Romance By Catherine: Why do you choose the E-Books you read?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why do you choose the E-Books you read?

Today's blog is my way of doing a little research about where to put my advertising dollars.


But before I get into the questions, I need to thank all of you who helped get my first blog off the ground. WOW! RWA and the questions in regards to E-Publishing is quite the hot spot. I think I'm going to keep my RWA membership for the next year and see if it makes any difference in the coming year. So thanks again for giving me your two cents on the subject.


Okay... On to my next topic.


Now that I'm going to have two books out next year, I need to know how you pick the books you read. I will have a series of polls asking specific questions during the month so please stop by once and a while to answer them.


Do you choose a book based on who the author is? Did you read an excerpt on a blog, myspace or a yahoo loop? Do you look for best sellers? Do you check the reviews?


I do look at the best sellers, but I'm known to cross reference those titles with the reviews. I look for recommendations from other readers a lot. I'm known to pick up an e-book because I've talked with, blogged with and watched an author go from-wanna be-to-published. If the excerpt doesn't spark my interest and the blurb is confusing I won't pick it up.


Let me know what sold you on the last E-Book you read.

28 comments:

Debby said...

Hello budding author! I look at the title first cause I like to read (and write) about foreign romance. Then I'll read the blurb. If I get that far and I like it, I'll take it, no matter who the author is or what the reviews are. What appeals to me might not always appeal to other readers. I'm guest blogging at http://jennygilliam.blogspot.com/2008/11/please-welcome-author-promoter-and-all.html and there's a competition for an author spotlight in The Romance eBooks New Year Newsletter, so why not come check it out.

Cindy K. Green said...

I do read a lot of e-books from authors that I know. But it is usually a genre that I like and then an excerpt that makes me say: "I gotta read this one."

Elaine Cantrell said...

Mostly I pick mine by reading the blurb, but a pretty cover that catches your eye doesn't hurt.

Helen Hardt said...

I choose most of my ebooks because of the authors. I've met a lot of other authors online who have become friends of mine, and I want to support them. This is a tough business, and we can use all the support we can get! Every once in a while, I'll choose one because of an amazing cover, or an intriguing blurb, but more often than not, it's for the author.

Helen

Yvonne Eve Walus said...

I've bought ebooks because I knew the author, or because the cover caught my eye AND I liked the blurb, or because I was "in the mood" and wanted something erotic (in which case I read the excerpt to see whether the author and I were compatible, so to speak.)

Yvonne Eve Walus writing as Eve Summers

He will force you to do EVERYTHING you've ever wanted to do....

"A Slave of My Own Desire" (Red Rose Publishing, October 2008)

Kaye Manro said...

I have to agree with the fact that we as authors need to support each other by reading our books, (and posting on each other's blogs often too) be it e-books or print. I've met some awesome writers online. It's tough out there-- so we all need each other for support. As for how I pick a book to read if I don't know the author? I don't usually go on a review. I've found many reviews don't live up to what is expected. It's great to get a review, but for me that's not why I pick one book over another to buy or read. Sometimes it's the blurb/excerpt or a recommendation from a trusted friend. I love good covers, but rarely buy a book because of the cover alone.

Catherine Bybee said...

Awesome plug, Debby. hehe

Excerpts are so important, Cindy. Choosing the right one is important.

I agree Elaine. A cover can sell a book.

Helen and Kaye - Working together and supporting one another is a big part of my choices.

Yvonne - In the Mood? So, true. Some times you just want it sexy and to the point! grin

Pauline B Jones said...

Well, I mostly try to only read ebooks, because they are usually cheaper and faster to get than print books. So any book I buy, I look at do I know the author or does someone I trust like that author? If I don't know them, I will look at reviews, but they don't affect me as much as give me more information on the book. I also look at genre and if there is a blurb, that definitely affects my decision. If I like a first book, will definitely look for next. But genre and blurb also affect second purchase, too.

Lara Dien said...

Blurb will usually do it for me, but I'll read something I usually wouldn't even look at if it's an author I know (one of the Scarlets, for example) and like from 'conversations' we've had.

Of course, I do like it when I get good reviews on my books LOL

Lara

Catherine Bybee said...

So, we like getting the reviews but they don't change what you buy. Wow!

Skhye said...

Oh, I never go by reviews. I'm terribly visual. If the cover catches my eye, I read the blurb. I do buy work of friends! But I'm into ambiance in the cover. ;)

Cari Quinn said...

Supporting other authors is crucial in this business, so I try to pick up the releases from friends or friends of friends. Next consideration, for me, is title or cover. If neither of those interest me and I don't know the author, then I usually move along.

Titles especially suck me in, because a good title can tell a lot about both the book and (sometimes) the author's style of writing. Not including titles chosen by marketing departments, of course. LOL

Linda Banche said...

I look for the genre first. Then I'll read an excerpt. I'll believe a reviewer whose taste is similar to mine.

Of course, I'd like a good review, too.

Beth Trissel said...

I buy stories that interest me from many different genres and I'm very supportive of other authors. :)

Amber Polo said...

Congratulations on your upcoming releases.
I think blurbs are desperately important, online and on print covers. Authors need to be sure the blurb is the best it can be. Maybe write a couple and test on reader friends. The artwork is important for the first look, but publishers with marketing experience need to help authors hone their blurb. It could make the difference to find a reviewer as well as readers.

