Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Makes You Buy a Book?

This is something I've been thinking about quite a bit, lately. Not really about my own book coming out in a year (though I imagine I'll start thinking about it more in due time) but because of Twitter.

I have folks follow me, then when I go to check out their tweets it's nothing but an endless line of blurbs about their book. Retweets about their book. More blurbs about their book. Everything is endless self-promotion.

This DOES NOT make me want to buy a book.

However, if a Tweeter is friendly, chatty, and prone to share useful industry information, I'm less likely to jump ship when they start book promotion. In fact, that friendly relationship makes it likely,

I WILL buy the book.

Other buying factors for me:

  • The OMG factor. Word of mouth is powerful. If every book person I know is talking about a certain book. Yeah, I'll jump on that train.
  • Word of mouth by a trusted friend. If someone has similar taste and they say, "Hey I read this book. I think you're going to love it." I trust that. It will make me buy the book.
  • Sales Price. Kindle daily deals or Bookcloseouts.com have helped push me over the edge on books I've been sort of "meh" about. I've remained "meh" about some, but fallen in love with others.
  • Personal Taste. I'm not going to rush out and buy the latest elemental fantasy - not my thing so much. It doesn't mean I wouldn't like it if I did read it, it just means my dollars are limited. I want to spend it on Contemporaries or Mysteries, lush Historicals or Memoirs.
  • Friend's Books. Now that I have loads of author friends, I want to read their books.
  • Happenstance. For this I include bookstore purchases where cover, blurb, and page scanning influence me. Also library, and thrift store (I buy most of my adult literary at thrift stores, sad to say)
What doesn't influence me is swag, product placement in stores (I'm a deep shelf diver), or blips from the big booksellers in my e-mail (unless the book they're blipping me about falls in the list above.)

So what, about you? Same or did I leave something off? Tell me! I love your comments.

14 comments:

  1. I like Bookpages and Stacked as online sources for my to-be-read pile - not that I should be spending time adding to its teetering heights.

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  2. This falls into the word of mouth category, but blog posts about books from friends (or just random book blogs I happen by) will influence me too. (Gah, this is topic I spend way too much time thinking about! Trick I'd love to know the secret to: how to get a good word of mouth thing going... :)

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    1. Well if you're Rainbow Rowell, you have an article written by John Green in the NYT! LOL :0)

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  3. I agree; I'll stop following them if all they're tweet about it their book. It gets really irritating! Engaging people are what peak my interest.

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  4. That's why I never Tweet about my book except on release day.
    Cover art, recommendations, or if it's an author friend - those all influence me.

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    1. Ditto! And I don't mind release day blasts - that's totally to be expected.

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  5. I buy books because of interest, never from self-promotion. There is so much self-promo out there, it's becoming 'just noise'.

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  6. Yeah, I agree about the endless promos on Twitter. That's a complete turn-off.

    I will buy books by my friends and by people I've met online, even Twitter, if they seem friendly and genuine and if they talk about other things than "buy my book."

    I think my influences are: my friends' books, book blog reviews, referrals from my friends, browsing and liking the cover blurb and the first page. The title is important. The cover doesn't influence me very much unless it's very bad or very good.

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    1. I don't always read reviews on blogs. I'll admit to skipping them in my feed quite a bit. But when I do read them, I will often get snagged. So I guess they do work.

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  7. Yes, I will buy the books of people I know online if I know them as people, as long as the book sounds like something I'd be into. Those who just run endless commercials, no. I don't follow them back on Twitter, either.

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  8. I'm a library junkie, so most of my books come from there, but happenstance and sales are probably my biggest influences, followed by EVERYONE is reading it, so I have to, too! And, like you, I'm so excited to have writer friends with upcoming books. I'm planning on buying several copies, one for me, one for the library, etc. etc.

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Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'