When looking for a new book, what grabs your eye? Is it the cover? The author's name? The title? I'm doing a totally unofficial survey here.

I started thinking about this because of the new book I'm working on, and because of discussions with one of my partners. We're both bibliophiles. What's worse, we're freebie fanatics. If it's free, and a book, and an ebook, we go bananas. Of course our first reads are the books we know we need to review for authors or publishers. But, we each also get books because we want them! Need them! CRAVE them!

I started looking at what was grabbing my attention. I'll admit it, I'm a visual person so the cover grabs me first. Then, if that didn't do it, I look at the title. If I'm still on the fence, I read the blurb about the book. Then, I go back and look for authors that I know I like (or, okay, I'll admit it, I look for authors with what I think are interesting names! I'm crazy that way).

So what do you look for? I'm interested to find out. Please leave a comment on this. Here are some suggestions: Cover; author; title; blurb about the book; first chapter . . . take your pick or choose what turns you on and makes you pick up the book, or the ebook, whether you purchase it or put it back and choose another. What drew you in the first place? 

I have established authors like Stephen King that I will ready. Less so Dean Koontz now, as I think he's on the wane and just churning books out to make money. Since I got my iPad and the Kindle app I've had an eye out for freebies of good self-published work. The cover is a huge draw for me, but the blurb has to be good. It also has to be well written and edited - no spelling mistakes or switches of tense mid-sentence. Those are instant turn offs, and where they occur once they tend to occur lots.


The cover should be at least professional looking and intriguing though it's not a deal-breaker. The title...well, it has to draw my attention and spark some curiosity. Of course, the blurb or description is important to me since it is supposed to reflect the basic concept or story line. If an excerpt is available, I really like that as it gives me a good feel of the author's voice, style, and ability to convey a message. It also exhibits the author's attention to grammar, tense, spelling, and general attention to editing /formatting quality. On the other hand, any one of these issue done poorly will be a potential turn-off. In my opinion, if an author (especially an indie) puts out a product, they should take it seriously and show an honest attempt to complete with anyone else out there including the best and most well-known authors because in reality, they WILL be competing with them!


If we set aside the obvious (familiar author, snazzy cover), it's always the jacket/cover copy for me.

I prefer not to read into a story (like an excerpt) because I like to sit down and let it unfold naturally. That puts extra pressure on the "teaser" copy to capture my interest and make me reach for my little plastic magic card.

However, I will always read any book given to me by a friend, regardless even if the subject is not one I would search out on my own. First, it's a gift, and I always use gifts at least once (I've had some bad ties I actually wore to work). Second, they want you to read it so they can discuss it with you, so it's a friend thing. Finally, sometimes I get wonderfully surprised.


I go for the blurb first, then the cover. If it intrigues me I'll read it.


The cover and the title. The cover is so essential. Sometimes I see a nice title but the cover looks like the typical insubstantial book just to pass time. The cover has to be an allegory of the book, and less bows and lace letters that bores me when I see these books all with similar covers, flowers bows, old style calligraphy. Books with beautiful covers are the piano tuner, easter island, the time traveller´s wife (real cover, not the movie cover), covers that have vintage images. At least this is what works for me and gets my attention along with a catchy title;)


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    Sara Nowlin-Edens

    Passion! That's what life is about. I have a passion for history, for reading, and for crafting. Without these things, I would feel incomplete.


    June 2012
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