|Photo credit: RLHyde on Flickr|
A short post today.
As I've been attacking my 2012 reading goal with a vengeance and will most assuredly surpass it this year, I've been doing a lot of reading. I’ve also read a Mount Kilimanjaro-sized flood of samples in the past few weeks and it got me thinking.
When it comes to book buying, what’s your deciding factor?
After devouring sample after sample and organizing them into “must read” and “not interested” piles in my brain, I’ve come across a rather unexpected discovery about my reading tastes.
You see, I always knew that voice was an important factor for me, but I never realized until recently just how important it is to me. I'd always assumed that genre would pretty much dictate what I choose to sample (and thus, even consider reading), but I've found that if I come across a book out of my normal reading genre with a great voice, it doesn't matter—chances are I'll add it to my "must read" pile anyway.
And if that means I'll be reading a little more widely from now on, well, let's just say I'm not too broken up about it.
Voice, however, isn't the only thing that matters. I've read a sample from at least one novel I can think of off the top of my head that had a fantastic voice and an interesting story, but the villain was so evil and cliché that I put it down immediately and moved on to the next sample (which is a shame, because I was about ready to buy it).
I think there's an important lesson to be learned from our reading habits—specifically from how we decide whether or not to buy a book. For me, the largest factor is the voice, followed closely by the depth of the characters—are they believable and interesting or do I want to laugh at their swirly moustaches when they're introduced?
We can apply our reading habits to our own novels by taking a step back and examining the beginning of your book. If you weren't the author, would you buy it based off a quick sample? If the answer isn't a 100% absolutely yes, then it might need some work.
I'm sure not everyone's book buying habits are the same as mine, however. What factors determine whether or not you decide to buy a book?