We’re halfway through the Holiday Season between the excesses of Christmas and the promises of New Year. For many of us this means clinging to a few more days of indulgence before we have to shake off our sloth and get back to work.
The weather outside, not to burst into song, is frightful. We’ve had gales and rain and biting cold without the pleasures of actual snowfall. What better time to curl up in the warm with a good book?
Many of you will have received books as gifts. I did myself. I gave a few, too. Some were the silly kind of book that you often end up buying for people at this time of year. Others were more serious bits of reading that I knew – or hoped – the recipient would enjoy.
Book buying in the holiday season tends to be somewhat different from the rest of the year, but it still got me thinking about a topic covered by own very own former ‘Rati, JD Rhoades, more than two years ago. Dusty asked what influences you as a reader to buy a book by an author you’ve never heard of before?
The comments were highly illuminating. But time moves on and buying habits do the same. With the sudden explosion in e-books, I wondered, what influences readers NOW in the choices they make?
So, with Dusty’s original questions firmly in mind, I devised a few of my own.
1. Where do you do most of your book browsing these days?
a) on line?
b) local indie store?
c) big chain or supermarket?
d) local library?
2. How much of your reading is
a) in print?
b) in digital format?
3. Where do you hear about most of your new books?
a) bookstore display?
b) bookstore recommendation?
c) discussion group? (If so, where/what kind?)
4. What makes you decide to try a book by a new (to you) author?
a) word of mouth?
c) personal appearance by the author at a store or convention?
d) on-line buzz or reviews?
e) book trailer?
5. How big a role does social media play? Have you ever decided to try an author because you’ve seen them posting on line and been intrigued or amused by what they have to say?
6. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook or any of the other social networking sites, does it put you off if an author constantly plugs their own work or does the repetition actually make you decide to give them a try?
7. How influenced are you by reviews? Not just reviews from respected blog sites or publications, but reader reviews on Amazon. Does the total number of times a book has been reviewed, or the number of five-star reviews influence your choice at all? Do you ever read the reviews?
8. If you’re buying a book on line, do you use the facility to read a free sample before you buy? And has this ever put you off the book?
9. How important is price, whether for an e-book or a print version?
10. Did you give or receive a book this Christmas? If so, what was it? And any suggestions for how you nicely wrap and gift an e-book?
This week’s Word of the Week is toxic, which means of poison, but comes from the Greek toxon, a bow and apparently has its roots from the practice of dipping arrows in poison. From this we also get toxophilite, meaning a lover of archery, which is not to be confused with toxicomania, a morbid craving for poisons.
Obviously, this is my last post of 2011. A very Happy New Year to all my fellow ‘Rati. Wishing you health, luck and happiness for 2012.