August 15, 2011

Wearing my Reader Hat

Mom and I took a walk this morning in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. We talked about books in our to-read piles and why they are there. It's especially important to us now as authors. How do people choose books?

The vast majority (80-85%) of my book picks come from friend recommendations, including my book club cohorts. Prior to publishing my own novel, I didn't follow authors. If I loved a book, I would look into more books by that author, but I didn't look for them on Facebook or try to catch them on a morning talk show. Authors seemed as inaccessible as actors and actresses. I was wrong. The writing community is incredibly open and generous. I hope other readers realize that.

I do believe word-of-mouth marketing is best, but how do you access it? Book clubs, an invaluable resource, tend to pick bestsellers or other proven entities like classics. I get it. I want to support small press and independent publishers, but you have to weed through the muck for the gem. Some readers won't take the chance.

My sister is with us on vacation, so I asked how she chose books. Her answer, magazines. I admit I notice author interviews in magazines now, but I rarely picked a book that way before. Rarely, however, do you see smaller books in articles.

When you are an avid book clubber like I am, a book a month is chosen for you. Then my mom or other friends would recommend books. My book pile remained stacked with little work on my part. Occasionally I'd scour Amazon or other online retailers and play around until a cover and description beckoned. 

We'd love to know... how do you choose a book? Do you read reviews, author interviews, watch morning talk shows? How willing are you to try small press or independently published books?

All this being said, I am featured on Highlighted Author this week, so stop by and check it out. Each week Charlene Wilson features a new author.


lisa said...

First of all congrats on being featured! How exciting!!! :)

As for how I choose books, it's all sorts of ways. I do reviews for a site called Literary Escapism, so some of my choices come from the review offers the site gets. Some are from authors that I love and have loved for years (probably started with them on a recommendation). I'm a also a big fan of Amazon...especially since I broke down and bought a Kindle. I'll often look through what they recommend for me. Popular new releases and such. I'm an Amazon addict. :)

I've always wanted to join a book club, but just don't have the time for it. I bet they are a lot of fun!

Tia Bach said...

Lisa, Thanks! I have a Kindle, but am still partial to my books. I'm sure I'll convert sooner or later.

I love my book clubs, but maybe I'm just lazy and like having books picked for me!