Quote Originally Posted by Tazlima View Post
I'm curious, then, how do YOU decide which books to read? I don't know that I'd choose a specific book simply because it was marketed as similar to another individual book, but I know which genres I tend to enjoy, and what's that except a broader version of the same thing?

If I had to choose between two books to read, one romance and one horror, and the genre was the only thing I knew about either of them, I'd go with the horror every time. My sister-in-law would just as unfailingly choose the romance. My boyfriend would avoid both like the plague...he prefers non-fiction, particularly history and biographies.

As far as recommendations, "It's sooo good," may not be a good indicator of whether one particular person will like a book, but "It's right up your alley," said by someone who knows your tastes, is a pretty safe bet. Not 100% guaranteed, but certainly better than "I liked it, therefore you must too," which makes about as much sense as the line my mother gave us when we were kids: "I'm cold; put on a sweater."

I do occasionally go to the bookstore and just browse the shelves to see what jumps out at me, but even then there's going to be some serious narrowing of choices simply based on what section I choose to browse.
Where our camp is the local general store that sells everything from minnows to wine has a shelf of donated books that are free for the taking...I discovered Betty Smith and Lavyrle Spencer from that shelf of used books I don't buy very many books, I'm a library gal....so when I began writing I started going to amazon books and looking through the different genre's and basically surfing authors and reading the "look inside" feature. I discovered Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen and Kristen Hannah this way. When I stumble over a book I like I browse my library online and see if its on the shelf and then I take it out. I discovered Elin Hilderbrand because somebody left one of her novels on the table at the family camp so it was accidental.
Quote Originally Posted by Putputt View Post
There is a reason why agents often ask for comp titles in queries. It's *one* of the ways you could use to narrow down which books you want to read. Whenever I come across a real gem of a book which sweeps me away completely, I end up hungry for more books like that. But it's not the only way. I also check out books based on... friends' recs, awards lists, marketing buzz, book covers (the marketing buzz and book covers are mostly for diverse books. If there is a PoC on the cover, I will at the very least browse the book's Amazon page).

Since I live in a city where the library is abysmal and the bookshops have very limited choices, the Look Inside feature on Amazon is a godsend.

Haha, okay! Thanks for the rec!
Agreed...I love the look inside on Amazon, it has lead me to so many wonderful books!

I can see now why the marketing would want a comparison. And if somebody here said to me...Oh you love Alice Hoffman...check out xyz...I would. I think sometimes a book can get too hyped up and then its a let down. Or the opposite, a book can be looked over because of reviews. When I first heard about Harry Potter, I heard negative things that it was this horrible story about a boy living under the stairs and this person didn't even finish the book. I got a copy and wasn't sucked in immediately but I gave it an honest good chance, and I'm glad I did because I loved the entire series. The person I knew who had given up on the novel I told her it was a fantastic book and to give it another chance. She did and she is a huge Harry fan