Word Of Mouth


As hinted at (if by hinted you mean COMPLAIN VOCIFEROUSLY) a few weeks ago, I am in the throes of moving. Which means writing, reading, etc., has been tossed out the window.

BUT that doesn’t mean you have to suffer (but if you want to, could you just pick that box up over there? Thanks.)


So let’s talk about books, shall we? Specifically, very good books. The All About Romance poll (I used to review for them a long time ago, I am a big fan of the site) just released its results for 2007, and the Best Romance for 2007 was . . . a tie! Between If His Kiss Is Wicked by Jo Goodman and The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt.

Did you notice that both were historical novels? Goodman’s is Regency-set, whereas Hoyt writes Georgian. I’ve read the Hoyt–which I liked, although not as much as I liked her Raven Prince–and I have the Goodman in my bag right now.

It’s pretty obvious now, but worriers who wanted to ring the death knell for historicals have been denied. The vamps did a good job at rattling historical’s cage, but historicals refuse to go away. Something about those feisty heroines . . . anyway.

I had the Goodman because various reader bloggers had raved about it, and I stuck it in a past Amazon order. I put it in my bag because of the poll, which leads me to some questions–besides reading every single word all of us Riskies have penned, how else do you find your books? Would you be inclined to read a Best Romance, even if it were in a genre you don’t normally read? Do you rely on the author quotes on the front? How the cover looks?

And the eternal question, what other time period besides Georgian/Regency piques your interest?

Thanks, and I’d say to wish me luck on the move, but I’ll be griping about it next week. Make sure to tune in.

Megan
PS: That last pic has nothing to do with nothing. Thanks to Abby for it.

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Cara King
14 years ago

how else do you find your books?

A recommendation from one of a handful of friends with similar tastes is number one for me.

Would you be inclined to read a Best Romance, even if it were in a genre you don’t normally read?

Sometimes — depending on how swamped my TBR list is!

Do you rely on the author quotes on the front?

If it’s one of my favorite authors, it does mean something.

How the cover looks?

That can get me to pick up a book, though it won’t get me to buy it.

Here’s hoping your move goes as painlessly as possible, Megan!

Cara

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

I pick books in many ways–recs from friends or on-line review sites or magazines, if it just looks interesting in the store(I agree with Cara–a cover might make me pick a book up, but if it doesn’t sound like my cuppa I won’t buy it). I have sometimes read books outside my prefered genres if it has a lot of buzz, but it usually doesn’t turn out to be something I love.

And I love MANY time periods! Renaissance, Restoration, French Revolution, the 1920s. Maybe not, say, medieval China. But then again if the book looked interesting…

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

My reading habits are too strange to be of use to any survey. I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like to, and, although I love Regency set historicals and traditional Regencies, I don’t read them much anymore, because I’m writing them and I don’t have patience for some of them or I don’t want to read a GREAT one, lest I throw up my hands and give up entirely.
So I read my friends’ books, mostly.

Otherwise, I read nonfiction research books. I’ve been reading a lot about paranormal phenomenon for a single title proposal, and about artists for a Mills & Boon.

In my normal days, I’d go by recommendation by a friend, an intriguing blurb or story synopsis, a cover, and maybe if they won or were nominated for a prize.

I’d never read a book because of the cover quote, no matter who it is.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
14 years ago

I love the Tudor and Restoration periods,and I think those are underrepresented. I also love the Gilded Age in America (probably why I’ve set my historical YA there).

I do read reviews, but I also rely on word of mouth and the back cover blurb. I’m more inclined to read it if its in a time period I love.

Abby
14 years ago

Yeah, that was a sweet find.. had to fan myself a little.

For me, there’s a difference between reading a book and buying it, as I’m a big library user. I READ all kinds of books based on online recommendations. The library is where I experiment.

I buy books only if I’ve heard a lot of buzz (like Hoyt and the Goodman book) and it also sounds like something I’d like.

I’ve bought books based on beautiful covers once or twice, but it’s almost always disappointing.

And I read most genres, though there are one or two I just can’t get into.

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

how else do you find your books?

Reviews, though I pay more attention to plot summary than grade. Word-of-mouth from friends with similar reading tastes. With nonfiction, giving good interview to Stewart or Colbert is a plus.

Would you be inclined to read a Best Romance, even if it were in a genre you don’t normally read?

Frankly, probably not, unless it was also recommended by a friend with similar tastes.

Do you rely on the author quotes on the front?

I used to, but I don’t anymore. I’ve been burned too many times. OTOH, if an author recommends someone else’s work to me in person or lauds a book on her website, I’ll try it. Those recommendations seem more reflective of an author’s style and appeal, for some reason, probably because no one is asking them to do it for promotional purposes.

How the cover looks?

Not really, though two of my all-time favorites are books I picked up because the cover caught my eye: Kate Elliott’s Jaran, which I know doesn’t look all that impressive, but I kept going back to the horsies, and Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Chosen, which caught my eye enough to make me pick it up, and when I saw it was a sequel, I found the less attractively covered first volume. Neither Jaran nor Kushiel’s Chosen has the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen, but both managed to stand out from the blur of similar covers in the science fiction/fantasy section enough that I picked them up to find out why they were different.

what other time period besides Georgian/Regency piques your interest?

