Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Women Talk

I knew when I got involved in blogging, I would become as addicted to blogging as I am to email. Fortunately, I have tempered my addiction with the reality of deadlines. So I'm eating my lunch and going through my blogroll and came across a fantastic blog by Jason Pinter on MJ Rose's site, about debut novelists getting a bunch of money--one's a success, one isn't.

But it's not Jason's commentary that really resonated (though it's fantastic, particularly his Janet Jackson comparison); it was the first comment on the blog about how women talk about books, and that's why women drive sales. According to this commentator, the book by the male author had "smut" sex--sleazy, not appealing to women--which is why the women who did read the book didn't recommend it to friends. I don't know if this is the case, but one thing is certain: women talk about books more than men. If women are talking about the book--recommending it to friends--creating that word of mouth that is essential for a book to really take off, you have a success.

What is your primary source of information when buying a new-to-you author? Browsing, word of mouth, pre-book buzz (ads, excerpts, reviews, etc), something else?


Anonymous said...

Most often by word of mouth. Some of my favorite books ever were recommended by trusted friends and relatives.

Nancy Morse said...

Some of the best books I ever read were recommended by a dear friend who has since passed away. He was my reading buddy and we'd talk for hours about the books. For the most part, I base my reading choices on favorite authors, recommendations from others whose tastes are similar to mine, ads, the book review section of the Sunday paper, book cover blurbs, whatever strikes my interest - romance, non-romance, fiction, non-fiction. Of course,there are certain authors and kinds of books I'm partial to, but I've been known to read just about anything.

Kalen Hughes said...

It's all about word of mouth. I will pick up a book with an intriguing title or cover, but I'm very unlikely to buy a a HB book by a debut author unless it was recommended by someone I really really really trust.

I’ve been burned too many times . . . and while I can shrug off a $7 book that sucked, it stings a bit more when I’ve made a $20+ blunder. At that point I start thinking books should be returnable.

Allison Brennan said...

Kalen, you make a great point--it's much easier to try new authors in mass market than hardcover. I've bought a couple hardcovers I've been disappointed in.

Cheryl Bolen said...

What a good question, Allison! Of course, our buying is influenced by all those factors. For me, surprisingly, word-of-mouth typically won't inspire me to buy. That's because I think of my taste as unique. I never follow the trends. (I could spend an hour at Blockbuster and never find a movie that appeals.) A lot of this is because I'm a traditionalist. (Which I know does not bode well for establishing a career in commercial fiction)

Even good reviews rarely inspire me to buy, though I can tell from a review if it's a book that will suit my taste. One thing that has encouraged me to buy is when an overwhelmingly high number of readers give a book a "5" on amazon or B&N.com. I cannot resist seeing what's so darn good about the book.