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Puma
02-03-2009, 08:28 AM
If you're browsing in a bookstore, what makes you pick a book by an unknown to you author up off the shelf? Is it the cover art or the title? Does it have anything to do with the colors of the cover or the font used in the title? Some books just always appear more attractive - why? Thoughts? Puma

Don Allen
02-03-2009, 08:32 AM
a white hot sexy cover gets me to pick, the more leg the hotter the leg the higher up the leg all comes into play, boobs are nice but I'm a leg cover guy.

Fade
02-03-2009, 08:32 AM
I don't know for anyone else, but I never pick up books that have a really fancy, hard to read font as the title. Another thing I noticed was that on the copy of WHEN THE WIND BLOWS that I have, the title is really big and easy to read. So I'm thinking that the legibility of the title has a lot to do with it.

Lyra Jean
02-03-2009, 08:50 AM
Usually the picture and the title. Then I read the back or inside flap. Unfortunately science fiction usually has lousy cover art as it usually is a generic spaceship or man in a spacesuit.

Fenika
02-03-2009, 08:54 AM
Picture/color/title might help, but I just go around grabbing whatever catches my eye and flip to the back cover. Read the blurb. If that's vaguely interesting I read the opening two or three paragraphs and then some random samples before the 1/2 way point.

If it survives that scrutiny and looks good, I get it. If it's on sale/clearance, I'm slightly less picky.

Even so, I get most my books from the library now.

Darzian
02-03-2009, 09:15 AM
Interesting title, interesting cover (but some of the best books I have lack both).

If there's no blurb on the back, then I'll look for it somewhere on the first page, dust cover like. If I can't find it there either I put it back. No blurb- no buy.

nevada
02-03-2009, 10:46 AM
I definitely have oooo shiny syndrome. interesting cover gets me every time. but the back blurb and first page is what sells me.

The one thing that is absolutely guaranteed to get me to pick up a book is a picture of wings or an angel or the word angel in the title. i have no idea why. and the one type of cover that is almost guaranteed to get me to ignore the book completely are those cute cartoony chick lit covers. hate them with a passion. i actually almost missed reading a really good book that was nothing like a cute chick lit book because of the cover. so now i might sometimes at random grab one and check it, but for the most part, if it's a cute cartoony line drawing of a woman with a scarf and/or a scooter and/or a daisy and/or a cute animal, i ignore it.

Mumut
02-03-2009, 10:52 AM
The picture tells me what the subject matter will be - so I wouldn't look at sloppy romantic ones, for example. The title helps a bit too.

Deccydiva
02-03-2009, 02:11 PM
the one type of cover that is almost guaranteed to get me to ignore the book completely are those cute cartoony chick lit covers. hate them with a passion. i actually almost missed reading a really good book that was nothing like a cute chick lit book because of the cover. so now i might sometimes at random grab one and check it, but for the most part, if it's a cute cartoony line drawing of a woman with a scarf and/or a scooter and/or a daisy and/or a cute animal, i ignore it.

I'm with you on that one! :) Also, the willowy female in a clinch with a "handsome" man and a cliche title has the same effect. After the initial sight of the cover, I read the few words on the front, turn over to read the back cover, then open the book at a random page and see if I like the style.
It doesn't wlaya work though; one promising looking book has now become the one I am least likely to ever pick up again!

Ms Hollands
02-03-2009, 03:31 PM
Erm, it probably makes me a bad author, but walking into a bookshop with SO many choices makes me walk out again. I read things that others have recommended to me, given to me as a gift, or dictated through my book club. I am not a decision-maker when it comes to reading books.

Mr Flibble
02-03-2009, 05:38 PM
Actually in the bookshop...I go for what the SFF ladies behind the counter recommend. We know each other quite well now, and if something new comes in that they think I'll like they never hesitate to let me know.


Other than that a good cover doesn't help much if they are all spine out ( as they mostly are in my bookshop), so an interesting title helps, followed by the blurb.

