Saturday, August 20, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Elizabeth Black

What made you buy your last book?

I saw this question in a message board forum on Kindle Boards. Blurbs, recommendations, and establishing a connection to the author inspire me to buy books.

Here are a few examples of what made other readers and writers buy books:


They liked the blurb.

They liked the title, especially if it was catchy.

They liked the cover.

They didn't like the cover and had to know more about a book that had such an ugly cover.

They made a connection to the author in some way. Some of these readers met the writers on Kindle Boards.

Met the author at a book signing (related to connecting to the author).

They read an interesting blog post about the author.

They read a review or article about the book on a web site, especially a book blog.

They saw a recommendation in a book forum.

Recommendations from people they know.

Skimming the first few pages. Goes to show the importance of a kick-ass hook.

After liking one book by an author, buying more of that author's books.

Because EVERYONE is talking about it. In this case, the book series was George R. R. Martin's "Game of Thrones".

The book or author was recommended by well-known and respected authors.

The book was a very good sale price or free. So those free or $0.99 cent e-book sales do work.


Not one person mentioned author spam on Yahoo groups or author's spamming their book links in book forums. The point seems to be getting good reviews, having excellent blurbs, and establishing a connection with the readers rather than bombarding them with information about your books along with the millions of other indie writers doing the same thing. Those Monday Promo Days on Yahoo groups? You get lost in the sea of writers promoting on the same day. I'll admit I have been guilty of this because I was told it works. I'm cutting down on all that and simply hanging out in forums. It's the same amount of time daily I used to spend doing promo but it's much more fun connecting to people on a one-on-one basis. My favorite successful authors do it whether on book blogs, book forums, or on their Facebook walls.

So there you have it. You have only a few moments to catch a reader's attention whether it's a blurb, review, or recommendation. Chatting up people and talking about everything other than your own books (until asked or the topic slides in easily) is fun and a pleasant way to spend your time. Plus I'm finding some books that interest me. Just discovered a whole slew of biohazard and revenge books I'm dying to read. And I've discovered cat lovers. Lots and lots of cat lovers.  All from hanging out in book forums.


Contemporary Erotic Romance Set In The Go-Go 1980s.
Publisher: Naughty Nights Press
Release Date: September, 2011


DON'T CALL ME 'BABY' is a fast-paced, quick-witted, sexy novel about a young woman exploring her sexuality and the cultural morés she collides with on a daily basis. It's 1983 in Maryland and Catherine Stone is sex on wheels. She plays the field the way men have done for aeons. Not content to strive for her MRS degree like so many young women her age, she seduces men of all stripes - married college professors, theatre students, virgins, complete strangers who intrigue her. She has already cost one man his job. But she asks herself lots of questions on her search to enjoy her sexuality. Why don't other women enjoy their sex as much as she does? Why do so many women and men look down on sexually free women, calling them sluts while sexually free men are called studs and Lotharios? She bucks at the double standards! Catherine has made no commitment to any man. She's free to explore and she gladly does so. No man can tie her down and no woman's judgment will stop her from playing the field to her heart's content. Does she meet her match in a new man who introduces her to sexual bliss she had never before experienced? When she tries multiple partners and bondage for the first time as a submissive, she believes she's found the sexual bliss she is looking for - and with a man who not only introduces her to the fineries in life but also cares about her like no man ever has before.

Look for this book in September, 2011. I'll update on my web site, blog, and Facebook page as the release date approaches.

Elizabeth Black

Blog/Web Site


Alexx said...

Thanks for the interesting Blog! As a reader/reviewer there are a few things hook me when deciding on a book purchase, 1 is the cover if the cover, and 2 is the blurb. It has to have either a great cover or a great blurb. I do not pay attention to plugs by other authors, or paid reviewers. I have put books down that had awful covers (it is only my opinion) thinking that if they did not take the time to choose a decent cover what could possibly be inside. (Yes I have been wrong) Also a factor is if it is an author I have read and liked in the past. then I might pick it up on that fact alone. Free books are great but I still look at the cover and read the blurb.

BUT just a note I love checking out new authors but you still got to catch me in the beginning

Elizabeth Black said...

