What Makes A Reader Buy A Book?

I've been buying books lately as if they're becoming extinct. I just bought another that I saw listed in Mike Gallagher's Free Kindle Books and Tips. If you don't subscribe, you're missing a great blog.

With the one I bought that was listed on Mike's blog, I started thinking about what attracted me to each book. So I thought I'd take a few of these and tell exactly why I bought each one.

In no particular order, here are the books.

Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) by Robin LaFevers.

I looked at the cover and read the tagline: "Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?"

That was it. The tagline sold me on the book. It pushed my feminist-don't-be-a-wimp button. I glanced at the price. I clicked Buy.

I had not previously read this author. Did not take a sample. Did not read the Description, the reviews, or anything else. The tagline sold me. The cover image reflected the strength of the tagline. If it had been priced higher than $2.99, I probably would have given it a closer inspection.

A Lonely Resurrection (previously published as Hard Rain/Blood From Blood) by Barry Eisler.

I had previously read Eisler's John Rain thrillers. I like the character and I like the Japanese setting because I lived in Japan for several years. I think Eisler nails the Japanese culture and people in a way not too many westerners do. When I read a "John Rain" book, it's like revisiting Japan.

So, Eisler's previous books sold me on this book. Also, cover is good, title is evocative.

The Single Daddy Club: Derrick, Book 1 by Donna Fasano.

I don't usually read sweet romance unless it's by someone who's truly a master of the genre. Fasano packs so much emotion in that you just truly love the characters. This is her first book in her Single Daddy Club series.

So, Fasano's previous books sold me on this book. Also, great cover.

The Girls Come Marching Home: Stories of Women Warriors Returning from the War in Iraq by Kirsten Holmstedt.

The subject matter sold me on this book. I cannot tell you how much I admire the women who have served in Iraq. Returning soldiers -- men -- get the bulk of attention, and that is great, but women fought too. Some of them gave everything and sustained terrible injuries. They too suffer.

So, subject matter ruled supreme in this book choice.

I'm going to close this out with a note about a book that I'll be reviewing tomorrow, Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior by Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican.

I didn't buy this book. I was sent an advanced reading copy by the Social Media Manager of Hyperion Books, the publisher, and asked if I would read it for review. I did. The book is compelling and insightful.

I definitely would have bought this book, and here's why:

1. Subject matter -- Again, I am greatly appreciative of the men and women who serve our country. I've read quite a few military memoirs and find them fascinating and insightful. You get a look at what's REALLY going on in the world of fighting terrorism.

2. Great cover. It conveys the solitary nature of what our elite forces do.

3. Book description. It hooks you.

4. Just reading the book's dedication did it for me. More on that in my review.

On February 19, at 6pm (I presume that's EST), Rorke Denver, the author, will be doing a live video chat about his book. I'll post more on this tomorrow when I post the book review.

Takeaway Truth

Have you analyzed your last few book purchases to see why they hooked you? If you're a writer, that's a good way to zero in on successful marketing techniques.


  1. Good blog and great idea for one. Enjoyed reading it, and getting inside a buyer's mind ;-)

  2. Thanks, Janelle. Don't we wish we could read the mind of our readers?