Monday, 8 August 2011

Who Influences Your Book Choice?

Have a think about the last book you read, or the book you're reading now. Of the bazillion books in circulation, what made you pick that particular one?

I used to buy most of my books from stores like Waterstones or Borders. The ones I picked were displayed prominently on the shelf and (some) had glossy posters, or offers attached to them. I thought they had to be good because a big publisher was behind them, and I didn't even think about searching for other titles.

I first realised the error of my ways when I bought a novel written by a celebrity last year.  It had a lovely red glossy cover, and was placed in prime position...

That book was a real wake-up call; it made me realise that a fantastic cover and a big marketing budget doesn't necessarily equal a great book, (I won't go into detail, but at the time of writing this book has 58 reviews on Amazon.co.uk, and over half of them are the dreaded 1 star.)

What I didn't appreciate was that all the other books lurking in dark corners with absolutely no promotion attached could be equally as good, if not better, than the heavily promoted ones. (And definitely better than the aforementioned book.)

Now I've got my Kindle, I've taken advantage of downloading free samples from any book I fancy, so I can 'try before I buy.'  Also, I've joined Goodreads and Shelfari - online book clubs where I can visit my genre of choice and consider reviews/ratings of like-minded people before I make my decision. (Don't get me wrong, some of the 'great' books are still produced via the 'big six' publishers, but then others are indie-published, and the quality has been just as good.) 

I'm so pleased the publishing world is changing, it means more books become visible, and with all the digital platforms available, if we're still not sure, we can download the sample before we commit to buying that book.

I'm not saying traditionally published books are bad, or that all indie published books are good - I'm just saying don't judge a book by it's... publisher!

4 comments:

Stephanie Judice said...

Great point, Mandy! It's not that traditional publishers aren't still churning out good books, but they certainly haven't cornered the market. With the indie industry on the rise, readers should be aware of their options. There are many great authors who are just fed up of trying to break into the exclusive "Big Boy" book industry and are taking a chance on themselves. (I for one am happily one of these people.)

Keep on keepin' on, my friend. :)

Amanda-Leigh Cowley said...

Yeah! Indie authors rule!

... Obviously I wouldn't say 'no' to a multi-million dollar book deal though... ;o)

Karissa said...

I totally agree! I used to also pick by displays and publisher (though my mom works for Scholastic so I was biased to them!) but now do a bit more research before buying and love the sample feature that the Kindle offers just to make sure that it is something I want to buy :) Happy Reading!

Amanda-Leigh Cowley said...

It's great isn't? I've downloaded so many samples now, I'm spoilt for choice - my reading queue is mahoosive!!