Covers seem to be important to lots of people Alexxx. I'm like you regarding the blurb. That blurb better catch my attention quickly or I'll move onto the next book. I don't think I'm into covers as much maybe because with print books I'm so used to seeing books on their sides that the titles catch me before the covers do.

Thanks for sharing. Your preferences seem to be the same as many other book lovers.

Anonymous said...

Even if the blurb or cover catches my eye, if I can't "get" into the book, I will try a second book by the author. If I have the same reaction, I won't buy another book by that author. There are too many authors and interesting books out there to waste my time. I tend to read a paperback book in one to two nights, and e-books at about the same pace. As you can imagine my book list is quite large. (My hubby says I could open a bookstore at this point-though he reads just about as many books as I do and we only have a couple of overlaps in genre).

Elizabeth Black said...

I'm like that too, Anon. I'll give a writer a second try even if I didn't like the first book. I've read books by authors I love that I didn't like so I figure I got the book I didn't like out of the way first.

Blurbs and samples seem to be popular ways to go for lots of readers.

Tess MacKall said...

These days I look for the tried and true authors. The ones I know always deliver. Oddly enough, most of those writers are male. Hmmm...I don't have nearly as many female authors on my list as I do male authors. I suppose I really enjoy male POV. I know I love writing it.

As for not promoting on Yahoo groups? I do very little of that. But it does work. It's just a matter of to what degree. Can you get one sale a month from Yahoo groups or twenty sales a month? And how does that compare with other forms of promotion you're using such as Facebook and the amount of time it takes to promote on groups. Is it worth it?

A lot of times it depends on the author. Sometimes it's just a roll of the dice.

Great topic! Great insight!!

Elizabeth Black said...

Tess, I find that some Yahoo groups get me attention, especially when I post pix of nearly naked men on my blog. LOL The personal approach does seem to work better, though. I get more mileage out of Facebook than I do from Yahoo groups, but there are a few groups that I like very much. I think it's a matter of avoiding spam, which readers don't like.

I read another interesting topic on Kindle Boards about why some readers don't like it when authors promote their books. Insightful stuff. I'll likely blog about that next month.

What's ironic is that I get most of my blog hits from FARK, a not-news site where people toss insults at each other and crack jokes. You need a cast-iron constitution to hang out there. So I hang out on FARK, make snotty remarks, and people come to my blog. Not sure how many sales I've made but I'm getting attention that way. Plus it's more fun than spamming Yahoo groups. :)

Elizabeth Black said...

Also, related to something else you wrote, most of the writers I know in the romance field are women. Most I know in the dark fiction, noir, mystery, and horror fields are male. I've noticed most of my fans who chat rather than lurk are male, and these guys are real fans. not men trying to get into my cyberpants (although they exist). It's interesting to me how the male/female divide splits up.

Elizabeth Black said...

Speaking of covers, I just got my new one for my contemporary 1980's erotic romance "Don't Call Me Baby". If anyone wants to see it, it's here:

Elizabeth Black - Cover - Don't Call Me Baby

Anonymous said...

Great post! Im one of those that grab a book first because of the Cover. BUT, its always the Blurb that helps me decide on a purchase every time. When I published my Short, "Sloan's Witch", I was very lucky to get Jimmy Thomas on the Cover. NOW, I can only hope my Blurb does the job too! (grin)

Its really interesting to hear what readers are looking for in books, especially in this day and time when there are so many books out there. I wonder if anyone has taken an actual survey to see what Readers look for first before buying?

Anyhoo, great post and thanks for sharing!

hugs, Kari Thomas,

Teresa Noelle Roberts said...

While an attractive cover is eye-catching and may get me to pick up a book up and read a bit, I don't let covers influence my ultimate purchasing decision. Long before I was published myself, I worked in publishing--so I realize covers may not have ANYTHING to do with the book's content or quality. (Think of the awful covers on 70s science fiction books, many of which were terrific stories!) I also realize that indie authors who can write a great book may have only so-so design skills. Blurb, excerpts and author name recognition do it for me. I've occasionally looked for more info on a book due to seeing an excerpt on a Yahoo group (and sometimes ended up buying it).