(This post was originally released 1/11/2012 on my first blog, The Bookish Snob)
I've taken to stalking the lists over at Amazon - both the Top 100 paid and free - for my Kindle. Heaven knows, I don't need any more books, but I'm addicted and I'm planning for the apocalypse where I'll need to bunker down and wait it out. I'm determined to be prepared and if I have a full Kindle, I'll be entertained *shakes head* Yeah, my husband didn't buy that either.
I caught myself doing something, and made me wonder whether I was the only one. How do other readers decide what to gets - especially amongst the free? You would assume a free ebook means you automatically click, but I know that's not the case for me. Don't get me wrong, when I first got my Kindle I went "click" happy. I would get everything in the romance section and surprise, surprise, I either haven't read some of them, or deleted them. So it got me thinking - what influences me?
Here's what I noticed about my self:
Top influencer - The Cover
This is the very first thing I look at. I am a complete cover whore. Plain and simple. I am almost positive I'm missing out on some phenomenal reading simply because the cover doesn't pull me. I will skim lists and my eyes gloss over the books that don't attract. Does that make me fickle? No. It means I like what I like. I'm the same whether I go to a bookstore or shop online. The cover has to appeal. It has to catch my eye. The same amount of time that went into the story and perfecting needs to go into having the best cover. I've bought books JUST for the cover. Sometimes they are just as convincing as the blurb and if both are amazing, there's no stopping the purchase.
Second Influencer - The Blurb
I always look at the blurb. If I'm intrigued by anything by the book, I'll read it. If I love the cover, I go straight to the blurb. I love those that give me just enough to get excited, but doesn't give everything away. I read somewhere readers look for keywords when they're trying to decide based on the description, and I realized I do the same. Don't get me wrong, I read the whole thing, but my mind does look for what it knows I'll like. When the blurb is long, my mind looks and will continue reading if it sees "Oh ... Scotland .... Laird ..... Warrior .... Feisty ... Clan." (just example) The only time the blurb doesn't sell me is if it's so vague, I still don't have a clue after reading it a few times. Paired with the book's cover, the blurb is a strong selling point. It has to give a glimpse of the amazing story inside.
Third Influencer - The Author
I know I'm not alone with this - we have our favorite authors. There are those books where it doesn't matter if everything else sucks, I'm buying it because I love the author. It's a fun feeling when you're shopping and realize there's new work out you didn't know. You're looking at everything and then BAM ... you see who wrote it and it's an instant click. With me blogging, promoting, and being a social media junkie, I see a lot of names and I'm a firm believe in name recognition. I may not have bought "Author One's" book last week, but hey here it is again, the time is right so why not ... click to buy.
Fourth Influencer - The Title
Sometimes the title pulls me in, even if I'm not diggin' the cover. I need to be able to pronounce it so I can tell everyone, it needs to intrigue me, and it needs to make sense. I've read some titles and thought I knew the genre, only to find out I was nowhere close. I've also wanted to learn more about the book because of how it sounds. It's not a deal breaker for me, though. Not like the cover.
Last Influencer - The Rating
I want to say I'm not swayed, but I am just a little. It doesn't prevent me from purchasing a book though. I'm also not one who if the cover and blurb don't do it for me, say "Well it's a 4 star book, I should read it." I do look at it when I'm taking in all the information, and if I see it's pretty low, I'll check out the reviews. I don't always hit this stage, though because I'm influenced more by the above.
So there you have it. That's how I decide when I'm looking through hundreds of books a week. It was interesting discovering exactly what held the strongest influence for me, and now I ask you same the question ...
How do YOU decide which book to buy?
Feel free to comment below!