Sometimes I pick out a book on recommendation or a favorite author has something new out. In most cases, however, I look at the covers for something intriguing and read the blurb and decide on that basis. It appears I've very superficial. How about you?
Lots of methods - non scientific... If it's not an author I'm already familiar with, it's usually the cover first, or the title if it's easily readable at a distance. Then I'm on to the blurb. If that doesn't put me off - and I'm way to old to be impressed by "...in the tradition of Dune" or "...for those who enjoyed Lord of the Rings" - I then tend to read the first couple of pages and a selection of pages from later in the book. Finally it's over to gut instinct. I'll admit I'm not swayed by personal recommendations, as my own tastes vary depending on mood - it's one of the reasons I have so many unread books. For example, I've just re-read 'Elric' and I'm now tackling 'Death Without Company' which is the second Walt Longmire novel by Craig Johnson, a police procedural set in Wyoming (definitely not sci-fi) - I picked up the first Longmire book after seeing an advert in a Sunday paper for the Longmire tv series. After that I'm planning on reading 'Winterstrike' by Liz Williams (second-hand copy from a charity shop).
Honestly - and why should I lie to my peeps? - I buy books from authors I've already enjoyed reading. Beyond that, I see a lot of movies and if a movie moves me, then I'll buy the book it's taken from, even if it's re-reading Time Machine by HG Wells. How a book evolves is so interesting, like Frankenstein or Bram Stokers Dracula, for instance. The classics still hold some sway with my $$$.
By its cover, really, I look at the art, and if the artist can capture my attention, a visual hook, I give it a glance.
But most of the time I read the book reviews. The trouble there, many times i find the review written better than the book.
As far as the book reviews being better than the book, it's obviously the same way with movie trailers. With my books I have had hundreds of people download the first 15% of my books, but my book SALES are FAR below that...so maybe the same thing is happening there?
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