Angel Martinez said...

Covers are nice (especially the ones with good eye candy) but I NEED to see an excerpt. If the writing isn't up to snuff, if the dialogue is stilted or cliche or boring, I'd rather not go any further.

Celia Yeary said...

Catherine-when I choose an e-book, or any other, I NEVER read the reviews. I write reviews, by the way, for WRDF, and while I like to do it, I think it only is important to the author--honestly, that's what I think.I really, really, hate to review a bad book and I've even turned one back, because I couldn't bear to tell the truth and write a horrible review. I usually buy books from favorite authors. I do try new ones I've heard about, but more times than not, I'm disappointed. I have a list of favorites, and I wait for their next release. That's for romance novels. Other kind of novels, I pick and choose based on (1) cover(2) blurb (3)opening paragraph. Yes, I judge a book by its cover. For WRDF, I have given ONE top read, and I was as excited to do it as the author was when she read the review. Her enthusiasm made my day.Celia Yeary www.celiayeary.com

Linda LaRoque said...

Catherine,
The cover and blurb are important, but an excerpt can convice me to buy--the voice, writing style, etc. are very important.

Linda
www.lindalaroque.com

Catherine Bybee said...

So... Excerpt is number one.
I guess it goes to show we should choose our words carefully.

Catherine Bybee said...

Okay... Here is my completely non- scientific study...

Burb and Author are tied for number one reason why you choose the books you read..

Cover takes a close second
Excerpt actually comes in third, which is suprising to me because an excerpt is so important to me. Genre is fourth and Reviews and Titles take a tie for Fifth reason as to why you pick up a book.

Thanks ladies... And gents. Please feel free to add more or your two cents if you are just getting here.

Mona Risk said...

I buy an ebook if I know the author. We have to support each other. I buy books by authors I don't know if I like the blurb and excerpt. The excerpt helps me judge the author's voice. I neve base my decision on review and very rarely on bookcover. I know firsthand they can be deceiving.

Great blog. Thank you.

Anne Sorgeson said...

I haven't bought a lot of e-books but when I do, it'll because not only do I know the author but the book sounds intriguing. Or I may not know the author and the book sounds intriguing. Covers don't always factor in neither do reviews. Reviews can help but they can also hurt. :)

Catherine Bybee said...

Okay... Blurb is now pulling ahead...

Kris Eton said...

I'm an erotic romance author myself, but I'll give you my two cents:

The blurb is the first thing that grabs my attention. If it's too confusing (such as a sci-fi or paranormal that mentions a bunch of clans or tribes or beings or worldbuilding stuff), I move on to the next one. I want to know the core of the romance not how great the worldbuilding is.

Second for me is the excerpt. I especially like *sexy* excerpts so I know that the writer can do a good job of sexual tension and emotion.

That's it. The cover could be hideous. I could have no clue who the author is. But if those two things grab me, I'm in!

Merry said...

Strangely, and call me a rugged individualistic cuss, but I don't like other people selecting what I read so I never read reviews. A good blurb will make me buy a book. If its a print book, I read the first page. If it draws me in, I buy it.

Occasionally, I'll read or hear about a new book in some venue and will go check it out. However, I'm not swayed by talk show hosts, recommendations or touting horns.

I love pretty covers, but can't tell you what's on the cover of most of the books I have on my keeper shelf.

If you write well, I'll buy every book you put out. I'll even search every store at my disposal to find that obscure tome you wrote in college that you self-published and hope no extant copies exist anymore! LOL

Anne Carrole said...

Cover catches my eye, blurb gets me to buy. Excerpt can get me to check it out if the other two above haven't sold me yet. Reviews are helpful if it's a new author or I don't have an excerpt to judge. I also look for genre as I love Western historicals and contemporaries and will take a chance on a book I don't know much about if it is in either of those genres.

Becky said...

I rarely look at/read reviews to choose my books. I'll choose an author who seems friendly on the loop, or maybe a book that's won a big award, or maybe I'll just love the cover or blurb. Basically, whatever floats my boat at the time I'm shopping. :)

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Catherine

This is a great topic. I think I'm probably in agreement with most people here.

First it has to be genre. The time when I read right across the board has gone now, unfortunately, I read far fewer books than I used to because of time constraints and the fact I'd never write another word if I read all the books I want to read.

I love fantasy and SF but also Westerns. These days it's mostly the Fantasy/SF I go for - and an eyecatching cover is often the first step to making me interested in the book. Then I go for the Blurb - if this intrigues me I'll read the Excerpt. This is what really makes me want to buy the book or decide it's not for me. Usually it's not because I think it's a bad book, just that the characters/plot premise aren't really my 'cup of tea'.

I love reading reviews, and I must be a contrary prson because sometimes a bad one will intrigue me enough to want to read the book - but really I prefer to make up my own mind and I would never buy a book based solely on the review - although a good one has to help.

And yes - I agree as authors we need to support each other. I've bought many books from fellow authors and loved them all. I think when you get to know people on line, you tend to drift towards people with a similar taste inreading/writing. This goes beyond genre too, I've read some books by on-line friends that I probably wouldn't have if I didn't know them, because they're not my 'usual' genres, and found them every bit as gripping and exciting as my 'usual read' and been very glad that I had the opportunity to read them. So sometimes 'knowing' the author can be just as important as the cover or blurb.