Saturday, 16 June 2012

10 Reasons to buy a book

It is not easy for an author to know what will make his or her book a bestseller. The hope is that it will mainly be down to the fantastically well written story, the thrilling plot and the marvellous characters. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than that.

While I was wandering through various posts, forums and blogs, I collected a selection of reasons why readers buy books. I thought it would be interesting to place ten of them in a poll and see which one came out on top. I reckoned it would be a great help to authors, and me, if they could check if they hit the spot with their respective books.

The polls ran on a UK forum and on one which is mainly inhabited by American readers. Here are the results of the poll. Interestingly, the top four points in the UK and US are the same, albeit in a slightly different order

   US                                       UK
 Blurb                                                Read others by the author
 Genre                                               Blurb
 Read others by the author      Recommendations
 Recommendations                     Genre
 Cover design                                 First few paragraphs
 Price                                                 Price not included in poll
 Independent reviews                 Forum buzz
 First few paragraphs                  Independent reviews
 Title                                                  Cover design
 Forum buzz                                    Title
 Advertising                                    Advertising

There are a number of points worth noting, for example, Cover Design seems to be more important in the US. Also, readers don't rate advertising and title turned out to be a lot less important than i had imagined.

What do you think?


  1. Well, for me title comes just behind blurb. It would be second. An appealing title combined with an enticing blurb is very persuasive to me. A bad title will hurt unless the blurb outweighs it. The same goes for the cover which is part of the package for me. If it's a wonderful cover, it will sway me but not as much as the blurb and the title.

    If an e-book is below three dollars, I'm not going to think about the price. Above three dollars I have to think about how much I have available and what else I want. I am not going to purchase any e-book above ten dollars unless it's a textbook. So price is a consideration.

    Remember that advertising contains blurbs, but even more importantly ads contain captions. The caption should draw people in, so that they won't ignore the ad. No advertising is automatically effective. If the caption is persuasive, people will read the blurb.

  2. Interesting points, particularly that you rank 'title' so highly. My books live under the tagline 'ancient magic meets the Internet' and I did spend a lot of time deciding on the titles... Dark Tidings, the Black Conspiracy and A Darker Shade of Black (this third book is in progress).

    When I saw the results of the poll, I wondered if I'd wasted my time worrying about the titles... you've made me feel better about that.

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  4. Great post. An avid reader I've read hundreds, maybe thousands of books. Genre comes first followed by an eye catching cover. Then on to the title and blurb. Price on an e-book has to be under $5.US.

    These days I review for several book blog tours, and the Book Reviewers club. I am always looking at the overall package. This has proved most helpful in evaluating my works prior to publishing.

  5. This is very interesting and good to know Ken. Thank you!