So You Want That Book?

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As an author I am curious to know the process readers go through when choosing their next book to read. What was it that had you deciding to read a particular book? What is your process? Of course I am interested in your process but first allow me to tell you mine.

If you aren’t interested in knowing my process I would say stop here… But if you’ve made it this far you may as well stick it out.

Seriously…stick it out. Obviously you have a minute or two to spare.

Most of the books I find are recommendations that the merchant site attaches to my previous reads. So the first thing I notice is the cover and title. The cover is what draws me in but if the title is a turn off, I will pass the book over. (I will elaborate on this point later). If the title is agreeable, I read the Blurb or book description.

This is the most important factor in securing my purchase. If the blurb is interesting, if it points out the plot without giving everything away, if I am curious as to how the author will present the story, then I am sold. Even if it is an old tale, a retelling, or a popular fad, I will consider buying this book. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years is that there are few original ideas in the world today. But there are different, fresh, and interesting ways of conveying/translating these ideas.

Side thought: sometimes I will read a blurb with errors. This has little to do with my decision for the most part.

Note: I am not saying that there are no original ideas.

If I am slightly interested, I go to the reviews. Now my view on reviews is not in any way normal. I have seen too many books with an impressive amount of 5 star ratings that once I read the Sample, I was so damn confused that I was almost angry. Almost. I get that this is the review of the reader and their review is their point of view. And no…I will not agree with everyone. I accept that. What I can’t take is the Mass Friendly Push Reviews.

Hey, we all have friends and family in our corner and they want to help. As an author I have mixed feelings about this. For other authors it’s your choice. But I try not to allow it? Do other authors allow it? Of course. Is it right? I don’t know. If my friends buy my book I accept this as supporting me. I suppose they can review it the way want. Do I ask them to refrain from leaving a review? Yes. Why, because I would like unbiased reviews based on my writing and story, not our relationship. Do they listen? Not all the time.

What irritates me is when I buy books based on these Fam/Friend reviews unknowingly and I read it and the plot is spotty, the characters are under developed, the POV isn’t clear, when it’s one character’s POV but I am in every other character’s head. If it isn’t a series and all minor plots haven’t been resolved. That is when I can pretty much tell that I have been a victim of MFPR support syndrome.

To get around this, I read all the low rated reviews first. Starting with the 1’s, I read what the reviewer didn’t like. If the review was vicious on a personal level, their opinion having nothing to do with structure of the book in whole, I overlook it and move to the next low review. If the reviewer points out annoyances that would totally irritate me, I may pass the book by. Whiny characters are a no go for me and if they provided examples I will pass the book by. In some cases, the worst reviews may have me buying the book. If something in the book was so horrible or the reviewer is determined to bash the book for whatever reason, I may buy the book to see if it caused the same reaction in me. (shrugging…I’m funny that way)

The sample is next. I have gotten to this point a million times and the sample was good but I still decided not to buy the book. It could be that the book seemed good but I didn’t feel drawn to the characters. Or the sample was good but not long enough to determine anything. Maybe it was that I had several samples to read and I want to see if another book/sample pulls me in more. With these books, my ehhhh books, it may take me seeing the book several times before I purchase it or delete the sample from my library. If the sample is intriguing and pulled me in, I buy the book.

The worst, is deciding to buy the book because all these points I’ve made were great but the book was a plot sore and or the characters were wickedly unlikeable. I view these books as the annoying relatives of my amazing reads. You know the ones, the ones you would never befriend if you weren’t related to them. You know, them…and no, I won’t judge you if you suddenly scream their names out for therapeutic necessity. Go ahead…admit it and own it.

This is my process.

Oh…the titles that repels me. DISCLAIMER: I mean no disrespect or to demean any authors that use these titles. I also would like to point out that I have never read any book with any of these titles but I have read tons of stories that use these plot devices. I love these plot devices; I just can’t bring myself to buy a book with these words in the titles.

As Promised…Promises!  

Billionaire! Any book with the word Billionaire in its title I immediately overlook. YES…I may be missing out. I love books that feature rich characters…I just don’t need that in the title. And let’s be honest, it’s been done to death.

Stepbrother! Again, I love this plot device. LOVE IT! But in the title…I just can’t. I can’t.

Now put them together and I cringe.

Bae…No. Just No.

Ghetto….Nope. Don’t need to read about it…nor do I want to experience it…much.

If you care to change my mind about my No Go book titles then make a suggestion.