Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Burning questions

Ok, it's not really a quiz and there are no wrong answers, I just wanted to get you attention.  I am curious about a few things and hope you can help me out...
Question 1 - how do you browse for books? find books?
  • in bookstores
  • online
  • social media
  • blogs
  • mystery magazines
  • reviews/coverage in newspapers
Question 2 - if you are browsing in a bookstore, what formats are you looking at? Or what format do you prefer? Does the format deter you from buying the book?
  • mass market
  • trade paper
  • hardcover
  • ebook
Question 3 - when considering a book, what is more important - critical reviews from publications like Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, etc or author blurbs? Or is it the cover art? Back cover copy? Or do you just open it up and start reading?
Question 4 - do you partake in various promotions such as the Amazon Daily Deals, Goodreads giveaways, etc?
Final essay
If you had a publisher's undivided attention, what you would you want us to know?
Thank you!!

Next week I will put the names of all the commenters in a hat and draw a name.  That lucky duck will get a nice selection of MI books.


Aimee Hix said...

Question 1 - All of the above. I am constantly scouting for new books and I will use whatever means at my disposal to find them.

Question 2 - Usually mass market & trade paper if I am in the actual store.
For hardcovers, I'll take a picture of the cover and then look it up online to get a sample. Hardcovers are so expensive, I want to know I'll like it first. And even the most hardcovers go on a wishlist for my MIL to buy me for a holiday or occasion.

I don't usually look for ebook ideas in the bookstore - I'm there for the paper, baby - but I may do the hardcover/ebook buy if I really like the sample.

I mostly troll ebooks for self-pubs.

Question 3 - This is going to sound odd but I trust my own gut instinct/vibe the book gives off more than anything. Although I did buy Sara Gran's Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead because of the great blurb by Sue Grafton.

Question 4 - Yes. I think it's a great way to find new authors and I like all kinds of books, especially free ones. :)

Final essay

If you had a publisher's undivided attention, what you would you want us to know?

Know that I am a loyal customer but that I have my limits.

If you've been publishing a series in MMP and you suddenly go hardcover, I won't buy the books anymore. I'll still read them but I will get them from the library. It smacks of greed. If I thought the author got the lion's share of that $24.95 then I'd gladly pay it but we both know they don't.

By the same token, don't get greedy on ebook prices. If you've got a MMP, a hardcover and an ebook and the ebook is more than the MMP, you've lost.

Finally, I'm willing to take some chances. Please be willing to do that too. I want to see new, fresh authors. I want to see what they can do. Don't just get the same old milk from the same old cow.

(Please note that most of my comments have nothing to do with Midnight Ink because you guys take actions that show me you care about writers, books and readers.)

Vicki Rubin said...

1. I do all those things plus listen to friends who tell me something they just finished is terrific and that I should read it.

2.In a bookstore the format makes no difference to me. Having said that, note that I rarely (if ever) buy hardcover books. They're just too expensive.

3.The cover art and the back cover copy are the clinchers for me. Once that has me hooked, I'll open up and start on page one.

4. Usually I don't do the promotions gig--I've read far too many crappy books just because they were free or 2.99. Esp. the self-pubed ones--those seem to lack the professionalism that a traditional publishers offers. Typos, grammar problems, plot foils, etc all irritate me when I'm reading and the promos seem to have more than their share.

5.Learning to read was a HUGE mistake 'cause now I do it all the time. Fiction, non-fiction, magazines, cereal boxes, billboards, it really makes no difference to me what it is. Having said that, sometimes it seems a vast sameness thrives in terms of plots which (for me) means the characters and settings must pop. I'd like to see more pop!
And, of course, World Peace.

Sheri Duff-Merz said...

1. Social media
2. Content first. Hardcover junkie next
3. Back cover
4. If I see on twitter I will go look. I do not go to Anazon or Barnes and Noble to find. Plus I really don't like my nook.

