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message 1: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments Question. When you search for books, how do you choose the next book to read? Is the blurb the most important thing? Do you see a catchy title, read the blurb and say, "Nope."? Or do you just browse Amazon looking for a cover that strikes your fancy and buy off that?

Myself, I look at stars on Goodreads, and if the cover is good (professionally done) and the blurb is interesting, I buy it. At one time I based my purchasing decisions solely on the cover, that was in high school. The cover still has to be good, I think everyone who publishes should spend at least a couple hundred to have a professional artist do it. Devianart is a great place to look if you're lost on who to hire.

message 2: by EJ (last edited Aug 16, 2015 06:37PM) (new)

EJ Fisch (ejfisch) | 117 comments Regardless of whether I'm on Amazon or Goodreads, the cover and rating are what draw me in initially, since they're the things I automatically see. Bad covers typically don't even warrant a glance (unless it's SO bad that I think "What on earth is this book even about?" and click it anyway). Even if the cover is good though, the blurb doesn't always keep my interest, but hey, at least it was enough to make me come read the blurb. If the blurb sounds decent, I'll move on to the reviews and see what other people thought of it. For me, it's all kind of a step-by-step process that sort of follows if-->then logic

message 3: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Ellis The cover and the blurb attract me. If the blurb draws me in (and too many tell me the whole story so why bother reading them?) I read the sample. If the sample can hold my interest right through, then I buy it.

message 4: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 880 comments Mod
I don't browse Amazon much, but I do browse Goodreads. It's hard to say what catches my first attention, probably title most often, but not always. But then I always read the blurb and that has a big influence. If that passes muster, I will check the average rating and read a few reviews. I don't pay much attention to the cover unless I'm having trouble figuring out what the book is about and the cover gives me a clue, but that's rare.

message 5: by Marcel (new)

Marcel (madjo) | 4 comments When I browse bookstores (on- and offline) it's usually the cover and title that intrigues me to pick up the book to read the blurb (and on Amazon the reviews).

message 6: by Krzysztof (new)

Krzysztof | 48 comments first cover second Genres third blurb and if need more then reviews

message 7: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. (fuzzipueo) It varies depending on the book, but since I'm very visually inclined, it's usually the cover that catches my attention first, then the summary, or, if the summary doesn't quite cover the bases, I'll go to the reviews, both here at Goodreads and on Amazon. Sometimes it's the font that catches my attention too.

If I'm still not sure of the book, I will go looking for the one and two star reviews, since, more often than not, they tend to be a little more honest about why the book doesn't work for whatever reason.

It's really interesting too, as to what works for each person.

And a cover doesn't have to be visually stunning to catch my attention. It just needs to be interesting.

message 8: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Harbeke | 125 comments I first get interested in a book because of recommendations based on books or categories I already like. Once I decide to investigate further, I read the blurb and the most helpful reviews. If I am still interested, I will add it to the To Be Read list.

The cover plays little role in my interest in a book. I have opinions on which ones look nice, and some can attract me in the bookstore, but that is about it.

If I am on the fence or hesitant to read a book, I will read the sample pages or first chapter.

message 9: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) If it's not an author I've read before I'll use blogs, awards and especially look towards books that other authors recommend (found so much great stuff this way, authors are the best source to find off the beaten track books). Then read the blurb to see if that catches my interest. I will rarely read any reviews until after I've finished a book, as I generally prefer knowing as little as possible about a book before I start.

Things I've never used: Goodreads ratings as I find them useless, covers as I almost only buy ebooks, advice from friends or strangers.

message 10: by Fiannawolf (new)

Fiannawolf | 163 comments Well depending on whats happening:

For kindle purchases I look at the countdown deals first. For me it's usually a blurb that will pull me in. Some indie books can't really afford really interesting covers at first.

Then Ill hit the daily deals and see if anything catches my eye.

Then I check out what the best sellers are and check goodreads recommends. Most times what helps me the most is downloading samples too. If a book can't get me within the first 20-40 pages then I usually end up giving it a pass.

message 11: by Jessica (last edited Aug 17, 2015 02:22PM) (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) I pretty much exclusively buy ebooks. I very rarely buy a paper or hardback book anymore. The covers are not so important to me anymore, but the book blurb can make or break a book for me. If I am still not sure I will download the sample from If that keeps me interested I will probably buy the book and finish it if it isn't too expensive.

Price definitely plays a role in whether or not I will buy a book. Since I buy kindle books I am not going to pay premium prices for a book no matter how good it is.

message 12: by R. Michael (new)

R. Michael Litchfield (rmichaellitchfield) | 28 comments I don't tend to read books so much as authors, I "find a good author" and then try some of their books. But that tends to just push the question back to how do you find a good author and I have a couple of strategies.

One of the more useful ones I have used in the last couple years is look for authors who have own multiple awards, particularly Hugo awards. That strategy may be poisoned by some right wing political fuckery nowadays days, we'll see after this weekend.

Another I use is lists of recommendations, you see those on imgur fairly often. if the list has several people I like it means the others are good bets. There was a list of sf books with strong female leads I used for a good two years that was surprisingly useful, some of the authors were indifferent as you might expect from a focused list like that but fewer than you'd think.

One thing I do with goodreads is similar, I find a books I like and then go down the reviews 'til I find one that likes it for the same reasons I do, then I use that persons recommendation. It is surprisingly uneven method. You'd think someone who likes a book for the same reasons you do would have similar ideas about other than they do.

message 13: by Fiannawolf (new)

Fiannawolf | 163 comments Now that I think upon it more:

I also look at the 1 star reviews to see what readers absolutely hated. B/c what one person might find "oh my goodness why" I usually end up, "Lets see where this train goes! CHOOO CHOOOO!"

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