I guess I've never really thought about it much before, since I'd just peruse the bookshelves at the store and find one I liked.
But now, as an author, I'm wondering when I go into a store specifically to buy a book, what intrigues me enough to dig into my wallet and come up with the $6 or $7 dollars to make that purchase.
I think the covers play a big role. A cover that despicts the story goes a long way. And it could be anything from a clinch cover, to a cover with lace and/or jewelry to a cover with just a man or women's face or body. The cover should go hand in hand with the title. The two should blend so perfectly that when a reader picks up the book, there's no doubt about what kind of story is represented. That's not always the case though and it takes a good art department to make a dynamite cover that meets up to the standards of the book.
The other thing I do is always read the back cover blurb. Does it appeal to me as a reader? Does it intrigue me? Do I really want to read this story? Back cover blurbs are hard to write. I'm glad I don't have to do them. Although, I've been asked to help at times, since no one is closer to the story than the author. But a dynamic blurb can help sell lots of books.
Then there's the inside pages. I love to read the first paragraphs of a book. It's a tell-all to what type of writing and storytelling I'm getting into. Ususally, it's the deciding factor for me. So, hooking the reader from page one is ultra important.
And lastly, I think author recognition is key. Many people wait for and buy books from their favorite authors. I was guilty of this too. I don't think it's a bad thing, it like going to the same restaurants over and over again, because you know the food won't disappoint. But it's nice to venture out sometimes. Lately, because I've read so many books from the same authors in the past before I became a writer, now, I try to buy a book from an author I've never read. In fact, it's something I do without exception. Every time I wander into a book store or buy online, I make my choice by trying a new author and maybe even a new genre. Granted, I love romance and don't care for stories that have little or no male/female relationships in them, I do tend to buy books that are either mainstream romances or suspense with romantic elements. But I might try a new regency writer, or a new light-hearted contemporary as well.
It's all good, as they say.
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FORGIVE ME, DAVID LETTERMAN - TOP TEN WRITING MISTAKES.
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