Yay McCabe! Updated on January 13, 2013August 22, 2005 by megan Amanda’s Lady Midnight gets a glowing review at All About Romance. And, speaking of which, how many people buy books based on reviews?Word-of-mouth? Word-of-blog? The covers (Please don’t say the covers.)? Posted in Risky Book Talk | Tagged Amanda McCabe, Lady Midnight | 8 Replies
Congratulations, Amanda! Now I have to confess my silliness. I have not read LADY MIDNIGHT yet. My September book was originally supposed to come out in April and I remember thinking your debut historical was coming out at about the same time. Now why in the world did my poor brain continue to connect the books when my pub date got moved? Shall I blame it on my children? Anyway, thanks Megan for jogging my memory!
As to why people buy — I can only speak for myself! Recently, of course, I’ve been buying pretty much all the Regencies that come out (must support the genre!), but a long time ago, I would buy a book new if it had a recommendation from a friend, or if I knew I liked the author, or if it got a really good review in Romantic Times. I found Jo Beverley’s first book, for example, due to an RT review, and I found out about Carla Kelly due to a recommendation from a friend.
As I am also hoping to sell my YA fiction, I have taken a look at some teen reading bulletin boards. I was quite taken aback to see how many of them buy books based on the cover, or the title. (Over and over, I would read “If it has a good title, I’ll buy it” or something.) It made me writhe in agony, let me tell you! Two things the author has little or no control over, being the deciding point… (Luckily, I hear romance readers are a bit more discerning!) 🙂
I took a look the review of Amanda’s LADY MIDNIGHT on AAR — Brava, Amanda!!! (Though it gives away too many plot points!)
Like many book buyers, I have certain authors who are auto-buys, no matter what the cover looks like or what reviewers have written. But if an author is new, or new to me, I like to read some reviews just to see if the story sounds like something that would appeal to me. Comments posted on blogs or the AAR bbs are especially useful because of discussions over why people agree or disagree with a reviewer. My book-buying dollars are limited and I use my public library liberally. I often buy a book after reading the library’s copy.
Covers are interesting, but since it is SO true that you can’t judge a book by its cover I don’t really pay that much attention anymore.
OK, after reading this I had to dash right over to AAR and take in the review! 🙂 Thanks so much for posting this, Megan, it was quite the ego boost, and right when I needed a boost, too. I’ve been brooding about the “too many italics”, though. LOL.
As for how I choose books–I’ve been reading romances for about 20 years now, and have a pretty good idea of what I like. I have a few auto-buy authors (Judith Ivory, Liz Carlyle, Mary Balogh), though not as many as I used to. There are certain storylines I’m a sucker for (archaeology, princesses, tormented heroines, pseudo-nerdy heroes, weird stuff like that). A great cover might make me pick up a book in a store and read the blurb, but I wouldn’t buy it JUST for the cover. Most of the time. Unless I really, really like the heroine’s dress 🙂 And I read reviews mostly to find books I’ve overlooked that sound interesting, or check if a storyline might or might not appeal to me. And sometimes (though not often, since my checking account would scream with pain), I just buy something that sounds cool on impulse. I have been buying as many Regencies as possible lately, to support the genre and build up my stash for the future. I seem unable to leave a bookstore with a bag. My name is Amanda and I’m a bookaholic.
Long enough? 🙂
How do I (or we) buy books? Just back a truck up to the bookstore once or twice a month and fill ‘er up.
Re the “too many italics”… I feel for you, Amanda! It’s amazing how just a tiny little criticism in the most positive review will stick like a burr in the creative psyche.
I had a really good review for SAVING LORD VERWOOD which just had a tiny caveat that my prose was a bit overwrought in places. I spent waaaayyy too much writing time trying to figure out what I might have done differently…
Don’t worry about it (i.e. don’t do as I do)! 🙂
Very true, Elena. I’ve gotten pretty good at shrugging off negative reviews (you pretty much have to in this business!), but I still brood over them sometimes. It’s part of the “crazy artiste thing”, I guess! 🙂 I’d love to hear how others deal with reviews!