Fri
Jan 17 2014 7:14am

What’s the Biggest Factor in Your Book Purchases?

With the book marketplace changing so rapidly (and, it seems, irrevocably), book consumers' way of choosing what to buy is also changing.

So what most affects your decision to purchase a book? Is it word-of-mouth, price, availability, format, genre, blurb, or something else?

What's the biggest factor in your book purchases?

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15 comments
RedIza
1. RedIza
Price first, because I'm not rich and have already so many books to read ! Then word of mouth : if many people fall for the same book for reasons I would choose, I follow (I can resist anything but temptation !).
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
A lot of it is still based on Amazon reviews. Buying books on Amazon was my main source for doing so, even before I had my Kindle. Now if I like the premise (and haven't heard word-of-mouth about it beforehand, so I guess that's another major factor), but I'm on the fence, I'll go to the reviews and look at the WORST review. If the reviewer is giving me feedback about why they hated it and I know I'll hate it for a similar reason, then no-go, but if they hated it and it's something I can get over, I'll still buy.
RedIza
3. Vol Fan
Word of mouth, reviews and then price. But I have to say that price is edging up to the top of my list lately. Now that my library has started offering ebooks, I am determined to stop spending those prices that are outragous. Now if a book is moderately, or low, priced, I would actually rather buy it. That way I am not locked in to a time frame for reading it. For instance, I am trying to muddle through The Lymond Chronicles (first book) from the library and I've already had to get it for a second time. Still haven't made it to half-way either! That is one slow book to read LOL.

Seriously, though, books seem to be getting more expensive & I am spending way too much on them. I have to resolve to do better in that regard.
Barbara Bauschka
4. njoireading
I used to buy tons of books on Release Tuesday and read through the month. It became expensive and my TBR pile grew. Then I discovered a used bookstore and reduced my expenses but still had a large TBR. I was reading about 200 - 220 books a year but still had many to go. Then I bought a nook (I had one of the first ones, and use a color nook now, although my spouse and daughter have the newest)......and everything changed. With the ability to purchase when I wanted to read a book, not when I was at a store, or online ordering for delivery, I found I did not purchase nearly as many books. I went through my TBR pile....and no longer have one. I started really paying attention to pricing, looking at other websites and most of all, reading reviews and participating in blog discussions. I now have a calendar where I have books listed on their respective release dates. If it is a book I have been waiting for....I probably have a pre-order if the price was right. If not, I will usually wait and look for the best price. For the rest of the books, I scour blog sites, read reviews and in many cases, have saved myself money by doing a bit of "due diligence" before purchasing a book. My reading numbers are definitely down (last year only 163 books) but I think the quality has gone up. I am more discriminate in what I read, as well as what I am willing to pay.
RedIza
5. JacquiC
I read a lot of reviews, mainly on blogs like this one and others that cover my favourite genres and seem to be written by people who share my taste at least some of the time. If a storyline sounds appealing, I will check it out on Amazon. Then I do what a previous poster does -- I read the WORST reviews on Amazon. If it is someone complaining because the book is a romance or contains some sex, I likely ignore the worst reviews. If numerous people complain that the characters are shallow and the plot unbelievable (for example), I might hesitate. If a book is deeply discounted and I have really liked some blog posts about it, I might buy it anyway. With authors I love, I will spend more money, though I start to hesitate when an e-book costs more than $10 CDN. I am making liberal use of my "Wish List" now, instead of just acquiring everything that looks interesting. Hopefully, some things on my wish list will go on sale...
RedIza
7. Kahintenn
This is such an important question...I wonder why Amazon and Barnes and Noble are not asking me this! (Maybe they already know, based on my purchases.)

I buy almost nothing on paper any more, not even magazines. I get those along with Kindle purchases and read them on my iPad, and I have a first edition Nook as well. Like other commenters, when I first got the Nook I bought books like crazy. Then my library started to stock more ebooks. Now, when I identify a book I want (I like the author, or read a review that intrigued me or a post on H&H, or got an email from Amazon or B&N announcing and describing a book that sounds interesting) my first step is to check my library's ebook system. (As you can guess from my userid, I live in Tennessee and eastern Tennessee has a pretty good online library system...better, in many ways, than our bricks and mortar libraries. But I digress.). The library ebook system even lists preorders as soon as they are entered in the catalog. If I find the book there, I put it in hold and know that it will eventually pop up in my inbox.

