So, how do I choose what I want to read, from the many options out there, you ask? Great question, thanks for asking, now, let me share with you how I go about choosing my next read.
First, let me just say that I choose books, (generally) that seem like they are going to immerse me in a land where good and evil are at war with each other, physically or spiritually or both, at the same time. Where it will be apparent from the description that I am in for a few battles and some mind blowing changes throughout. Where the fate of the world rests upon this adventure, or, this set of adventures, but, these may just be the catalyst to something even greater.
That said, (I know, sounds like every fantasy adventure out there, right?), I look for certain things to get me to open the pages of the book.
The cover art.
Yep, I judge a book by its cover. (Not completely, just to see if I am even interested.) An amazing cover is interesting and draws me in. It allows me to begin to see the world as the author wanted me to see it.
Great art does not always mean a great story, sometimes, it is just great art, but, we have to start somewhere. Yes, I have read books with horrible cover art, or poor cover art and fell absolutely in love with the story, but, it has not happened very often.
I know that most authors probably aren’t going to be able to draw out their own art. (I couldn’t) However, that said, it is a great idea to get someone involved who can. Even the artwork inside the book, if there is any, is generally reflected by the cover art. Details, feelings, even a sense of being can be manipulated throughout the book just by having one scene depicted on the cover and having a scene from each chapter depicted somewhere within that chapter.
Cartoonist or caricature style drawings, in my opinion, take away from the story and what your trying to get the reader to feel, highly detailed drawings seem to allow the reader to immerse themselves.
I’m not wealthy, or even close, so, I don’t always have very much to spend on any activity, let alone reading. Kindle has been great for this and has allowed me to read books that I would not have been able to afford otherwise, but, I still have to be careful, budget and all, being considered.
A free starter book in a series is awesome, it allows me to read the first book and decide if the series is worth the money or not. (I can only think of one series that I have not been willing to pay to read the rest of the books)
Unless I know the Author’s work, I generally won’t pay very much for the first book in a series. However, if the book is a stand alone novel, I am much more likely to pay a small fee for the book at the beginning.
Is it someone I have read in the past, then I will probably be more inclined to take the leap and get the book.
Did someone recommend this author to me? If it was from someone who likes the same type of literature as I do, then this ranks pretty high.
Is this Author brand new to the scene? I may wait to get this title, but, if the cover art and price are pretty good, it will probably make it on my list to look into in the future.
The story-line description.
This is kind of big. If the Author can’t write a decent story description that allows me to have an idea of where the book is going, then there is a chance the writing inside may not be up to par.
This is not a deal breaker, mind you, but it does play a major part in my approach to choosing the book. A great description tells me the Author is invested, they care and they are able to tell a story, whether it is a book, or just a quick paragraph.
Books with good descriptions generally head to the top of my list.
Reviews of the book.
This is the last thing I look at and the one thing that weighs the least on my decision, but, has at times, been the deal breaker for a book getting read right now or getting put on the “to get later” list.
I see most reviews as a personal opinion and generally look for facts within the reviews. Things like how the editing was, or if there were a lot of spelling errors, etc. I don’t care if a reader thought it was poorly written, if they give no factual basis as to why they formed that opinion. (Some of my favorites have had some mean, horrible reviews that turned out to be quite inaccurate!)
I generally use the reviews to decide if the book I am looking at is going to be my next read, or if it is going to be the one after my next read. Rarely will the reviews stop me from getting the book. (Unless I see that there is a lot of sexual content or language issues that I will not enjoy reading through.)
So, there you have it. My formula for deciding a books fate in my hands. (Not that it matters much, in the grand scheme of things) This is how I choose what to own and read.
I would love to hear some of the ways you choose your books.