance. Her vivid imagination inspired her to create stories in her pre-teen years and now, over a decade later, that inspiration continues to thrive, bringing flair and edge to everything she writes. Please visit her website www.ambriellekirk.com and blog www.ambriellekirk.wordpress.com for information on current and future book releases.


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Ambrielle,

Welcome to Beyond Romance! Thanks for a great post, and some mouth-watering covers.

One thing that affects my book buying, that you haven't mentioned, is the title of a book. When I'm scanning lists of promo excerpts and so on, an unusual or particularly apt title will definitely make me stop and take a closer look. And a less than felicitous title may turn me off even if the book might be wonderful.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisabet,

Good one! A catchy title can definately entice me to buy a book.

And thank you so much for having me on your blog :)

Kate Richards said...

Very nice post Ambrielle and I love your covers!

ambrielle said...

Thanks for stopping by. Of course, I can't take credit for the covers, but I do appreciate a cover artist with natural talent.

katsrus said...

I am one who does look at covers. A lot of times the title of the book hits me. I still do read the blurbs to make sure it's something that I would like. If an author I already know and love I will buy no matter what. I really like to try new authors and books. Give me some variety so I am not getting bored with the same thing. Those are great covers. Those would stand out to me.
Sue B

Eve Langlais said...

I admit covers are the first thing to grab me, followed by the title. What cinches the deal though is always the blurb. Great blog and lovely covers Ambrielle. :)

Lorrie said...

What catches my eye first, and I know I'm weird, is the title. Then I move on to author. If I have read the author before, I still read the blurb, then the first page to see the POV it is written in. Sometimes I jump to the middle pages to try to judge if it will hold my interest.
Like you, I love browsing the bookshelfs.

You have some great covers there, and they look like goodies. I'll have to check them out.

Devon Marshall said...

For me, if it's the title catches my eye first, especially if it's an author I haven't read before. If I have read the author before and liked their work, I'll read more on the strength of their name ( which isn't too guarantee that I'll like every book they write! ). Usually the deciding factor on whether I'll actually read the book or not is the blurb although if it doesn't say much or I'm still not sure, I'll read a few pages at the beginning. I can pretty much tell if I'm going to read the rest of a book based on whether I engage with the first chapter or not ( I do the same with TV - if it doesn't grab me by the first ad break, I usually won't watch it again ). I know I probably miss out on some very good books this way since many start out with weak first chapters only to improve further in! I must admit that, as far as covers go, I rarely pay attention other than to sometimes think, " Hey, that's a cool cover design!" but it never affects my decision whether to pick a book up or not.

Anonymous said...

@katsrus I agree. If it’s an author or series that I’m already reading, a nice blurb is kind of like icing on the cake or the cherry on top.
@Eve Langlais Thanks! Blurbs can make or break the deal.
@Lorrie Thanks for the comment! I admit, I peek in the middle of the book too sometimes.
@Devon You’re right. Sometimes you can’t judge the contents of a book by it’s cover.

Charli Mac said...

BLURB. BLURB. BLURB. Catchy covers help. But for me its the back or inside cover. I usually read the first page to get a feel for the voice.

Ambrielle said...

@Charli, I'm also a sucker for a captivating voice.

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