One of the things that can be frustrating for indie-published, first-time, or generally-unknown authors is the overall hesitance of readers to take a chance on their work. Especially when there are as many bad books by traditionally published, well-known, and multiple-book authors as there are by authors in the above categories.
If you’re a reader looking to delve into some untested waters for #ReadWomen in December, how do you know a good author to take a chance on? I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret: I never read reviews when buying a new book.
Yes, it’s true. I never read book reviews before purchasing a book. I stopped a long time ago. I’ve been burned enough times by books that other people really, really liked, but I hated them (i.e. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak). Reviews tell me someone else liked the book, not that I will like the book.
I decide on a new book this way:
- If I’m in a bookstore, I walk the aisles and tables, or if I’m online, I select my genre of choice and then jump to page 2 or 3 (wherever the list of bestselling authors ends).
- I find a book with an interesting title and cover.
- I read the book description. Books that only have “testimonials” from other authors on the back, in place of a description, are put back.
- If I like the description, I read the first 10 pages. I don’t consider books that don’t have a sample online (what’s the writer hiding?) or have blatant typos.
If the book still holds my interest after I read the first 10 pages, I buy the book. Simple as that. And, if I buy a book I don’t like, oh well. Goodwill and Half-Priced Books are perfectly good dumping grounds for them.
P.S. As an author who is also a woman, I will now offer my book for your #ReadWomen consideration. Into the Darkness is a dark fantasy novel featuring strong female leads and an action-driven plot.