Thursday, February 9, 2012

What Makes You Buy A Book? by DL Larson

Last night I attended a meeting about the pros and cons of publishing on one's own, plus the options of e-book selling. The discussion was lively and extremely informative. Both POD and e-books have a place for marketing, thanks to the pioneers who have shaved a path to give authors more options when it comes to publishing their work.

Toward the end of the meeting the question came up, "what makes folks want to buy a certain book over another?" The answers were plentiful. The genre was a major decision, the font, the price, etc. The top answer was the BOOK COVER!

As writers we understand the appeal of book covers. The writing may be terrific and exciting, but first it has to be noticed. Authors have not always had much control over their book's design, but that has changed plenty in the last few years. POD publishing and e-book publishing have improved the options just as it has left the burden of much of the work on the writer. The cover is usually the author's responsibility to find the cover that works best for their story. Places like Think Stock have thousands of options to pick from. Another option, especially if you as a writer don't have the time or inclination to do this on your own, is to hire a cover artist. After the meeting last night, I'm convinced the expenses involved in hiring an artist will benefit the book in the long run.

With so many options available to the avid reader, the writer must step up to the challenge of having an intriguing hook to catch the reader's attention. An eye-catching cover can do more than blog tours, radio or book signings. That's exciting news for writers. Perhaps our time and money and effort would be better spent on fantastic book covers rather than time away from writing by doing book tours, etc.

The question I'm asking you today as a reader, what catches your attention and what makes you buy a book? Is it the cover? The back blurb? Word of mouth?

Share your thoughts with us!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

4 comments:

Juli Monroe said...

The cover is a big one. It has to look right for the genre. It doesn't have to be a super expensive, slick cover, but it needs to be attractive and give a teaser as to the nature of the book.

After the cover, the title is important, and the blurb has got to be well written and interesting. After I've gotten that far, then I need to see reviews. They don't all have to be 5-star. In fact, I'll avoid those because I assume most or all of them are sock puppets. Sometimes a well-written 2 or 3 star review can give me the rest of what I need to know if I'll like it.

So yeah, I'm picky.

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm like most readers. The cover is what first attracts me, then I look at the back, then I read the first few paragraphs.

Sometimes I love the cover so much, and I'm really disappointed when the sample I read doesn't look that good, and I have to resist.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Deb Larson said...

I agree ~ when the reading doesn't live up to the cover, I'm disappointed. I don't generally consider reviews all that much, I will read the first page and it has to grab me. But covers are a big part of what draws me in!
And, Juli being picky is a good trait to have - it makes us all better writers!
Thanks for stopping by.
DL Larson

Margot Justes said...

Deb,
I look at the cover, the back and read the first few sentences. Reviews don't matter to me.
Margot Justes
www.mjustes.com