So, top of my want-but-don’t-need list is the new Kindle Voyage e-reader.
Based on the reviews I’ve seen, it’s better than the Kindle Paperwhite – but alas, not significantly better. Definitely not £170 better. Or even £230 better, because I know I’d spring for the 3G version.
The other thing that’s putting me off getting a new e-reader is the thought of transferring all my ebooks from my Paperwhite. I had to do that when I bought my (beloved) Paperwhite a few years back, and it took me forever. And I swear I lost a few ebooks in the move too. Yes, I do need to organise my ebooks better.
Sorry, the point of this post isn’t really e-reader lusting. I just needed to get that out because I’ve been spending too much time thinking about it, dammit. Maybe I need to try and see the Voyage IRL – that may help me decide one way or another. A price drop would also help my decision *clears throat*.
Anyway, following my post on the whys of DNF’ing, I thought I’d talk about the flip side – what makes me pick up a book, especially a book by a new-to-me author?
Putting trusted reviewers to one side (as that’s how I hear about new-to-me authors in the first place), what persuades me to buy the book?
If it’s a genre I’ve been eyeing, I’m easy. Usually all it takes is a positive review, combined with a reasonable price. For instance, I was curious about rockstar romances – unfortunately, Nalini Singh’s foray into this subgenre didn’t work for me* but I figured there must be a reason why rockstar romance is a popular subgenre. Kylie Scott‘s name came up several times, and the second book in her Stage Dive series was a bargain at £0.50 at that time, IIRC (now all of them are at £2.40 @ Amazon – still a good price IMO). Let’s just say I gulped down all three of the Stage Dive books within a week – I loved Scott’s voice, which meant the heightened emotions and just-about-plausible meet-cutes totally worked for me. I have to mention that the copy-editing was not fantastic – there were a few of the your/you’re and know/now variety which annoyed me – but I adored the romances.
Another romance subgenre I’m curious about at the moment is MCs (Motorcycle Clubs) – any recs? I know Kristen Ashley is popular, but I’ve never read any of her books. I think the closest I’ve come to a MC romance this year is Kelley Armstrong’s VISIONS, which was slightly unexpected. One of the love triangle contenders is the head of the local MC, IIRC – he’s also a ghoul who feeds on emotions, so possibly not a standard MC romance? Or maybe it is. Ahem.
Moving on – if it’s a genre where I’ve been suffering burnout (see UF and/or paranormal romance), then it takes a bit more than that. Multiple mentions work (which is why I guess blog tours are a thriving business?) – I may skim over an author’s name several times, but if I’m still seeing his/her name a few months later, I’m more than likely to give the book ago. Two UF authors I’ve discovered via this method – Kalayna Price (who appears to have gone AWOL in the past year, fingers crossed she’s still writing) and ML Brennan (I’ve been going on about her Generation V series for a few months now, right?).
What else? Excerpts work. Excerpts are fantastic. If I can’t find one and I’m interested enough in the book, I hop over to Amazon and check out the book preview. That usually helps me decide whether to one-click or not.
Prices – I mentioned the low price of one of Kylie Scott’s books persuaded me to one-click. I think $1 or £0.77 tends to be the psychological barrier for me. (Free also does it, just to be clear.) So first book in a series as a loss-leader is a marketing ploy that really works on me. I’m getting a lot better at this impulsive one-clicking thing, but not quite there yet.
Oh, and ebook availability. This is probably one of the biggest things. It’s really rare I buy a physical book by a new-to-me author – not totally unheard of (see previous post on impulse book buying issues), but I wouldn’t go to a bookstore specifically to buy a book I’ve seen reviewed. I’d be a hundred times more likely to get the ebook, especially if it’s coupon-able on Kobo – but then we’re back to price again.
So that’s how I choose my new-to-me authors – what about you?
*Possibly for the same reason her Guild Hunter series doesn’t work for me. Someone (can’t remember who/where now – if you do, let me know and I’ll link!) said something along the lines of her text promises high conflict, but actual risk/damage is low, which rings true to me – so all the drama tends to fizzle out and there’s no payoff. Also the insta-love (which tends to be a trademark of her writing, I think) did not help – I can suspend disbelief when this occurs in her Psy-Changeling books because of the paranormal side of things. Change the setting to a straight contemporary one, and I find it very hard to believe in the instant connections.