Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Wednesday, 25 March 2015

WHAT MAKES YOU CHOOSE A BOOK? by Gill Stewart



They say don’t judge a book by its cover. And that’s often good advice. But we do judge that way, don’t we? And not just books, but people, houses, all sorts of things. I know I’ve been wrong in the snap judgements I’ve made in the past – but that doesn’t stop me making them.

So yes, I do judge a book by its cover, and I do really love a good cover, which is why I’m delighted with this cover for my forthcoming book from Accent Press - see right!

I do also wonder if a cover has quite the same importance these days as it used to. Up to half of fiction is now read on an e-reader, where you rarely see the cover of the book you’re reading and even if you do see it, it is in black and white (on my aged Kindle at least). Is the e-reader influencing not only how we read, but what we read? True, the covers are still displayed on Amazon and other e-stores, but I for one don’t seem to look as long at a cover on screen, and rarely look at the blurb.

So what are the things that really do influence our choices of books? These are the things which influence me:
       -          Having read and liked a previous book by this author
       -          The book being recommended by a friend whose taste I trust
       -          The book been given a good review by a review-site I trust (reviews can be tricky – I’ve read some awful reviews of books I’ve loved, and read ones that raved so much I bought the book and couldn’t even read it)
       -          Price. Yes, I have to admit being a sucker for a ‘bargain’
       -          And, finally, the cover. I do like a good cover. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it definitely helps.

For some reason I definitely don’t follow the advice of Amazon etc when they say ‘people who bought … also bought …’ I immediately think, ‘don’t you tell me what I like!’ But that might just be me not liking to be told what to do by a computer.

What influences your choice of the next book to read?

8 comments:

  1. I judge by covers; I admit. Or maybe not judge, but I'm attracted by them.
    I love yours, by the way. :)

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    1. Thank you. I'm influenced by covers too, but maybe not as much as I used to be.

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  2. I'm rarely swayed by a cover. I couldn't even tell you what the covers are like of the books I'm reading right now. And I mean real books. One, Still Alice, I bought because I'd heard so much about it and the film and becasue it's about dementia. Of the other two I bought at the same time one was an Amazon suggestion - and is on dementia - and one was by a blogger I've recently started following.
    You really, really want your book title to pop up as an 'also bought' when a customer is browsing.

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    1. Intersting - so the 'also bought' does work. As it should! I must just be perverse :). Will try and be more open-minded.

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  3. Great cover, Gill! I do look at covers, though if they're on the Kindle, I rarely see them - but I still look at them before I buy. Amateurish covers really put me off. Author loyalty is high on my list - once I've found someone like, I love reading more of their work. I often take advice from friends too, though as everyone is different, I find I don't always like what they like. And I do sometimes click on 'also boughts' - they can lad to some really interesting finds. Try it sometime Gill! Great post, thanks.

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    1. Thanks Jenny, so glad you like the cover. Will have to give those 'also boughts' more attention.

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  4. Love the cover, Gill! I do look at covers as I'm a visual person - even for ebooks on Amazon. I tend to go by title, cover and blurb when choosing a book by a new author. But it's the blurb that really persuades me to buy if I like the sound of the story and setting.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary. Isn't it interesting how different things influence different readers? Really making me think it's important to get every one of these avenues right (cover, blurb, first para ... so much to get right!)

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