Publicity for Writers

Quick post this week.

A friend of mine is reading a book on how to publicize her book. What influences you to buy a book from an author you’ve never read before?


10 thoughts on “Publicity for Writers

  1. I suppose the cover blurb is included in “cover artwork.” When I’m trolling in the bookshelves for something new, it’s the title that makes me pick up a book and then the blurb that decides if I’ll buy it or not. The cover art is important, too, although not decisive, unless it’s too goofy, then it turns me off.


  2. Book covers are so important! I base quite a lot of my new author book purchases on what the cover looks like. Well, it draws me in anyway and then I read the back and the first few paragraphs…then I make a decision!

    As well, recommendations draw me to new authors…that’s how I discovered Veronica Wolff!

  3. Great idea for a bit of market reseach Michelle. Friend rec’s tend to be pretty high as to be honest if they think that it’s worth the spend in cash its usually well worth it. I don’t tend to read others reviews as at times it can spoil a book that they hated but I loved. The only reviews that I’ll take seriously are ones that are from people I know or from people that have said something similar in a lot of other titles that I’ve read.

  4. Friend’s recommendations are high on my list. I also read book reviews (and occasionally write one) in major publications. I avoid sites like Amazon. A good cover doesn’t hurt, but it’s not a determining factor for me. An intriguing title will catch my attention, then I’ll read a few pages before I decide if I want the book.

  5. I tend to go on Friend’s recommendations or Amazon recommendations. Not the reviews as such, but they give lists of books similar to what I have purchased. I would then read the blurb on the back. Also Twitter is really good for book recommendations posted by people.

  6. This is a complicated question. Recommendations from friends had to top the list though. They know my reading likes & dislikes, so I tend to trust them (this has, however, led me astray before).

    Beyond that, new authors are usually things that I just pick up at the store. That happens because of covers and titles. But then the back has to make it sound good, and the first couple pages need to live up to the promise.

    If I read a review that makes a book sound like something I’d like, I might seek it out, but then I’d still read the first few pages.

  7. That’s a toughie. I voted everything but movie trailers and Amazon reviews. I think movie trailers are silly, I like to picture my books as BOOKS, not video. As for Amazon, I search it like a fiend, but the other reader comments aren’t usually what I’m looking for. I basically just search the site for things I think I personally would like.

    I seemed to be the only one to hit author blogs & websites. But when I find either that I like, I’ll often look into the books that person writes.

    Finally, I would add one more way I’ve found books – just today I picked up a book at the library by an author I saw at a panel at a convention. I didn’t even read the back, just recognized it and went for it. I think getting OUT there is the best way, perhaps!

  8. Hmm. Tricky question. With limited finances and selective tastes, I’m generally a “try before I buy” reader. This means that I rarely buy anything from an author I’ve never read before — but I try out new authors all the time and then buy the ones that I like. So I answered the question “What gets me interested enough in an author I’ve never read before to try out a free sample of her/his work?” more so than the question you asked.

    Some of the options you’ve presented, provide for this free sampling (book signings preceded by a reading, author web sites which include free excerpts), so they can certainly lead directly to purchases. Book covers do entice me to pick books up off the shelf, but I flip them open and sample a few internal pages before slapping down my money. Recommendations from friends would most likely lead to my borrowing the book from the friend, then buying my own copy later if I liked it.

    I second Jess’ point about finding authors at conventions. I make note of the author guest list for every con I’m planning to attend and try to sample works by as many of the guests as I can through my local library before attending the con. Also, if an author impresses me at a con, I will seek out their books at the dealer table even if I haven’t been able to sample them previously.

  9. I know they (whoever they are) say you should never judge a book by its cover. But I think the cover, both front and blurb on the back, are the most important selling points.

    Would I read a book that the cover didn’t interest me? Yes, of course. But I would certainly start a book with more trepidation if i found the blurb on the back to be uninteresting. Those few sentences make an awful lot of difference to how I go into the book.

    I don’t tend to go on recommendations, either friends or book reviews, because I’ll try most things once. I may not finish the book (I don’t see the point in finishing it if you don’t like it), but I’ll always give it a go if it interests me.

  10. Back cover is most important to me. I tend to hunt for books in aisles, so I take full advantage of jumping through a few pages before I sit for a full read.

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