If it has a great cover, even better.

caseyquinn
02-03-2009, 05:42 PM
a white hot sexy cover gets me to pick, the more leg the hotter the leg the higher up the leg all comes into play, boobs are nice but I'm a leg cover guy.


You know i think there is something here... top google searches are always sex related, people look for this stuff, drawn to it. I dont care if you wrote a book about WW2 - throw a little leg and cleavage on the cover (perhaps a nurse if it is ww2 related) i think it sells.

Red-Green
02-03-2009, 06:39 PM
I'm actually on the look-out for unknown-to-me writers. If the title interests me, that's the first thing I look at--when was it published? Is this the writer's first novel? Then I check out the first couple pages to decide if I want to buy.

Fenika
02-03-2009, 06:45 PM
Oh yeah, I always check to see if it's part of a series. 90% of the time I throw it back on the shelf if so. I read series books when they are recommended or they sound really good. Otherwise I'm not committing to book one (or 3, if the order doesn't matter so much).

CaroGirl
02-03-2009, 07:10 PM
I would never purchase a book or author I'd never heard of. I might take a chance on one out of the library but would not buy one. I read book reviews to help me make my decision. Rarely is my book choice ever made on how the book looks--cover art, flaps or no flaps, blurbs, and so on.

KosseMix
02-03-2009, 07:29 PM
First, I look at who published it. If it's by ORBIT or DAW, it gets extra long scrutiny. If it's a SF imprint, it goes right back (I dislike SF). Second - cover. What's on it? If it looks like your generic person-in-cool-place cover, it usually goes back, but if the cool place looks, well, cool and not a generic forest or elf capitol, then I'll check out the back.

Most books I pick up get the "check out the back" moment. If that flies, then I'll check out the first page. If the first page looks good, I flip through it randomly and look at the pacing. Lots of big long paragraphs? Goes back. Lots of dialog? Maybe. Good balance between the two? Time to read random passages.

Yeah.

tehuti88
02-03-2009, 08:13 PM
If you're browsing in a bookstore, what makes you pick a book by an unknown to you author up off the shelf? Is it the cover art or the title? Does it have anything to do with the colors of the cover or the font used in the title? Some books just always appear more attractive - why? Thoughts? Puma

Well, I browse by subject, not author, so an author being unknown to me is a moot point. *shrug* Subject matter, obviously, is the first thing that attracts me to a book, even when I'm walking past an area that doesn't normally hold books I'm interested in. (While passing through a bookstore once I spotted a bargain book on ancient Egypt, for example, and that stopped me in my tracks.)

Interesting covers catch my eye before titles do (I'm an "Ooo, pretty colors!" sort), though interesting titles do as well. Yes, colors play a part in it. I shan't go into specifics though because it's just something you know when you see it, and sometimes even I don't know until I see something whether it'll attract me or not.

Then I do the regular stuff like see if it says the genre on the spine, browse the back cover or wherever the summary is, maybe look at a few pages, etc.

Then I see if it's part of a series or something. No matter how interesting it seems, if it's part of a series and the other books in the set aren't on the shelf, I'll usually put it back. :( I don't like to invest in unfinished series (says the series writer, with shame).

josephwise
02-03-2009, 08:15 PM
Title first, cover art second. A bad cover can turn me off of a good title. A good cover can redeem a non-descript title. Extra points if the title and cover support one another and convey a combined and attractive message.

quickWit
02-03-2009, 08:16 PM
Title. There's nothing like a great title. :)

ChaosTitan
02-03-2009, 08:21 PM
Title and cover always catch my eye first. For some reason, unattractive covers make me leery of what's inside (yeah, yeah, there's an old proverb about that...). But that just makes me pick it up. I rarely buy new authors unless I've read something about them online first. I have a small stack of debuts waiting to be read simply because they were recced by people whose taste I trust.

nevada
02-03-2009, 09:41 PM
omg to people who wont read anything by authors they don't know and people who walk out of bookstores.

