When I made my Top Ten Words/Phrases That Make Me Pick Up A Book I started thinking a bit about how the outside packaging of books affect me and I decided to share my habits! I’d love to hear yours!
I’ve never been the type of reader who has ever really paid attention to author blurbs on books. I know I’m probably in the minority on this one because I’ve always seen readers saying different things about being excited for a book because of X author blurbing it. For whatever reason, that’s never been a big pull for me to pick up a book. I think, prior to blogging (you can learn my other pre-blogging habits here), it was because I didn’t really KNOW a ton of authors so most of the time the author’s name meant nothing to me. I don’t really know WHY now they still don’t persuade me.
This year I proved myself wrong. I put a book on my TBR list instantly because of a Gayle Forman blurb. That book was Wild Awake and, while after I read the description I was even more intrigued, I knew I first was adding it because one of my all time favorite authors blurbed it. I almost didn’t recognize myself as a reader because that had never really happened before. I don’t know why it did but I think anything blurbed by Gayle Forman will do me in. I’m now reading a manuscript that is blurbed by Stephan Chbosky and I’m prettyy sure I would have picked it up SOLELY on that.
I will say…I’ve always been a sucker for the “for fans of x and x” comparisons. Lately I’ve been pretty wary of them for getting BURNED too often but prior it always proved to suck me in when you compare a book to one of my other favorite books, authors, movies or tv shows. Even though lately I’ve been ignoring them more because they mostly disappoint me I’ll tell you comparisons that, despite KNOWING better, always make me weak in the knees and add the book solely for that reason: any comparison to Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Perks of Being A Wallflower, John Green, or some of my favorite movies.
This form of marketing can be SO SO helpful when done right but it pisses me off when it is dead wrong and I have to wonder if the person writing it actually read the book or they are trying to capitalize on a popular trend and don’t care if they are off base. Worst Case: The paperback I had purchased of IF I STAY said “for fans of Twilight”…..what even???? People looking for sparkly vamps were going to be disappointed to not find it (though it was such a good book they probs loved it anyways) BUT honestly I had looked at that book for SO long and that blurb actually repelled me.
Ok, so weirdly I go into a lot of books blind — meaning I don’t often read the summaries. Obviously I do look at the summaries of books when I’m browsing but I mostly SKIM. However, when I’m hearing a lot about a book from trusted friends…I don’t read the summaries at all. I’ve found that this is sometimes so freaking awesome because I get surprised by things that were in the summary but I didn’t pay attention to or didn’t look at it at all.
As an aside, anyone else feel like some summaries kind of spoil the book with the info they give?? Sometimes I’m like MAN if you would have just left this part out it would be a better experience to have this revealed while I’m reading!
Obviously a beautiful or interesting cover will grab me and make me interested in it and then maybe I’ll read what it’s about if I’ve never heard of it. A good design is nice but I’ll say it won’t be the only factor to pick up/not pick up a book. But it’s so hard not to notice a pretty or interesting cover! It also, I think, is the FIRST thing that catches my eye — before I’ll ever be able to see the blurbs, comparisons or the summary so IT IS IMPORTANT. Just like when I was dating..my eye was first caught by their looks as shallow as that might sound.
I’m curious about you guys…what are your habits? Do author blurbs get you? What about comparisons? Do you read summaries most of the time? Is a bad cover a deal breaker?