I love reading. As a teen I was always reading. Fiction. Romance. Supernatural and even chillers. I started with Nancy Drew Case Files, moved on to Fear Street and then on to Dean Koontz, Danielle Steel, V. C. Andrews and L.J. Smith. I read them, loved them and if they had another offering, I read that one too.
This brought a question to my mind.
Why these books? Why these authors? Why do we pick the books we do? And how do we decide which authors to stay faithful to?
The answer to the fourth question is easy, because we love what they write. Now what about the first three? Lets break them up.
Why these books?
I can only speak for myself, so I will. I pick my books by their covers. Regardless of the saying "Never judge a book by it's cover" I still do. I think we all do. We must confess, no matter how hard we try, a vibrant, well done up cover draws us more than just a simple one. This doesn't mean the content of the simple covered book isn't worthy. There are several examples out there that contradict this, but in today's society, in this busy, busy world, the cover just can't be simple anymore. It has to grab ya. Do you agree?
The second is the blurb, the book description. It has to be a draw in too. The average length to a book blurb/description is 200 words in length. That isn't a lot. Book Cover Cafe goes over this more for you writers here. Two hundred words to draw a reader in with. That is quite a task for the author. For the reader, if it doesn't capture us, we move on. If it does, well we then go to the first page.
The first page. The third and final player in our decision. A friend of mine shared with me that if the first few sentences to that first page doesn't capture the reader, they move on. That readers today will only give a book thirty seconds of their time and if it doesn't interest them, they will look for another. Was this really true? I thought on it and then I researched.
You only get one chance to make a first impression—and that one chance with a reader lasts only minutes. -Writer's Digest, Chuck Sambanchino, Jessica Regel. (Click the link to read more.)
So maybe my friend was onto something.I didn't find anything on that thirty seconds, but I don't doubt it isn't true. What I did find does go along with what my friend said. Found in a discussion on Goodreads,I found readers on average do make their decision on sticking with the book on those first and second chapters. If they aren't captured within those first pages, they ditch the book.
Why these authors?
Why do we pick our particular author? (I'll go singular.)
To find an author we love and then stay dedicated to them, we must first find them. We try them out. See if we like their work and then decide if we'll stick around for the next read. Deciding on keeping the author pretty much goes on how we like their first book, their second and so on. Is there a time when we stop liking our author? I say yes. If I am disappointed in my author's books, this would persuade me to want to "ditch" my author. I haven't experienced this yet thankfully, but I can assume this does happen. Of course I had to research this and you will never guess what I found... This isn't necessarily so. On another general discussion on Goodreads, I found this topic- Authors you keep reading even though you have no idea why. You can't get anymore specific than that!
I'm sure there are more discussions like this, but I felt sharing this one was enough. So...maybe not all readers abandon their authors by one or two or even three bad reads. What do yo think?
Why do we pick the books we do?
We've already gone over how we choose our books in the first question, I know this. This question, at least in my mind, is wanting a more specific answer beyond picking the book. Perhaps I should have asked Why do we read the genres we do? That would be better, but it wouldn't involve why we pick other genres. If we do. Do we? And if so, why? Curiosity? By accident? We see a great cover, read the blurb. Like it. Go to the first chapter, get drawn in, buy the book and only after, realize it was a sci-fi. So are we now a fan of sci-fi? This made me think. Do readers try other genres? And if they do, do they stick with them? Here's what I found:
Does writing in different genres turn off readers? Author Toby Neal shares an author's perspective on this. " Most readers will "try" a favorite author's book in a different genre, but if they don't like it, they won't buy another." Click the link above to read what else she says about this.
What genres do you refuse to read ( and why should you shouldn't refuse to read them.) Novelist Mike Duran shares his two bits on what he thinks about readers sticking to one genre and why they should try another. " Good writing is good writing, no matter what genre it is." and " Reading different genres makes it possible to discover authors and styles you would have never encountered." Stood out to me. To read more of his tips on genre consideration, just click the link above.
7 Different Types of Readers : Which do you write for? Along with these two articles, this one came to my attention. Something I just had to share. Something for authors and readers. What type of reader are you? or What type of reader are you writing for?
Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer shares seven different types:
1. Readers who focus on character.
2. Readers who care more about what happens than who the people involved are.
3. Readers who want to know what happens in a book before they read.
4. Readers whose experience is ruined if they hear spoilers.
5. Readers who skip or skim passages.
6. Readers who feel panicky if they skip anything.
7. Readers who always finish a book.
She helps authors figure out who they are writing for and asks readers which reader they are. For me, I am the reader who focuses on character. I like my characters and their character. I love connecting with my characters. Forming that bond. I'm a fan of series, but would never turn away a solitaire. So...what type of reader are you?
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