Some of my finest hours have been spent in the bookstore with my sister, starbucks mochacinno in hand, just wandering down the aisles, grabbing any title that really rocks, or cover that looks cool. reading the blurb out loud, reading the first page and laughing at how bad it is, or saying it's pretty cool, and occasionally swearing in jealousy because it is *that* good. those are usually the books I buy. My sister has a thing for series, so the minute there are matching covers over 5 or6 books she's all over them. One time she considered rebuying all the sharpe books because they came out with a different cover art that she really liked. i talked her out of it.

I love bookstores. I love looking at books ive never heard of, or authors ive never heard of, in the genre sections i normally dont go, like horror. I've found some incredibly great books that way. It's like treasure hunting. To find something new and read it and be moved is the best thing ever. even if the book ends up sucking i don't mind. i learn just as much from the sucky ones. i dont trust other people's recommendations. they rarely read for the same thing as i do. for example. if i listened to my sister i would have read the whole twilight saga cause she was all gaga over them. i tried, but couldn't do it.

give me a shiny cover, a great title, and i'm excited at the possibility before i even pick up the book.

ETA. and the best, best moments are when i find one of the AW books. i get all excited and practically yell "I know this guy!!". it's beyond wicked.

Ms Hollands
02-03-2009, 09:51 PM
Horses for courses. I find book stores overwhelming, a bit like a man in a lingerie department.

In fact, I'd go the other way and say entrusting the views of my friends to read books they think I will like has opened my mind to books I would have never picked up myself, like Peony in Love by Lisa See. Top book, but it wouldn't have made it into my shopping basket if I'd walked into a book shop and checked it out.

Spiny Norman
02-03-2009, 10:02 PM
First, I look at who published it. If it's by ORBIT or DAW, it gets extra long scrutiny.


Hm. I'm being published under Orbit. Out of curiosity, what makes you put them under such scrutiny? Then again, I don't think the stuff I write is what they usually publish.

I usually don't buy unknowns. If I go into a bookstore, I often have an idea of what I'm looking for.

Cover, then concept is what'd hook me, if anything.

Ken
02-03-2009, 10:04 PM
durability. Signet Classics are the worst in this regard.
Bend the binder a bit too much and pages start falling out.
So I stick with Penguin, which cost a bit more, but are well worth the investment.
Plus they've got famous paintings on the covers and blurbs on the back that actually say something about the story, instead of the usual irrelevant hupla or raving review.

CaroGirl
02-03-2009, 10:42 PM
omg to people who wont read anything by authors they don't know and people who walk out of bookstores.

Some of my finest hours have been spent in the bookstore with my sister, starbucks mochacinno in hand, just wandering down the aisles, grabbing any title that really rocks, or cover that looks cool. reading the blurb out loud, reading the first page and laughing at how bad it is, or saying it's pretty cool, and occasionally swearing in jealousy because it is *that* good. those are usually the books I buy. My sister has a thing for series, so the minute there are matching covers over 5 or6 books she's all over them. One time she considered rebuying all the sharpe books because they came out with a different cover art that she really liked. i talked her out of it.

I love bookstores. I love looking at books ive never heard of, or authors ive never heard of, in the genre sections i normally dont go, like horror. I've found some incredibly great books that way. It's like treasure hunting. To find something new and read it and be moved is the best thing ever. even if the book ends up sucking i don't mind. i learn just as much from the sucky ones. i dont trust other people's recommendations. they rarely read for the same thing as i do. for example. if i listened to my sister i would have read the whole twilight saga cause she was all gaga over them. i tried, but couldn't do it.

give me a shiny cover, a great title, and i'm excited at the possibility before i even pick up the book.

ETA. and the best, best moments are when i find one of the AW books. i get all excited and practically yell "I know this guy!!". it's beyond wicked.
I do this too. I just do it in the library instead of the bookstore where all I risk on an unknown quantity is a late fee.

