What makes you want to buy a book? Is it all down to the cover, title, and blurb? Or do all the little things – that book marketers, publicists and often authors themselves spend hours putting together – actually make a difference?
For instance, when you look at a book ad, do you consider the background image? It usually gives an idea of the book’s setting and is a handy alternative to extra wording.
Do you read the review excerpt? Or is only reading the best part of the best review too limited to be of any value?
Does it matter which store the buy link is for? I use a universal link that lists all my retailers in all countries for buyers to choose from, but many authors stick to an Amazon link. Are you happy with an Amazon link, even though it might not be for your country?
Do you like to know the price before clicking through to a store? That one is a bit tricky as books are usually for sale in multiple countries. Would the price discourage you if it’s out of your budget or would not knowing it deter you from clicking through to a retailer?
Would you rather know something about the author if you haven’t read anything by them before? Do you like to see a photo of the author, a short bio, or a mention of something else they’ve written?
How about a comparative author? Whenever I see something saying “If you like [insert name of famous author], you’ll love this”, I’m unconvinced. For example:
“If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll love the Lost Mysteries.”
Are you looking for the link to buy my books right now?
Some readers ignore paid ads and only read social media posts. Others think if the author doesn’t have a big marketing budgeting they can’t be any good, although I dispute that – almost everyone starts as an unknown with a tiny budget!
It is actually quite rare for a reader to buy a book the first time they see it. But is it better to see the same ad or post several times so you recognise it as the same book? Or would you prefer to see different information each time, so you can build up a better picture of the book you’re interested in?
And can all these other contributing factors persuade you to try a book if you weren’t really keen on the cover? It’s astonishing how important the cover is to the buying decision, even though it has absolutely no impact on your enjoyment of the book!
I’d love to get some reader input on this – although I have a sneaking suspicion everyone may have different preferences.
The one thing I am sure of is that book marketing is a minefield!
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