What Motivates the Book Buyer?

As authors we are driven to share insights, add value and make a difference. So what makes someone choose our book? Why does it get picked up off the bookshelf or added to a shopping cart online?

I recently asked my online friends how they choose their next book to read. Authors, take note of what drives readers to pick up your book. What can you learn from these responses?

  • I am in a few book clubs
  • I always buy my favorite authors' books the day they come out
  • I read newspaper book reviews
  • My friends recommend books
  • I just go to the bookstore and see what jumps out at me
  • I go by recommendations from magazines, emails and newsletters
  • I am attracted to them by their title, and story summaries, and eye appealing artwork
  • I am a back cover kind of gal! If it reads well, I buy it
  • At my local bookstore, I read the shelf talkers (written by the staff) on which books they enjoyed and why
  • I'm influenced by cross-promotion campaigns, like Amazon's, where they keep track of book reviews I write and leave on their site, and so I get emails promoting new books coming out in that genre.

So what are some of the lessons you can take away from these answers?

Judging a book by its cover. Publishers have a vested interest in designing attractive, well thought out book covers for your particular genre. However, your opinion is important therefore you should assert your participation in the design process of your book cover. Take notice of what covers attract your attention in the bookstores.

Creating a great back story. The content on the back of your book can be as important as the cover. Don't be afraid to guide your endorsers regarding the content of their testimonials. Better yet, offer to write a couple of sample drafts for them so they can sample pick one. Also, does your bio reveal bits of your personality beyond just your accomplishments? Make sure the reader can relate to you.

Giving credit where credit is due
. In the back of your book supply a brief bio, achievements and website information about anyone you mention or quote in your book. Your reader will appreciate your generosity and your resource will be grateful for the "referral."

Being a great guest. It is not always easy to come up with new content for a newsletter, radio show, tele-class, etc. By offering to be a guest blogger, interviewer or guest speaker you not only promote your own content, but you help the "host" provide material with less effort.

Creating raving fans
. In addition to starting with great content, you can create a strong following by letting your readers know when your upcoming book or product will be released. Use social networking and online marketing to create pent up demand for all of your product releases.

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: www.HowToWriteMyBook.com