BarbaraKE
02-03-2009, 10:49 PM
Title. Definitely the title. Good cover art doesn't really help but a bad cover is a definite turn-off. (I define bad cover as anything with magic or that looks like chick-lit.) Reviews by established authors don't do much for me one way or the other.

After picking it up, I'll read inside the front cover, then scan a few pages.

I don't usually go into bookstores with anything particular in mind. I just buy whatever looks interesting that day. Of course, this can get me into trouble. I received my tax refund and went to the bookstore for a little splurge. Bought an even dozen new books. (Aghhh!!!!)

ABekah
02-03-2009, 11:07 PM
I spend lots of time browsing the shelves at bookstores. That in and of itself has become a secondary hobby to my reading.

If it's an author that I know and like, I'll flip it over to read the blurb, and usually will buy it.

If it's someone I don't know anything about, the combination of the title and cover grab my attention first. But if the blurb doesn't sound good, then the book is quickly put back on the shelf. I will not buy a book if it doesn't have a description...I've never understood why they do that?

I typically shy away from whatever the "it" book is at the moment. I don't know what it is about "what everyone else is reading" that makes me not want to read it.

nevada
02-03-2009, 11:08 PM
I do this too. I just do it in the library instead of the bookstore where all I risk on an unknown quantity is a late fee.

my worst late fee has been $91 so it's cheaper for me to buy the ten dollar paperback. lol

donroc
02-04-2009, 12:05 AM
Title and cover first, back and flap info second. If that passes muster regarding subject matter, I read the opening paragraph and another somewhere in the book at random.

I cannot exclude unknown authors because I am one, and as with most of us, I have wallbanged books by established authors and others from the Big Six.

Lyra Jean
02-04-2009, 01:14 AM
my worst late fee has been $91 so it's cheaper for me to buy the ten dollar paperback. lol

I got a late fee removed once. I just moved here to Bradenton and got my library card. Well they had to mail it to me because my ID address didn't match my current address. So I took the books home and I was just going to wait for my library card. It was supposed to take a week. I got busy and forgot about the books and never received my card. When I finally had time to go to the library I explained what happened and they waived the fee.

I told everyone else I was holding the books hostage until I got my card.

C.M. Daniels
02-04-2009, 02:04 AM
Titles all the way. I love a good title, and interesting ones are most likely to get me to pick a book up off the shelf.

Saint Fool
02-04-2009, 02:13 AM
I have a weakness for pretty covers with metallic highlights and cutouts through which you can see a pretty secondary cover. I'm drawn to them like a packrat to a rhinestone ring. Of course, I'll check out the back cover blurb and the first few pages before I decide to buy or not. After I see the first one, I'll happily browse the plain paperbacks until "Oh! shiney! pretty!" catches my eye again.

The odd thing is that I rarely buy them because I've learned the fancier the cover art, the weaker the book inside.

scarletpeaches
02-04-2009, 02:14 AM
Cover (or spine on certain store shelf units), title, blurb, in that order.

LOG
02-04-2009, 08:04 AM
Title and cover attracts me, not enough time to go through one by one...
The summary, and maybe a little excerpt are what decides whether I buy it.

Puma
02-04-2009, 06:14 PM
I didn't share my thoughts when I started this thread. I tend to look for new authors, new experiences. So many of the authors I've liked on earlier reads go downhill as they try to churn out too many books. So, what attracts me -

1. Cleanness of the cover - excellent layout of art and title - striking
2. Real colors not pastels; good background color
3. Catchy title that makes me curious
4. Realistic art - if a book is humorous - caricature type renditions of people, if the book is a thriller type - bold, clean lines for depictions of people (but not designed to be scary or gory), for historical - presentations of people in what would have been natural settings (but not the boudoir settings for historical romance).

I have to be attracted to a book enough to pick it up off the shelf before I evaluate the back cover etc. A catchy title will push me past rejecting a book based on the cover art. Puma