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Book-Talk Monday: How Do You Find Your Fiction?

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Romance Writers of America recently released their annual statistics on Romance reading and buying habits, and their findings were quite interesting.

Information source: Where do they get their information?

    1. Friend/word-of-mouth
    2 recommendations (publishers pay for targeted recommendations/e-mailings)
    3. bookstore shelf (publishers pay for premium in-store placement/signs)
    4. bestseller lists
    5. family
    6. other online sources
    7. email from author
    8. book club
    9. free promotional chapters
    10. other offline source (ad in a magazine)

* Ebook and print buyers alike find a subgenre they like and stick with it with top ones being Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Christian Romance (19% of overall market)

Activities that interest Romance buyers:

    visited an author website 41%
    saw a promotional book trailer 18%

    read an author’s blog and bought the book 16%
    followed an author on Facebook 13%
    gone to live author event and bought the book 12%
    entered contest 10%
    watched YouTube video featuring the author or book 9%
    followed author community on GoodReads or other community site 5%
    attended online author event 5%
    followed an author on twitter 6% (conversely 83% responded they had not done it and weren’t interested)

How do you find your fiction? Do you tend to fall in line with the statistics above, or do you have other, more trusted methods of choosing which fiction to read/purchase?

  1. Monday, January 23, 2012 4:13 am

    I’m the friend other people ask for recommendations! (Then they borrow my books.)

    I have a book review blog, so generally get new authors from one of the blogger programmes I am a member of – booksneeze, bookbloggers, or NetGalley. I follow the new releases of favourite authors, and that list gets longer every year (and includes Kaye Dacus, since I read and reviewed Turnabout’s Fair Play last year).

    I’m also a regular Amazon user, and get recommendations from others in their Christian Fiction and Christian Romance discussions. While I do visit author websites, that tends to be after I have already read and enjoyed one of their books. Then there is my good friend, Doug, the owner of my local Christian bookshop, who always has a new author for me to try.


  2. Sherrinda permalink
    Monday, January 23, 2012 6:13 am

    Hhhhhmmm, all of the above? Usually I read books from the people I’ve met online, or a book that I keep seeing featured on blogs. I do get suggestions from Amazon, but find that I tend to wait until a book is in Kindle format or is at a reduced price before I purchase. Preacher families with more than one child in college have a difficult time spending money on anything other than college, food, and gasoline. (a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much!)


  3. Monday, January 23, 2012 9:35 am

    When I actually buy a book for myself (as opposed to the library), it’s because of a few things: a) I know the author personally; b) I follow their blog, facebook, etc. (in other words, I stalk them); c) The cover draws me in at the bookstore AND it’s on sale (like Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey’s “Swiss Courier” at Lifeway – it intrigued me AND was marked down to $5.97).

    Like Sherrinda, I have a kid in college, and one trying her best to already be there, or at least be in as many activities as she would be in college. It’s expensive. When I buy a book, it means something.

    Which is why TFP was the last book I bought – and it wasn’t on sale. 🙂


  4. Kav permalink
    Monday, January 23, 2012 12:20 pm

    Definitely from online recommendations. I’m either following someone’s blog or have a book or author recommended by a friend or an author lists some of her favourite books. Once I latch onto an author I love I cyber-stalk them too. LOL. And I’ve been known to check out each Christian publisher’s website for their new releases before heading to the bookstore. But when I’m in the bookstore I hit that display wall first. I often find my fave authors there anyway. And there’s nothing like judging a book by it’s cover — and reading the first sentence to seal the deal.


  5. Abigail Richmond permalink
    Monday, January 23, 2012 12:54 pm

    I limit myself to Christian Fiction. I usually check the inside cover and if it says that all scripture references are from… it probably is a christian book.
    A lot of times as I am searching for a book on Amazon others will come up that are related.
    Also my family and I receive catalogs from Lifeway, Family Christian Stores, and Chistian Book Distributers. A lot of books in those catalogs.


  6. Rachel Wilder permalink
    Monday, January 23, 2012 12:55 pm

    Prior to ACFW it was the CBD Fiction catalog that comes out twice a year. I’d go through it and mark all the ones that caught my interest from the blurbs. It’s always either setting or subject that pulls me in.

    I don’t follow very many author blogs. I don’t follow authors on Twitter. I don’t watch book trailers. I don’t read reviews on Amazon or on book review blogs. I don’t really pay attention to the recommendations for me on Amazon either. I know what I like and how to find it.

    What I really wonder, though, is why there’s so much emphasis on authors HAVING to be on Twitter when survey results consistently reveal the majority of readers don’t care. I’m far more likely to like a page on Facebook than follow someone on Twitter. (that said, I do follow Saints TE Jimmy Graham on Twitter because he’s a hoot and a humble guy, and not all his Tweets go to his FB page) Just because singers, athletes and movie stars do well on Twitter doesn’t mean authors do. Readers are a totally different set of people than sports fans.


  7. Monday, January 23, 2012 2:12 pm

    I actually had to stop reading the couple of general-market romance review blogs I subscribe to . . . because my HRom Samples collection on my Kindle now holds over 100 samples of books I think I might *someday* get around to reading (the samples, I mean). So, other than personally knowing the author, I’m probably most influenced by friends and trusted reviewers.

    At this point in my life, trying to make-do on a part-time job and no freelance work on the horizon, price plays a big factor in what books I “purchase”—because right now, I’m only downloading those with a price of $0.00. But I’m still picky even with free books. First thing I do is look for books by people I know or authors I’ve read before. I almost always download those. For those authors I don’t know, I look at the cover. If it looks “self made,” I typically skip it. If the cover looks okay, then I look at the star rating. If it’s at least 4 stars, with at least 10 reviews, I’ll click on it. Once I’m on the page, I look at the larger cover image more carefully and then read the blurb. If the blurb is interesting, I then read the reviews, starting with the lowest-star ratings first. (I already know five-star reviews are going to be glowing. I want to hear from those who aren’t gushing about it.) Then, if I still am interested once I read the reviews, I’ll download it.


  8. Monday, January 23, 2012 6:21 pm

    I think when I buy books its cos of online forums, not so much reviews as I dont really read reviews. I do read interviews, I normally will buy cos of info online more from blogs and authors I have come to know but for me at a shop it will be the blurb about the book and often if its been talked about online. Like the latest Amanda Deeds Ellendale Gold many on an aussie link I am on were talking about how good it was and being Aussie and set in the gold rush era it captured my attention. (It was a great read).
    Online its often from online forums like the Love inspired forums at goodreads and blog and authors I have come to know which can come from newsletters. but again I will look at the blurb on the back. Its not reviews that will influence me normally.
    I to get books to review and I again go and check out the blurb about the book and the genre.


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