An informal straw poll today:


What motivates you to purchase
(in a bookstore or online)
a book by a new-to-you author? 


Personally, I rely heavily on professional reviews. After a book is already on my radar, I’ll look to Amazon or Goodreads but not before.

I am aware this limits my chances of discovering a slew of fine indie authors. But because the length of my TBR list still exceeds the amount of time I have to read, relying on professional reviews acts as kind of reading gatekeeper.

It’s been a long time since I was in a bookstore and selected a book solely on the cover and cover copy alone. I used to do this quite often. Since my local book store is relatively small (but wicked awesome!), these days I usually arrive with a book in mind. If the store doesn’t have it, they order it for me.

Wicked Good Books

Wicked Good Books, Salem, MA (borrowed with respect from Facebook)

I also pay attention to blurbs—those pithy promotionals usually written by one author for another that appear on book covers and in ads. Here’s the interesting thing. A blurb is as likely to dissuade me from buying as it is to inspire me to pull out my wallet.

Blurbs are often cliché-ridden with expressions like page-turner and unputdownable. When I read one of these, I assume the author providing the lines was unable think of anything original to say, or worse, never bothered to read the book at all—an immediate red flag. A hackneyed blurb turns me off immediately, and if it’s provided by an author I respect, I lose a little respect for him or her as well.

If, on the other hand, the blurb is fresh, authentic, and sincere, particularly if it includes words like unpredictable, original, or haunting, I’m immediately intrigued.


How about you?

What moves you try a new author?



Hope to see you on Wednesday for IWSG!