What gets me clicking the buy button?
Lots of things!
- A new book by a favourite author.
- A great cover.
- An intriguing book description.
- A great first line, as featured in a #FirstLineFriday post.
- A great review from a blogger I know and trust.
- A good price, especially a pre-order or new release sale.
There’s not much that gets me clicking faster than a 99 cent sale from a favourite author or an author I’ve heard other bloggers and reviewers rave about (I don’t always enjoy the book, but at least it didn’t cost me much to find out).
But what stops me buying?
A Confusing Cover
One that makes it hard to tell the book’s genre. True story: I went out to dinner with two writer friends last week and showed them the cover of a book I’ve been asked to review. Neither of them could tell whether the book was fiction or non-fiction, let alone what genre. That’s a cover fail.
A Lacklustre Book Description
The book description’s job is to get me to either buy the book, or to check out the first page. It needs to be short and snappy, and introduce readers to the main characters and the central conflict. If there’s nothing interesting in the description, I’m going to assume there’s nothing interesting in the book.
Here’s an example of the opposite: Richard Mabry’s latest Christian medical thriller novella. He’s sold me by the end of the first sentence of the description:
Things were going along just fine. Until the miracle fouled them up.
“Brother” Bob Bannister is content with his life and his itinerant healing ministry, until one night he finds that the woman who walks off the stage under her own power isn’t one of his shills. At that point, doubts begin to intrude on his previously untroubled existence.
Dr. Abby Davis is tired of her family practice and at odds with God. Dealing with critically ill and dying patients has crushed her spirit to the point she’s ready to quit. But she soon realizes that there’s more to healing than ministering to the physical body.
Scott Anderson was the oldest graduate of his seminary class. Then again, most of them hadn’t turned away from a medical practice, hoping to atone for past mistakes (including his wife’s death) by ministering to men’s souls. Now he hopes he hasn’t made a colossal mistake in switching careers.
Each of these individuals becomes linked to the other, and each finds that God has a purpose for them—but, as it often does, the lesson comes with discomfort.
Bad Editing in the Sample
I always check out the Kindle sample of a book from a new-to-me author. I keep reading until I find one too many errors, or until I reach the end of the sample. If I get to the end and am engaged in the plot and haven’t found any basic writing or editing errors, there’s a good chance I’ll buy the book.
An Expensive Book
I rarely pay more than $3.99 for an ebook, but that’s partly because I already have so many books on the to-read pile. If you don’t believe me, I sorted out my bookshelf a couple of weeks ago, and here’s most of my paper to-read pile. My Kindle pile is even bigger …
What about you? What makes you click the buy button … or not?