Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Draws Readers to a Book?

That is a great question and I am sure everyone will have a different answer. So I thought that I would get the opinion of a couple of the NN writers. I will start with my thoughts on what draws me to a book.

Tabitha Blake

First off I was always told not to judge a book by its cover. But in reality is this a logical statement? In my opinion it’s not. The cover is what catches my eye right off. Isn’t that the whole reason for the cover of a book? It’s the reason authors get so excited about the covers of their new books. As romance writers we all want that smoking hot cover framing the manuscript we worked so hard on. It’s like the icing on the cake. Without it it’s just boring.

Now it takes more than a great cover to keep my interest. The blurb at the back seals the deal. I want the blurb to reach out and grab me. It has to be interesting and leave me wanting to know more. If the blurb is boring or lacking in anyway then I will toss it back on the shelf and move on. It just goes to show how important a good blurb is. You need to capture the reader and leave them wanting more.

So for me I need a smoking hot cover and a jump off the page blurb. Of course I know I am probably a little critical when it comes to reading now that I am a writer. But as a writer I feel if you are going to write a story you should write the best story you can. And as a reader it has taught me that the cover and blurb are very important aspects of a great book. The reader only cares about what they can see at a glance. We live in a society of instant gratification and the cover and blurb are the best ways to achieve that for our readers. Those are my thoughts on the subject. I thought I would share a few of my favorite books with you. You will find them at the end of this blog.

Let’s see what Brenda has to say on the subject. Thanks Brenda for doing this blog with me.

Brenda Dyer

As a writer, I have learned what is needed to draw a reader in, hook them tight, and not let them go until they've read the last word. But how to you get the reader to pick your novel from the thousands of others?

To answer that question, I looked to how I chose a book. The absolute first thing that grabs my attention is the cover. Next is the title. Then I'll turn to the back cover and read the blurb. If I'm still interested, I scan through the pages and pick a random scene to read. If all seems good, then I buy the book.

I was a little shocked. All the little tricks we learn to hook a reader and keep them reading chapter after chapter will only work if the reader BUYS YOUR NOVEL.

I wondered if I was the only one who chose a novel this way. So to find out, I asked a few friends how they chose a book to buy--friends who are hard-core readers of romance, but not writer. Again, I was shocked. All seven said the same thing. What grabbed their attention first was THE COVER AND THEN THE TITLE. I then asked if any of them would flip to the opening scene--the first sentence hook. NONE of them did. They said if the blurb sounded good they would buy the novel.

So, what I've learned is the cover of your novel and the title are VERY VERY IMPORTANT. Yes, we need a good opening hook, and yes we need good end of chapter cliffhangers, but none of these mean anything if the reader doesn't chose your novel.

What draws you to a book?

Two of Tabby's favorite books 

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her—even defy the gods.

Danika is on the run. For months she's eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won't rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can't forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear.…

Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter-and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.

Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.


Brenda said...

I was a little shocked to realize just how damn important a great cover and title is. Mind you, I shouldn't be because the cover and title are the first thing we see when we are searching for a novel.

Eldheni said...

I am not a 'romance' reader; although I do enjoy paranormal, my preferred genre is fantasy.
I have often considered this question and, assuming I am not drawn immediately to an author I know and love, the first thing I 'see' is title. In the bookstore and library, most books are shelved with only the spine out. I slide the book out to have a look, and yes, a great cover may interest me and make me more eager to explore further, but I don't buy a book for its cover.
I might...stress MIGHT...glance at the cover copy to see if it indicates the story would not interest me, but mainly I am looking for blurbs from other authors I know and trust that indicate the book is worth reading.
But what sells me on a book? The first page, a couple of randomly selected sections I read, and a glance at something near the end. If the story is holding together well, if I like the characterization I see and the plot looks interesting I buy the book.
For me what sells a book is not the cover or the blurb but the WRITING. Write on!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Before I began writing, I was a prolific reader. And it was the cover that drew me to the book each and every time.

When I read the back cover blurb and liked it, I bought the book.

I'd be interested in a literary agent's point of view on this subject :)

She said...

Being a reader, the first thing to draw me is the cover. The brighter, the better. The more skin, the better. Second is the title. Let it be unusual and I'm on it. Blurb is the third. I don't read any part of the book. If the cover, title,and blurb don't get me, I don't buy or read it.

Brenda said...

Hey there, She said. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. A few of my friends said exactly what you said, LOL. The brighter the cover, the better--hehehe, and yes, skin. And one friend did mention if the title is a little unusual that grabs her attention even more.

Eldheni, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's nice to know there are readers out there who don't judge a book by its cover, LOL!!!!

Brenda said...

Sheri, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I so appreciate it.
It would be VERY interesting to get a literary agent's point of view on this subject.

Liz Falkner said...

Great post and definitely on point. The cover is more important than ever - especially for ebooks.

If I'm buying a print book, I look at the cover, read the blurb, fan through a few pages and make a decision. For an ebook, I'm totally caught by the cover then the blurb. I don't read any of the chapter samples at all.

The only thing that trumps a fantastic cover for me, is how much I love the author. LOL. If it's one of my favorites, then I'll buy the book irregardless of what the cover looks like.

Brenda said...

Liz, you are so right. If I already know and love the author then the cover doesn't matter.
And yes, covers for ebooks are soooo important. There are so many choices that a great cover and title are a must!