Friday, September 24, 2010

What Makes You Buy a Book....

I've had this question on my mind for a while and decided now was as good a time as any to ask it. What makes you buy a book?

I promised the youngling I'd buy him a book if he accomplished a goal. Real exciting? Hey, if you like books, it's a jackpot. Plus it was a good reason to troll the bookstore. I looked at the typical children's books and found the one he wanted. It's not hard when I know he's very much into comic-type books.

But any good reader-slash-aspiring-author knows, you can't just pass by the books in your intended genre and you can't leave the store without a perusal of what's there. It's unhead of.

I'll admit right now I am a cover snob. I've totally walked away from books that had covers I hated. One in particular had a woman who resembled Marilyn Monroe draped around a man who looked like an average romance cover model. I read the blurb. The blonde on the cover looked NOTHING like the heroine in the book. The cover made the heroine look cheap and cheesy, which she was not. It really got under my skin. To boot, it was an author I'd usually auto-buy. No joke, I put it back and walked away. Now I happen to know the book was actually really good. How? The cover was redone and more tasteful for a subsequent printing. Thank Goodness. Sheesh.

I've read others that had covers to make the mouth water. (There is a Harlequin cover model who could model on the cover of the phone book and I'd probably buy it because I think he's so yummy. Sad, I know. Yup, that's him, right up there. **Le sigh*** (and I recommend the book, too.)

Then there are the misnomers. The ones with striking covers that happen to be the only thing going for the book. Drives me nuts. Yes, I'm a visually oriented person. I want to see the characters and have the book cover convey the story. Is that wrong? Maybe, but it's my opinion.

So once the cover is no longer an issue and the book has gotten to the level of...hmm...should I buy this, I read the blurb. Oy. Talk about a way to kill a perfectly good book. I've done more than my share of reading. There are some blurbs that totally sell the book. Reel you in. Then there are the turkeys. Does the turkey blurb turn you off? Does me. Great cover, check. Tag line hooky, check. Blurb....oh dear. Yes, I read a blurb that had this in it: He was bitten. He wasn't thrilled and he was having a bad day. First off, three versions of was in the same line? Passive voice? Telly... I shook my head and wandered far from the book. And I'm usually an easy sell for paranormals.

Can you get past a bad cover, a poor blurb, and a so-so tag line? Truly, there are books out there that just plain get screwed. Good story but the presentation sucks. Then there are those that have gorgeous presentation, but lousy writing.

What do you think? I'd love to hear you sound off on this topic. Might give me some titles to check out that I might have passed on before. You never know unless you post. :)

Ciao baby.

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