How Do You Choose Your Books?


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Today I thought we could talk a little about reader loyalty and what makes you buy a book. Like most people, I don't want to spend hard earned money on a book that I don't enjoy. Of course, you can never really guarantee this. It's just like going to the movies--you pick some winners and some duds.

But there are things that we do to raise our chances that we're going to pick something we like. For instance, you find an author you like and continue to buy their new releases because they haven't let you down. 

But how do you decide to buy a book by an author you've never read? Do you pay attention to publishing lines? Like you trust Harlequin Blaze to put out the kind of story you like, so you feel comfortable picking up a book from an unknown author. 

I know I do this. Way before I signed a deal with Berkley Heat, I was a huge Berkley Heat fan girl. I felt confident that if I picked up one of their books, I'd be happy with the story. I also feel secure buying from Harlequin Spice. And I do the same thing with ebooks. Ellora's Cave (digital first erotic pub) has yet to disappoint me, so I gladly will send my dollars their way. And I've discovered some great new authors by putting trust in a publisher.

But I wonder if other readers do this or is this more an author thing (because we pay close attention to who is publishing what).

Also, with the tidal wave of change with the self-publishing digital books thing (especially in my genre), how will that pan out? Will people follow authors who were traditionally pubbed into self-publishing if that author goes there? And how will readers decide to buy a self-pubbed book from an author they've never heard of? Will readers even notice that it's self-pubbed?

I've admittedly been a little afraid of self-pubbed stuff because my few experiences with reading it have been bad, but that was before this big shift. So I'm going to venture out and try a few. But I'll probably base those purchases on reviews by people/websites I trust. We'll see how it goes.

I think the whole change is exciting and I'm interested to see how all of it plays out, but it really does make me curious about how people are going to go about their buying decisions.

So what's your take? How do you choose your books? What makes you take a risk on a new author? Do you pay attention to who published the book? Do you read reviews? I want to know! :)

!!!!!Also, today I am over at Crits for Water where you can enter a drawing to win a query critique from me. All you have to do is donate $5 to a fabulous charity that provides water for people in underdeveloped countries. Go here and make a difference (and maybe win!): /blog/2011/5/19/how-do-you-choose-your-books.html