I was just browsing my Kindle looking for something really good to read. As always, I find myself torn between my Kindle and paper books and also torn between Indie writers and the prize winners. Today, Kindle won as I have a day ahead of me with a lot of going-to-places on the bus and waiting-my-turn. On such days, Kindle is perfect as I can bring a wide selection of books and buy new ones if I need to.
But then my next dilemma arises! What to buy? I go from the Indie writers to the prize winners, from recommended to new arrivals, searching for that perfect title: a mixture of brilliant writing, great plot, thought provoking philosophy, deep characters and genius imagination. It’s not always easy to find that title. I download samples, read reviews, compare titles, often ending up having spent my reading time trying to find something to read.
And now I wonder how others select what to read. How many people buy a book based on a great cover, a catchy title? How many judge from reviews? (I often find reviews misleading as people judge from so many personal tastes and views, you’ll never know if they match your own.) The only reviews I really take to heart are the ones saying the writing is bad. Nothing makes me drop a book as much as bad writing.
The prize winners seldom have bad writing. Most often, they have the whole package, leaning towards perfection! My beloved perfection. Today I chose: All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I might as well have chosen an Indie author with 3 reviews (most likely from family and friends) or none at all. Then it would probably have been a fantasy story, at the moment I’m devouring apocalyptic stories on survival and hardship. Who knows what will come after that. I’m nearly through the collection of The Irish End Games by Susan Kiernan-Lewis. However, I’m needing a break from it. I like the story but at the moment it’s a little too much plot on plot on plot, too thick and compiled, if that makes any sense. I know I’ll go back to it, though, since I have to know how it ends.
Back to the question: what sells a book? I have to say, I don’t know.