Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Good Cheap Read

I wince every time I open an email or receive a tweet or read a Facebook message that says:

A good cheap read.

Buy my book and help my rankings.

Buy this book. Partial proceeds are going to charity.

Help spread the news about my new book.

Here, buy my book. It's on Amazon.

It's only 99 cents!

And . . . those are the last books I'd ever think of buying.

First, nobody tells me what genre it is. At least give me a synopsis, even a blurb . . . throw me a bone, writer. Tell me what the heck I'd be reading and why it matters in my life. Entice me. Intrigue me. But I'm always surprised that I'm asked to buy a book without the first word about the story.

I read a lot. A book a week, I guess. Not ravenous but respectable. Occasionally I'll take 10 days when I'm over my head in work. And I have this huge pile of books that I've bought, been given, judged, and critiqued on my nightstand. Thirty at least. Yeah, I have a sturdy nightstand. You ought to see my Kindle, where One-Click Shopping makes buying so simple. So for me to buy a book means I'm definitely excited about the experience.

But nobody can get in your head and understand what the book's about. You have to bait, tease, advertise and suggest with tact that someone read your story . . . based on its merits. Not on how hard you worked or how much you love your own story or even how much the touching tale changed your life.

Inspire with the story, not the process. Readers want to purchase an experience, not buy a product.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Hope, you are right (as usual). Every time I buy a book in the bookstore, I read the first line. Give me the first line. Give me some questions that pique my curiosity. Give me some crumbs of the plot...and leave me hanging.

Heather Marsten said...

Excellent post! True, give a blurb or something to spark an interest - I haven't gotten a kindle or nook yet, so it is not something that I have to think about yet, but I wonder if there is a you get what you pay for attitude - some of the 99 cent books, if edited, I suspect could have sold to publishers.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

So true, why would I spend .99 on a book I know nothing about when I could put that towards a title that has caught my attention with an enticing blurb? Bargain books don't even make it to my TBR list unless they've truly hooked me.