Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tip O'Day #417 - How One Reader Spots Winners

Guest blogger Trisha Russon on choosing what to read.

I'm passionate about the things that interest me. I'm addicted to reading. One of the most beneficial outcomes of reading is relaxation. For me, this is important therapy. To some people, myself included at times, reading offers an escape from the real world.

I'm an avid reader, always searching for new authors to fuel my addiction. I enjoy reading different genres depending on my mood. When I choose a book by an unknown author, there is a combination of specific things that draw me to the book. First and foremost are a striking cover, an impressive title and an intriguing description.

If a book lacks these qualities it gives me the impression that the unknown author is an unprofessional beginner who doesn't know how to write. In my honest opinion, that's a sure way to quickly lose a reader’s interest. I know there are people out there who believe in the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover." Sorry, but I have to disagree. I want to be captivated and drawn into the book like a child entering a candy store for the very first time.

I like to use a variety of different sites to help me when choosing a book. Web pages like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, authors and readers blogs, and even Facebook pages and groups with descriptive blurbs, synopses, anthologies and great reviews are all helpful tools.

With that being said, I still don't base my final decision about a book solely by what others have to say about it, for one reason. We all have different opinions about the books we read. What other people like or don't like will not sway me either way. At the end of the day it comes down to one thing.

Did the authors have what it took to draw me into buying their books?

Dixon says: These are all good points, and yet we’ve all had the experience of buying what appears to be a professionally-produced, thought-provoking book, only to quickly realize it’s poorly written garbage. However, there’s a way to prevent that.
Let’s say you’ve been intrigued by the catchy title, striking cover and interesting blurb. You’ve seen it mentioned on some websites you follow. You’ve read a few positive reviews, and noticed it has a high rating on Goodreads. My suggestion is that you now read some sample pages.
Sure, we all know the first chapter get edited and proofread a lot more than later sections, and yet believe me, any writer too lazy or clueless to run a book past Beta Readers or a critique group, will demonstrate those same qualities in the first five pages. One of the things I really enjoy about eBooks is the ability to preview a certain amount of the opening pages, usually about ten percent, just as you might do browsing in a physical bookstore. I recently previewed a book where I didn’t need to go past the second page to find about a half-dozen misspellings and misuses of there, their and they’re. So be a smart consumer, and do the work needed to avoid buying junk.

1 comment:

  1. Dixon, thank you again for having me as a quest on your blog. It was my pleasure. I also appreciate that you shared your insight as well. I have to admit I don't always check the sample pages but I'll definitely consider doing so more often when purchasing future ebooks. :)