Beth Groundwater said...

1. Social media - from Goodreads friends' recommendations and most popular books (and secondly, from Midnight Ink's release list on the website)

2.Trade paperback

3. Critical reviews are more important to me than author blurbs, but back cover copy that tells me what the book is about is the most important.

4. I enter Goodreads giveaways (and run some myself).

5. Ebooks should be priced lower than the trade paperback version of the same book!!!

Maegan Beaumont said...

1)online and in the bookstore... nothing beats wandering aimlessly through a bookstore, looking for new treasures!
2)There are some authors I'll in hard back as soon as the book comes out (fewer and fewer these days...) but I prefer trade over MMP.
3)Back cover copy makes or breaks a book for me... but I'll admit that a great blurb from a writer I like does hold some sway.
4)I love Amazon's daily deals. I haven't participated in any giveaways lately.
5) Over the years, I've stopped reading certain authors I once adored. Part of the reason is that as I've grown older, my reading tastes have changed... but another BIG reason for my dropping authors off my buy list is that their story-telling is no longer as good as it once was. It seems the bigger the author gets or the larger the publishing house, the less time and energy is put into producing a well-written, quality product (I could name names... but I won't.). I guess what I'm saying is that while I understand that it's a publisher's purpose to turn a profit, that goal should be secondary (or a least appear to be) to producing a quality product that not only both author and house can be proud of but a reader can buy without feeling cheated.

Chris said...

1. Usually online on Amazon or Goodreads. I always look when I'm at the library or near a bookstore.

2. I prefer ebooks.

3. If I don't know the author, I start with the back cover copy and then read user reviews. I never look for professional reviews.

4. I look at Amazon deals almost every day. I've also bought reduced-price books I've learned about from Facebook.

Final Essay - Publishers should try to get books out faster so we don't have to wait––even if it's an advance e-reader copy with the purchase of a pre-ordered hard copy.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Question 1: I find most of my books online. Lately, I've found them through ITW's The Big Thrill Newsletter. I love to read author interviews. Those interviews can lead to blogs or other interviews. If I like the author's description of his or her book, I'll check it out.

If I'm really interested in a book, I'll go to my library. If I love the book, I'm more likely to purchase the author's books in the future.

Question 2: I prefer mass market and trade paper. If I had to choose between the two, I'd say mass market, because it's easier to transport. I am not interested in ebooks. I work on a computer all day. The last thing I want to do is look at another screen. I've been told e-readers aren't the same as a computer, but I really don't want to read off of a screen.

Question 3: I'm one of those people who judge a book by its cover. I know you're not supposed to, but I do. I purchased on book, because it had a beautiful pencil drawing of a scary looking hotel. I'm a sucker for pencil drawings. I purchased two book at a conference I attended in March, because I loved their covers. One book wasn't really my type of book, but I loved the cover.

The next thing I read is the back cover copy or flap copy. I don't care about blurbs.

As for Publishers Weekly, I have checked out books based on information I've read there. I rarely purchase a book based on a review, no matter who did the review.

Question 4: I have participated in Goodreads giveaways. I don't always remember to check them.

Final Essay: I would want them to know I don't want them to give up on paper books. Please don't force me to read a book on a screen. Please don't force me to buy an e-reader.


Cynthia said...

Question 1: Friend recommendations, Goodreads, announcements/interviews (via Facebook, Twitter, NPR, etc.).

Question 2: Always seek paperback over everything else (for reading comfort, cost, and portability). Prefer the size of mass market over trade. Will wait until a hard cover comes out in paperback to read it!

Question 3: Cover art and jacket copy (I don't look at the author blurbs until I've already bought the book, for some reason).

Question 4: Sometimes, if I catch one that looks interesting via social media!

Final essay

If you had a publisher's undivided attention, what you would you want us to know?

I will never read regularly on an e-reader unless forced to do so. :) Thank you for publishing on paper.