What makes you buy a book? What makes you decide to make the financial, emotional and time investment into a book? When I was younger, had access to the school library, and nothing but time, I didn't care what I read. I grabbed everything that caught my eye, and some things that didn't, and prepared myself for an adventure. I'm not saying I wasn't picky at all but...well, when it came to reading, I mostly took what I could get.
But we grow up and things change. Nobody has the time to read indiscriminately anymore. Family, work, other hobbies, life in general, gets in the way. On top of that, there are so freaking many, and with the rise of e-publishers, there's even more to choose from! A single search on an epublisher site, fictionwise, or amazon can make your head spin, and the worse is actually going into a bookstore. I can't even do it anymore. I want to walk out with 20 books, and I do not have the money to accommodate that decision!
So how do you do it? How do you buy a book?
This has been on my mind more and more because one of our publishers wants authors to submit a marketing plan. And I understand the reasons, I do. I understand the need to get your name out there. And I understand savvy authors know how to do it effectively. But a part of me wonders if most of the effort of promotion isn't a big waste of time. I don't seek out author interviews, or websites, or newsgroups, or free copies when I'm making my book-buying decision. It's usually a spur of the moment thing based on the cover and the blurb.
Now, there are a few authors I buy immediately, no questions asked, no further information necessary. But why do I do that? Because I've read their rather impressive back catalog and I was impressed. Name recognition and trust. Those are key elements when I look into books.
So...our marketing plan is to build the name recognition and trust. We have a lot of books coming out in the next six months or so--m/f, m/m, m/f/m, contemproary, fantasy, sweet, bdsm, everything in between. Ultimately, I don't think an author can do anything except keep writing, and make sure each book is better than the one before it.
But I put this out to everybody. What makes you buy a book?