3 Reasons Readers Buy Books

What makes a reader choose one book over another?

Disregarding the book's author, most readers look for a specific type of book. They find that book by browsing through bookstores--either online or in a brick-and-mortar store.

In browsing for a book to buy, readers are checking 3 elements from book to book: the cover, the tagline, and the blurb or description.

What these 3 elements have in common is that they all make a promise to the reader.

Making Promises to Readers

That's right. The cover, tagline, and blurb are promises, and the promises should all be the same thing.

If one of the elements promises something different, then the reader probably won't buy the book.

The Promise the Cover Makes

The cover doesn't necessarily have to recreate a scene from the book. However, if people are shown on the cover then their physical characteristics should match the characters' physical characteristics in the story.

The cover should be a visual representation of: the genre of the book and the tone or "feeling" of the book. The cover promises the reader who is looking for a particular type of story that the book is what the reader wants.

For instance, if a book is a contemporary romance, the cover should reflect that. If a book is firmly in a sub-genre like romantic comedy, there should be something about the cover that represents that unless you want to appeal to the larger contemporary romance readership.

By the same token, mystery, horror, science fiction, etc. books should have covers that represent the specific genre in which they're categorized. A mystery should have a cover so it's never confused with a contemporary romance.

This marketing concept is one reason mixed genres are so hard to market, i.e., what kind of cover do you slap on a comic mystery with a strong romance?

The Promise of the Tagline

By the same token, the tagline--that punchy sentence at the beginning of the book description--is a useful marketing tool. It should excite and intrigue. If the reader wants an emotional romance, the tagline should deliver a sentence that promises the reader the book is exactly that.

So if our imaginary reader is looking for a contemporary romance and the cover says that, and the tagline says that, then the next element that must pass the test is...

The Promise of the Blurb

Yes, the all important blurb--those few paragraphs that introduce the main characters, the conflict, the premise, and the possible ending--happily ever after or something at least satisfying or perhaps create a question in the reader's mind: will they or won't they get together?

The blurb should tell the reader: "Yes, this book is what you're looking for!"

Every one of the 3 elements should identify the book in the same way.

Cover: mystery

Tagline: mystery

Blurb: mystery

Or whatever the case may be.

Never make the reader guess what genre the book is in or what it's about. She/he should instantly know by looking at the cover that it's a romance, mystery, romantic comedy, horror, etc. Then the tagline and the blurb reinforce that.

Takeaway Truth

Remember the promises of those 3 elements when you're listing your book for publication and never break those promises if you want to grow your readership.


Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * YouTube * Joan's Website.

Be the first to know about Giveaways, Bargains, New Books, sign up for Joan's Mailing List.

No comments:

Post a Comment