The Writer’s Wheel…6/24/19: What Makes Me Pick Up a Romance or Any Other Book Loleta Abi
This is a given. It’s what makes me want to look further. I can take a so-so cover but ONLY if I know the author or have heard good word of mouth about such book. Some of the things that catch my eye: I like to see a character or characters. I prefer where I can see their faces, not the covers that cut them off at the cheekbones. I understand some reader like to imagine the characters for themselves but I like an image especially if the book will be made into a movie. The image also gives me something to focus on. I do like a glimpse of the world if it’s a fantasy as well. Sometimes it helps to ground things better for me. If there’s a special object, tattoo, or pet, I’d like to see that too. Not all of these things are on certain books I pick up, but generally, if I like the feel of the outside of the book, I’m more tempted to look inside. It’s one of things I don’t like about ebooks. After the first glimpse of the cover, you don’t see it again as your reading. Whereas with a print book, there’s just something about holding that in your hands.
This is what gets the buy. If I like what I read in that selection, I’m hooked and will make the purchase. The blurb is an introduction to the reader of what your story is about. It should shine so bright you think you’re looking into sunlight. Yet, some copies just don’t make the cut. The sound boring or rambling or like the complication could be cleared up with a few words. I want conflict. I want a reason to root for the characters. I want something that keeps me picking up the book and saying, “Wow, I’ve got to get back to this story.” You only have a few minutes to tempt the reader, make it your past play. On the other hand, don’t promise them a story that not in the book. Tell the truth. It’ll gain you readers and follow-ups to your other books.
Another given. If I’ve read the author before and I like what their stories are like, they’re an auto-buy. Now, sometimes the author veers off into a genre that I don’t follow but usually I wait for them to return to what I do like. And I know, authors want to write different genres and not get stuck in a rut. Heck, I do as well. But I wouldn’t expect a paranormal reader to go for a cozy. Now, some readers will follow the author anywhere and that’s wonderful. Admittedly, however, there are particular genres I don’t care for. For instance, military action novels, hard science fiction, and erotic. Now, I know some people adore these and that’s fine. It’s just not my type of thing. With military, I have a lot of family involved with armed forces and it reminds me of the danger they’re in just like the firefighter novels because I have those in the family too. I don’t watch these types of movies either for those reasons. Hard science, well, I never was very good at science though I love some science fiction just not stuff that I can’t understand. And erotic, well, that makes me blush.
This does have some consideration on what I’ll pick. Short is easier to read but I like some meat and will buy longer novels. However, 315,000 words is a little much for me. Or more, of course. I love Stephen King’s novels but sometimes it takes a LONG time to get through the book. Same with some other novels such as Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series, which I also love. Diana Gabaldon’s books are SUPER long as well, but I do love them. A debut author with that kind of wording, or even a second or third book by them, makes me hesitant to buy.
This is something that’s becoming a problem for me as my eyesight’s not what it used to be, but large print is hard to find. There may come a time I do my reading with Audible.
Well that wraps things up. How about you? What makes you choose a book? Have a great week, take care, and God bless!