If the book is not available and I want it immediately then the decision is 100% price. Whoever has it the cheapest gets my money.

But if I don't feel like I must have the book right away, then I enter it into my book spreadsheet with a notation of its publication date, and then when I run out of things to read, I look in the spreadsheet for those books I haven't read, and try the library again.

I read so many books each year that I really never run out. I have 800 books on my Nook and 100 on the Kindle app, and 10-15 on hold at the library at any one time.
RedIza
8. Sapphiree
Genre, then friend recommendations, and goodreads/blog/amazon reviews before I choose that book. I don't buy print anymore since we move and travel so much and storage space used to be an issue. I hardly ever read it right away, sometimes it sits on my kindle for 2 years before I get to it.
Patricia Wilkerson
9. Proofreaderpat
The author first,then recommendations from reviews,followed by subject matter.
Kareni
10. Kareni
I'd say a known author is probably the biggest factor for me. Cost as well as availability of funds (via a gift card) and of a coupon (i.e., from B&N) are also factors.
Elizabeth Halliday
11. Ibbitts
There are a number of authors on my auto-buy list.
Now and again I'll read a recommendation, or hear one from a friend, about an auther new to me, and I'll do a bit of research to see if I think I'll like their work.
I read a lot of books every year, so I heavily utilize my local library. And price is a factor, so sometimes I wait for the paperback release to avoid hard-cover pricing.
Occasionally I'll purchase eBooks from Amazon.com, but it's somewhat rare because I don't have a reader and I really don't like to sit and read on the computer, so I usually just get the ones that I'm really, really interested in and the only format available is eBook.
Carmen Pinzon
12. bungluna
I juggle reading lists like a circus performer!

I have a must-buy list that gets purchased on release day in whatever format it comes out. I still prefer dead-tree books for my keeper shelves.

I then have a must-read list that gets requested at the library about 3 months in advanse to make sure I'm placed at the top of the waiting list. My friendly neighborhood librarians know me on sight and tremble when I push through the door.

Finally, I have a subscription service from which I get 9 books at a time, all paperbacks. I get new authors and genres that I wish to sample which are not provided by my library.

Latelly, I've been getting an e-letter that tells me which books are free at Amazon. If something sounds interesting, I download and sample. I've found some interesting new authors this way. Reviewed books that sound interesting at various sites I frequent get placed on this list.
Rakisha Kearns-White
13. BrooklynShoeBabe
I have so many algorithims (sp?) for chosing which books to buy. Here are few below.

1. (Cover+author+plot)-price
2. Plot+(author+reviews)+price
3. Cover+plot+genre+price
4. (Reviews+plot)+cover+price
5. (Author+Plot)+Setting/Genre+Price

(Somewhere, my high school math teacher is having a coniption fit over my bastardization of mathematical principles. lol.)
RedIza
14. readerdeb
I read everything but cookbooks in e-form. I travel a lot for business and love having lots of books at my fingertips. Like most of the other posters, I select books in a variety of ways, but start with authors I like and reviews from blogs like this one. Price certainly comes into it and I check my library to see if they have the book and how long the wait list is. I then check Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and other e-bookstores for the best price. Since I have an iPad, the seller doesn't matter. I still like to go into bookstores to browse for new authors. I also check the book of te day from Amazon and B&N, plus the book of the week from iBooks. I have found some interesting new authors that way.
Regina Thorne
15. reginathorn
For me, it's a combination of the author (there are some authors whose books I MUST have, and since I also read a lot of series, I will buy the latest in a series as soon as it comes out. Even though sometimes I might not read it until the next book is imminent, which is weird, I agree!!) and also price. I've signed up to all the "daily deals" for Kindle, and if something is $1.99 I might take a whirl on it (though I'm trying to be better about checking the library's holdings first, since even $2 per day is $730 per year and I KNOW I buy more than that!!) And my TBR "pile" (virtual, on GoodReads) is rather ridiculous, especially if I think about stuff I want to reread!! Contrary to some other commenters, I think I've actually bought even more books since I got my Kindle, but they don't take up quite as much space. Which is a win?

@Vol Fan: If it's any comfort, it took me three weeks to read through The Game of Kings as well and I've read it twice before :D (The end is really great, though!)
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