Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why Did You Buy That Book?

What makes you buy a book?

I'm sure there have been thousands of studies throughout the years on what makes a consumer buy a certain product -- publishing houses included.

So, I guess I'm doing my only little study.

For me, it's a given, I'll buy books written by my favorite authors. If there's a new one out, I don't even bother to look at the cover, sometimes I might not even read the blurb. I see the name, my heart skips a beat, and it goes into my basket. I bought two for that very reason today.

But what about new authors, or authors you've never read before. What attracts you the most?

Last year, I bought a few books based solely on the fact that one of my favorite authors had a tiny endorsement on the front of it. I thought they would be similar to her style. I was wrong, so I doubt I'll do that again.

Often times, I'll buy books by a certain publishing house I'm considering targeting, to see what they're looking for or I'll buy new authors because I want to see what's being bought by editors.

I think, over the years, I've only purchased two books based upon what was on the cover, and from what I can remember, I was disappointed in both of them. I will admit that I've passed up books in the past, because I didn't care for the cover. But I've tried to stop doing that. I've learned that sometimes the cover doesn't have anything to do with what's inside.

So what about you? What makes you buy a book, or not buy a book? Is it the cover, the blurb on the back, the first page, the last page, new authors, certain publishing houses, certain lines, endorsements from a favorite author, recommendations?

What makes you pick that book up in the first place and what makes you either put it back on the shelf, or in your buggy?


Deborah Matthews said...

Certain authors I pick up automatically: J.D. Robb, Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz, Julia Quinn, and all the wonderful authors of my local RWA chapters.

If it has a Regency looking cover or a cute title I'll read the blurb and/or the first page. The last one I bought for that reasoning was "What to Say to a Naked Elf", but haven't yet read the book. Couldn't ignore the title. (g)

Lately I don't buy a lot of unknown to me authors. I don't read as much as I use to and I have a lot of books already waiting. I rarely pick one up because of an author blurb or a recommendation unless I know the person.

Kelley St. John said...

The cover is what makes me pick it up. Then I read the back cover copy, and if it hooks me, I open the book. I read the first page, and that's when I know whether or not that baby is heading into my cart :)

As far as favorite authors, that's a given. I buy my favorite authors. Period. If I know a good read is coming, I'm going to buy it, and it doesn't need a cover that has anything beyond the author's name :)


Carla Swafford said...

First, my favorite authors (a long list), but even Deb Webb can't write more than one book a month (or is that two?). So I look for new authors to add to my favorite list.

Years ago, any historical book published by AVON would have gone in my cart. Now, editors had apparently changed and I'm choosier.

Sad to say, but covers do make a difference of whether I will pick it up or not to look at it. I rarely ever pick up covers with cartoons on the front unless I know the author personally. And like Christy, I learned the hard way to ignore the endorsements.

jennifer echols said...

For adult books, I usually go by recommendations. Yesterday I bought The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich because Victoria Dahl told me to (and it's hilarious so far)! But for YA novels, I don't need recommendations. I am totally taken in by the slick covers and snappy back cover copy. I'm the poster child for marketing ploys!