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Book Promotion 101

I've never done one of these poll things before...

Following up on a question raised in one of my writers' groups, what say you:

Poll #1007999 Book Promotion 101

Which of the following promotional tools has (even once) led you to purchaes a book? (Check as many as apply.)

Previous familiarity with author's other work
Cover art
Cover or flap blurbs (promotional quotes)
Reading first chapter of book online or in store
Contest sponsored by author or publisher
Published (print or electronic) book review
Recommendation of friend
Attending a reading or signing event with author (including a convention)
Bookseller or librarian recommendation
Receiving postcard in mail from author
Receiving promotional email from author
Reading about book on author's blog or website
Reading about book on another person's blog or website
Receiving toys or other promotional gimmicks from author
Other (specify in comments)



( 64 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 22nd, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
I've found that the reader lists on Amazon.com has induced me to pick up books. I generally find books and authors that I didn't know were out there. Jim Butcher is a prime example of this.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Throw the dog a bone
I want to fill out your survey but can't figure out how to do it?! You sure do want me to think!
Re: Throw the dog a bone - mindyklasky - Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Throw the dog a bone - jesterjoker - Jun. 22nd, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
How I choose books to buy
Cover art is odd. Cover art is more likely to make me REJECT a book than buy it. I can think of at least three books I DIDN'T buy for a long time because I hated the cover art. I really liked those three books once I got past the cheesy covers.

Once in a great while I will find cover art SO appealing it makes me give a book a serious look. The last time this happened was with THIS book: http://www.hurog.com/images/covers/bloodbound300.jpg

Haven't read it yet but I LOVE the cover art. But that is a rare thing for me.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: How I choose books to buy
I don't recall ever buying a book because of the cover art, but I most certainly have rejected a book merely because of the cover art.
Re: How I choose books to buy - thebadlady - Jun. 22nd, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: How I choose books to buy - gryphart - Jun. 22nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: How I choose books to buy - muneraven - Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
Got here from lyda222.

I don't read flap copy any longer. Too often, there are spoilers rather than set-ups. I know the author seldom has anything to do with it, but I really wish the publisher wouldn't tell the public what happens on page 200.

For example. Good: Librarian Mindy finds the body of her boss Monday morning. Bad: Librarian Mindy has to investigate who is killing all the other librarians. Worse: Mindy has to prove why the insane author Bill is killing all the librarians in town (unless it's obvious from page 6 that Bill is the murderer, and lots of people have died already.) Does that make sense?
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 22nd, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
I've never gotten promo materials directly from an author (unless I knew them personally), but I have gotten advance reader copies from publishers. Those aren't necessarily likely to make me *buy* the book (as I'll have the ARC), but they do make me likely to *promote* the book. Back when I was a bookseller, I promoted the heck out of stuff--and I do some of that still at my local library.

The title as a draw is definitely true. I didn't read romance much at all until the "Nerd" books by Vicki Lewis Thompson caught my eye with their titles. Care and Feeding of Pirates was another one that leapt off the shelf and grabbed me. I tend to then look at the blurb on the back to see if I'll actually like it (or if I've been led astray).
(no subject) - aulus_poliutos - Jun. 23rd, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Cover art comes into play in whether I'll pick up a book to look at, but it's not enough to make me buy.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
My partner and I filled this out together and she notes that one other place that influences her decision to buy a new book is a bookstore newsletter, particularly Uncle Hugo's Newsletter.

Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
I want to add a caveat to my choice re: cover art.

I have never purchased a book solely on its cover art; it's in conjunction with having read the author's work before or having perused the first five pages after picking it up. Cover art (or quite possibly the fonts used on the spine) get me to pick up the book first.

Note: Several books have cover art that call to me, I pick them up, read, and put them right back down. It annoys the heck out of me when I repeat that several times with the same book on different visits. Visual calls.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Note: Several books have cover art that call to me, I pick them up, read, and put them right back down. It annoys the heck out of me when I repeat that several times with the same book on different visits

Oh yeah. There's one book I've done that with three times now -- the cover is eactly what appeals to me, and then I read the cover copy and think "this is a dumb plot and I don't want to read it."

Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
It's all Gleep's fault! And then I won that book from you...and the rest is history...so to speak.


Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
Promo quotes and cover art have prompted me to *pick up* a book at a bookstore, but have never closed the deal for me.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 22nd, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Re: title of book
Oh yes, I forgot this one. Definitely the title can get me to buy it.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
Amazon.com lists have also worked for me, but only to 'direct' me to a book I hadn't heard of. The final decision is based on the back cover teaser and reading the first page in the bookstore.

I clicked cover art but like others, that gets me to pick up the book. Back copy and first page are still the main sellers for me, second only to knowing the author's prior work.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
I must be a pushover. My answer is "all of the above." Although, if it's a librarian recommend, then I usually check the book out of the library. And if I attend a reading/signing with the author, then I go with the intention/desire to buy the book which I know about from one of the previous options. I think the newsgroup/blog option is one of the better tools for the coming years. It makes reading much more interactive, and it reminds us that you don't make money if we don't buy books...

Jun. 22nd, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Well, first it's rare I buy a book new. Usually I frequent the local use books stores - I like to support the indy business like that.

Though lately I've found my best means of selecting a book, other than looking for more by artists that I enjoy, is reading random passages. Usually I can get a feel for when it's going to be decent or not. Not foolproof, but usually decent. Good books just grab the hell out of my attention.

Cover art can be murder on a book, though. I try to ignore it, but sometimes I get suckered in by good cover art or scared away by bad cover art. So I try to ignore it.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Here via a link in swan_tower's LJ. Feel free to kick me out :)

I place more store in recommendations from people I trust than anything else (particularly if it's regarding an author entirely new to me). I will also go on the first chapter if it's particularly well written and I'll buy if I've seen an author's blog where they discuss it and I think the subject matter sounds interesting.

Book blurbs and cover summaries are something I just don't trust any more - too many bad experiences in the past have made me cynical. I would buy a book from a book signing BUT I wouldn't go to an author signing for someone entirely new to me unless they were co-signing with an author I knew and loved or I'd already come across the book/author elsewhere.

Gimmicks and post cards don't sway me, but they might irritate me if they felt like spam. Competitions with free stuff would get my attention because I'm a competition nut and if the prize was a signed copy of the book I'm more likely to go for it.

That's probably no use whatsoever but I figured I'd add my tuppence.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
recommendations from friends
BUT. . .vave you ever had a dear friend, a person you respect as a reader or writer, recommend a book that you end up reading . . .and you hate the book? LOL! That's the worst! You close the book and think to yourself "I thought I KNEW her. I thought she was brilliant. Maybe she read it while drunk?"

Re: recommendations from friends - tybalt_quin - Jun. 23rd, 2007 11:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
While blurbs from other writers on the cover have never made me buy a book, the descriptive teasers have. Unfortunately, they also make me not buy books. It turned out I really like Barbara Hambly's writing, but for years I kept picking up her books, reading the cover copy and putting them back down. Now I buy her books on sight, but I don't read the cover copy.

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