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The Factors in Deciding to Read a Book

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message 1: by Sean (new)

Sean (politicalgamer) | 20 comments Having written and self-published a book, I'll admit I've had little success in convincing people to even read it. So for my sake and anyone else that is thinking about self publication: What gets you to read a book?
I'm leaving this very open ended. I know some generic answers like friend/critic recommendations. So even with those answers, how much of a factor are they? Is there anything else like the book's concept or written by a proven author that takes precedent? Does the price-tag even factor into things? Does format (like physical, e-book or audiobook)?


message 2: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6196 comments I think a free audio version of a sample or short story helps, and of course word of mouth.


message 3: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Put a naked woman on the cover.


message 4: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Sean wrote: "Put a naked woman on the cover."

seems to work for movies too...........


message 5: by Gregg (new)

Gregg | 14 comments Back in the dark ages when I still went to bookstores (pre-kindle) I mainly went by those blurbs in the back of my books "if you liked this, you will also like . . . " along with pretty much reading every description and blurb on all the new books. I used to spend entire days in bookstores and leaving with 15 books or so.

Since I got my kindle (gen 2) my habits have gotten worse. These days I tend to look at the reviews, and if the blurb seems interesting. The other people that bought this also bought, is another thing that directs my buying habits.

But if you are a newly published author, the single greatest way to get me to read your book, is throw it up on the kindle store, for less than 5 bucks, in sci-fi/fantasy/horror, and get the word out. Seriously, if you write a book get it out on twitter/facebook, also head over to reddit and post on one of the /r's that seems to fit (whether you like it or not, the place gets like a billion pageviews a month), I have found a couple of authors I like just browsing and seeing "I just wrote a book, it's only 2.99 please just give it a read and review it" for less than 5 bucks I will buy just about anything and try to read it.


message 6: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Location, location, location.
When stuck in an airport, waiting room or
shopping mall the best book is the
one I have with me.


message 7: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4134 comments For me, the biggest turn-off is spam in various "public" places like here. It's one thing to get the word out, it's another to create a thread that is pure spam. I also don't care if it's a free book or a $20, a first book or a tenth...

The best motivator is seeing other peoples' reviews. I've got a TBR list that's rather long...many of those books, I've already purchased and have a general idea of when I'd like to get to them. What's going to make a book "jump the line" is someone I follow giving it a great review, one that makes me want to read it. That's how I find new stuff...it's how I found The Night Circus, for example.


message 8: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6196 comments But who's going to read it first?


message 9: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4134 comments Tamahome wrote: "But who's going to read it first?"

Jenny.... ? :D

Or you. Or Kate. Or any of the people I follow. Or if someone wants to contact me directly, I'm happy to give stuff a go. But I don't want to see the spam.


message 10: by kvon (new)

kvon | 562 comments My friends still laugh at me on my page 50 rule. If a book looks interesting (good cover, interesting synopsis) I read a random page around number 50. If I'm interested enough to want to see how the characters got to that point, I'll take it. It worked great for me on Assassin's Apprentice.


message 11: by Sean (new)

Sean (politicalgamer) | 20 comments Sean wrote: "Put a naked woman on the cover."

For better or worse, that probably won't actually work.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19373_...


message 12: by Procrastinador (new)

Procrastinador Diletante | 104 comments An interesting synopsis and an appealing title, for me.


message 13: by Tamahome (last edited Feb 18, 2012 03:02PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6196 comments An ebook sample is a pretty good length. Audiobook samples should be the same amount, but they're too short.


message 14: by Warren (last edited Feb 18, 2012 04:03PM) (new)

Warren | 1556 comments Similar to above.
If the story sounds interesting I'll read the first chapter.
and/or a sample from the middle of the book.
If it doesn't grab me, I move on.
Heavy ad campaigns are a turn off.


message 15: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Sean wrote: "Sean wrote: "Put a naked woman on the cover."

For better or worse, that probably won't actually work.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19373_..."


I heard Charles Ardai, the publisher of Hard Case Crime, interviewed once and he mentioned that one HCC book had sold significantly less than all others. See if you can guess which one:



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terpkristin wrote: "For me, the biggest turn-off is spam in various "public" places like here. It's one thing to get the word out, it's another to create a thread that is pure spam. I also don't care if it's a free bo..."

Agreed. It's one thing for Tom or Luke Burrage to occasionally mention that they've written a book -- I know they're intelligent folk with interesting ideas, so I'll make a note to check their work out -- but why anyone thinks I care that some random stranger on the Internet has written a book, I don't understand.

Of course, everyone should be reading my webcomic, because it's, like, awesome and stuff.


message 16: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2471 comments Sean wrote: "Sean wrote: "Put a naked woman on the cover."

For better or worse, that probably won't actually work.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19373_..."


The analysis was done by "Movie scientists with the University of California"?? That sounds like a totally bogus title to me. People with a major in "Twilight" shouldn't be calling themselves scientists :)


message 17: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments AndrewP wrote: "The analysis was done by "Movie scientists with the University of California"?? That sounds like a totally bogus title to me. People with a major in "Twilight" shouldn't be calling themselves scientists :) "

Never been to Hollywood? It takes a scientist to figure out how such bad movies can make so much money. Im sure one whole semester at University is set aside for twilight and another to study just how cheap and shitty you can make a sequel and still have it be a success.


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