If you're a self-published or independent/small press published author, you've probably read many blog posts about what makes a reader choose to buy a book. Is it the eye-catching cover? The favourite genre? The catchy blurb? The price? The reviews? Of course, it's a combination of some or all of those elements. Before any of them, though, comes the greatest problem of all:
In a time when thousands of new books are published every week, how do you get the reader to discover the actual existence of your book in the first place?
As well as being a writer, I am an avid reader. I read 99% of books on the Kindle app on my tablet, and download between 1 and 10 a week. I read, or start to read, between 6 and 15 books a month. I'm sure you've seen all those graphs showing how most readers discover the books they buy, so I thought I'd do an assessment of the around 300 books I've reviewed on my book blog. The categories differ slightly from those you see on standard graphs, but I think the results will be interesting for writers and book bloggers to see how an average Kindle user makes her choices ~ particularly for those writers who don't buy Kindle books themselves, but hope to sell their own.
Amazon: chanced upon during an Amazon browse (usually in 'also boughts'),
or books that have come up as recommended for me by Amazon
Book Blog: downloaded after reading a review on a book blog,
or other article about the book/author
Personal Friend Recommendation
Twitter, after talking to the author/getting to know them
Twitter, via a passing tweet
when I've read one book by an author via one of the other discovery routes,
and have chosen to buy at least one more of their books
Chosen to review from the list of submissions
on Rosie Amber's Review Team, of which I am a member
Other Review Request: I don't take requests generally,
but on occasion a fellow writer has asked me to review a new book,
or I've read submissions for an award
Paperback lent to me
Won the book
Bought after watching a TV programme or film
Classic I always meant to read
Facebook promotion or advert
Sometimes the categories merge, for instance, when I choose a book from Rosie's review team list that I would have bought anyway. And do bear in mind that I don't use Facebook much, and when I do it's mostly in a non-book/writing fashion. It's worth noting, too, that I am about 50% more likely to download a book if it is available on Kindle Unlimited.
I'd be most interested to hear how you make your choices 😃