Ancient Rome, though so far none of the romances I’ve seen set there have been what I was hoping for, namely a romance version of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina from Lindsey Davis’s mysteries. Ah, well, it’s a new market–I’ll keep giving it a chance. I’d like to see more American colonial romances, really any kind of American but Western, which I’ve never been a huge fan of. I’d also like to see British India, but preferably the 18th century when there was more cultural mixing and less direct rule and “white man’s burden” than you see in the Victorian era. And, jumping forward in time, I’ve often thought you could write a great romance set during the Battle of Britain.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Ancient Rome, though so far none of the romances I’ve seen set there have been what I was hoping for, namely a romance version of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina from Lindsey Davis’s mysteries.

Have you read the Harlequin Historicals set in ancient Rome, Susan? Louise Allen’s Virgin Slave, Barbarian King, Michelle Styles Gladiator’s Honor, The Roman’s Virgin Mistress?
I love that HH does a variety of time periods.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Covers, reviews, awards and author quotes don’t sway me much. In the past I’ve sometimes bought books based on those criteria and been mildly disappointed; the books were enjoyable but didn’t quite live up to the implied promises.

Mostly, I read favorite authors, friends’ books and books recommended by friends with similar taste. That’s enough to keep my TBR pile teetering.

Best of luck with the move, Megan, may you have NO adventures! (I never did understand that ad.)

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

Have you read the Harlequin Historicals set in ancient Rome, Susan? Louise Allen’s Virgin Slave, Barbarian King, Michelle Styles Gladiator’s Honor, The Roman’s Virgin Mistress?

I’ve read Gladiator’s Honor, and I read a bunch of reviews for Virgin Slave, Barbarian King before deciding that it was probably not for me. I love that HH is experimenting with ancient settings, and I hope they keep it up.

Jane
14 years ago

I get recommendations from Amazon and from blog sites. I like the Tudor period too and also the Victorian period.

Santa
14 years ago

You mean there’s another way other than reading the Riskies?

When I first started re-reading romances, I guess the cover got my attention followed by the back blurb. If I was intrigued, I bought. That’s pretty much how I do it now. I add on a select few new authors because, as my moniker notes, there are so many books and so little time.

I adore Regencies but also love to read Georgians, Mediviels(sp) and, within the last year or so, Westerns or Americana. I’d love to read more turn of the century from Europe and America but they are far and few between.

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Word-of-mouth from trusted sources is how I find 95% of my books these days. The other 5% is devoted the cover catching my eye.

Author quotes do nothing for me.

Last year’s “If His Kiss Is Wicked” by Jo Goodman and “Claiming the Courtesan” by Anna Campbell are this year’s “The Spymaster’s Lady” by Joanna Bourne. Amazing. Awe-inspiring. Fantabulourful.

Keira-who’s-fond-of-creatin’-freakin’-new-words

PS: my picture contribution

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

If it weren’t for Mills & Boon, we’d never see as much variety (historical and otherwise) as we do. Unlike the single title market, they’re remarkedly unstodgy and willing to give everything at least a try.

Todd
14 years ago

I typically decide to read a book outside of my “usual” genres because it looks or sounds intriguing. Sometimes I hear about it from a friend, sometimes I see something about it online, or whatever. But the main thing is if the idea grabs me.

I’m open to all kinds of time periods! In genres besides romance, I’ve read books set in ancient Rome, WWI, feudal Japan, Victorian England, Napoleonic France (kind of interesting to see the “other side”), T’ang China, 17th century Turkey, and the 1920s (among others I’m probably forgetting). In romance I’ve mostly read Regency and Georgian, but I’ve read a few outside that period, and I’d like to see them expand into other times.

Todd-who-needs-to-hear-about-fewer-intriguing-books-before-his-TBR-pile-collapses-the-floor

Heather S
14 years ago

I get all my romance recommendations from Risky Regencies and RRA-L! Folks on the latter are all excited about The Spymaster’s Lady at the moment, but I haven’t read it yet.

I got great recommendations from librarians when I was a kid and from co-workers and customers when I worked in a used bookstore as a teenager.

If I’m going to branch into sub-genres I don’t normally read, “best romance” is probably not a good representation of that sub-genre. I haven’t had great success with very general “best” lists in romance — probably because they aren’t weighted for how MUCH people like the books. They just end up representing how widely read a book is while mildly liked.

I like a more specific list like “best regency” or “best paranormal” or “best cajun secret baby doctor”. When I complained about being bored by current category romance a few years back, Cara suggested trying the RWA RITA nominees and winners. I keep meaning to 🙂

Cover design and picture will catch my attention and make me pick up someone new. But a new author with a bland cover is going to get missed completely unless I’ve gotten a strong recommendation for them from RRA-L or the Riskies. Like Abby, I get a lot of what I read from the library, so there’s an endless supply without costing more than my time.

I sometimes get recommendations with “similar taste” matching things (like the LibraryThing’s ‘libraries like yours’ feature). I’ve read things I’ve found that way but I don’t think found anything fabulous.