I don’t know about you, but for me (when money is involved) it is hard for me to choose to read a book by a new author. There’s just so much that could go wrong! As an avid reader, I have spent lots of money on books, and frankly, there is nothing worse than starting a novel and realizing that it is not going in any direction that you find fascinating. So, I have come up with a really good list that helps me choose a good book, by a new author, and be satisfied with my purchase:
1. Ignore the cover. This piece of information is usually helpful if the cover is stunning. A stunning cover does not a good book make. If a good book has a horrible cover, well, it can be hard to get too excited about it. Especially, if it’s an embarrassing cover. They don’t all have to have half-naked people to make you embarrassed to carry them around (though with e-readers this is less of a problem). Or, the cover looks like something I can put together. Sometimes you may doubt the content, if the author cannot create a good visual for their novel. But don’t pass them by. That said, just ignore the cover, remember that what is on the inside counts.
2. Read Reviews. Read the good ones and the bad ones. Sometimes I start with the bad ones first. People can be brutal for silly reasons. You should never, IMO, give a bad review because you ordered the book and it didn’t arrive on time! That’s just mean. Find out why people didn’t like it. Was the heroine TSTL (too stupid to live)? Insta-love? No plot? Too much drama? Or you just didn’t like the way a city was portrayed? Reading is subjective, but sometimes you can see if there is a common problem or just a specific problem. Reviews usually sell a book to me, particularly if I find a blog and notice that that blogger’s opinions line up with mine own. But what if there are no reviews? That’s what the rest of this list is for.
3. Read the first few pages. If they are available, (and on Amazon they usually are), read the first few pages. The first few pages, will give you the style of the author. A really good author pulls you in from the first page, but sometimes an author needs a chapter or two to get you invested. That’s fine, and if their writing is good you won’t mind the wait.
4. Don’t give author recommendations too much weight. I’ve done that before. I’ve seen a book recommended by an author I loved and went out and bought it. Sometimes, you have to consider that authors are not lying to you, but they are sometimes good friends, or what they actually said had no substance. However, the higher up the author is who reviews the novel, will give you an idea as to the quality of the book.
5. Make sure it’s what you want. This means read the blurb on the back. If you want a romance, you can usually tell from the back of the book if it’s a romance. But, upon occasion, you can’t. Don’t be like me though, don’t turn to the last page and make sure that a guy and a girl gets together in the end. That would be juvenile (but it works, mostly, except that one time I got punked because the author killed off the main guy and had her marry some random guy at the end…so.upset.)
6. You could just be spontaneous and surprised! Never liked the idea of this one as I am a natural planner and cannot stand surprises!
Anyone have anything to add?