Friday, April 30, 2010

Effective Marketing

At BookEnds, we’ve been working on updating the publicity guidelines we hand out to all of our clients. We try to give them ideas of where we feel their time and money are best spent and will hopefully result in actual book sales.

We love to give them specific examples of unique/effective marketing tools. Obviously, we’ve heard great stories from our authors over the years, but we also thought it would be great to hear directly from book buyers.

So tell us! What clever publicity tricks have led you to buy an author’s book? Was it a mention in a magazine article? A book signing? A giveaway at a conference? A blog interview? A book trailer? An author’s speaking engagement? What examples of clever, effective marketing have you seen from the authors you love?



Anonymous said...

People magazine..I know it's not clever but I read the reviews and base my choices on what is written about a book, story line, plot etc. They do Short Story reviews 'em,bought'em,read 'em.
NO...I don't work for People. Hey..does anyone in your firm agent Short Stories?
Get an author in people, I'll buy the book.

Megan Burke said...

The best book marketing I've ever seen is posted here, on my blog:
I took a photo of it while at a shopping centre.

It was so brilliant and fantastic!

Meagan Spooner said...

For me it's always been word of mouth, and I think that holds true now more so than ever. I used to work in this kind of marketing and I think it could be even more valuable a tool for books than for the movies and TV shows for which it's often used.

Nieman Journalism Labs did an interesting study on this, which I'm sure you've seen:

Of those tricks on the list, though, I think the most compelling are book signings/author appearances. That said, I'd be much more likely to attend those if I'd heard from someone else that the author/work was good.

Jane Lebak said...

Like Meagan, I find word-of-mouth has led me to most of the good books I've found in the past five years.

Reading books hyped through "regular" channels has led me to several disappointments and unfinished books.

But if someone mentions a book during a discussion on a non-book-related online forum, I will sometimes follow it up on Amazon, and that route has led me to several books I never would have considered reading on my own but which were good enough that I purchased after reading the library copy--and then went on to recommend to others.

I've also looked into books based on online reviews from individuals I trust, and a few times based on radio interviews.

I've never purchased a book because of a blog tour, a book trailer, or a conference giveaway.

Anonymous said...

The most important marketing I've used to buy books? A website and blog. I might check out a book by an author I don't know, but if the author has a cool website and a regularly updated blog, they've hooked me for life. I love authors who participate in online events, vlogging, guest blogging, and 'getting involved' events by authors in the community.

I'm not as interested in facebook or twitter. However, I'm turned off an author pretty fast when their blog is entirely dedicated to selling their book.

Similarly, I've been sold on really good book trailers, but turned off on really bad ones. Example: Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver trailers got me to go buy their books (which I'd never heard of before stumbling over their trailers)

I've been to super cool library events themed around a book release where the author wasn't even there but the enthusiasm by those hosting sold me.

Kimber Li said...

As a blogging book reviewer, my first and best advice is for the author to

know your readership.

Are they online? Where? How often? Do they rely on their friends or Blog Buddies for recommendations? Do they like discussion? Do they just want the facts?

Know your book. Know your readership. Then, go looking to see what works for other books and readerships like yours. And then make up your own stuff too.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Great advice! I'm taking notes...since I can't rely on my publisher (small press),I have to get myself out there by myself.

Mark Terry said...

If you'll allow me a slight diversion. Stephen Parrish and I are having this discussion on my blog today. Stephen, by the way, has an interesting promotion going on--it's online treasure hunt and the winner gets a for-real 1 carat diamond.

Anonymous said...

Book covers are one thing that prompts me to buy a book. That's not really something the author can "do" but the publisher can.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a Debbie Downer on this, but no traditional marketing trick has ever made me buy a book...but reviews from bloggers I like have. Getting ARCs or even free copies after the book is published to well-read bloggers in the genre may seem small potatoes, but I think it can touch off a lot of good word-of-mouth publicity.

Anonymous said...

A good review from someone I know (or someone whose opinion I trust). A well-designed website or blog that says clever things. Cover copy that makes it sound like something new.

I'll read a book that's mentioned in a magazine or given away, but I won't necessarily buy it (I'll borrow it from a friend, or from the library, unless I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it!). I hate book trailers; they actually make me less likely to pick up a book.

Mark Terry said...

Since I'm in the middle of promoting my latest novel, The Fallen, my perspective is that 1. good reviews matter; 2. you have to do a little bit of everything, not one big thing (although one big thing if it works can help); 3. blog tours can be a very effective and efficient way to get your name out there; 4. good support from your publisher makes all the difference in the world; 5. don't discount the advantage of a good cover.

Anonymous said...

Word of mouth from someone I personally know, and I am not talkin Oprah, is the only reason besdides the front cover and then the blurb on the book that I have bought a book.

My daughter read Chris Krutcher because he came to her school, but she only read the one book and she was done with him.

Lydia Sharp said...

Word of mouth from people I know and trust is still the number one factor for me. But I'm also swayed by recommendations from people I don't know, through book blogs and other such reviews, and recommendations from writing organizations that I admire, such as the SFWA, RWA, etc.

And, I'll admit, sometimes all it takes is an attractive cover that stands out on the bookstore or library shelf. That's actually how I discovered one of my favorite YA authors, Sarah Dessen, and one of my favorite sci-fi authors, Iain M. Banks.

Kaitlyne said...

The Colbert Bump. Seriously. Aside from having recommendations from friends, it is the only thing that was a designed promotional thing that actually got me to buy the books. Generally, I'd see an interview and be impressed by the author and check out the book. Even got me buying non-fiction, which I usually never do.

Unknown said...

I think your blog-reading audience is skewed toward blog reading! But I, too, have read books based on blog reviews. Normally I get them from the library (I'm a poor grad student) but I'm about to go out and buy HUNTED BY THE OTHERS once it comes out because of the All things Urban Fantasy Blog. I also bought SOULLESS because agent Kristin Norton talked about it so much on PubRants.

At a conference last month I bought two books of poetry (and I almost never buy poetry) because the authors were there doing discounted sales and signings ... and there were also mimosas involved. Hmm ...

Mira said...

I know this may be weird, but I do like book trailers.

And I've definitely checked out books from authors I connect with on blogs as buddies - or if I like someone's post, or think what they have to say is intruiging or funny, I might check out what they write.

As an aside - it's really fun to tell a debut author you bought their book. It's rare to be able to make someone else that happy. :)

I have to admit the opposite is true, though. I've been annoyed with a blogger, and that's led me to check out their books as well. I haven't bought any books that way, yet, though. Not even for the pleasure of stomping on them and throwing them across the room.

I did buy a book or two from the sidebar of agent's blogs - and I have a couple on the list from interviews with authors, or blog posts done by authors.

But, honestly, that's really hit or miss. The best advertising for books that I've seen recently are the ads for Kindle and I-Pad. Those ads alone make reading cool and mainstream. Powerful stuff.

I drive by a huge billboard every morning for the I-Pad, and it makes reaches out to want know you want this.......

Also, about a month ago, I heard an ad on the radio for a book. I couldn't believe it. That was the only time I've ever had that happen. I never heard it again, which is too bad. I was so flabbergasted at the ad that I forgot the name of the book.

Interesting discussion, Kim. Thank you - Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Spy Scribbler said...

First place is co-op (although not lately, for some reason--I can't remember the last time I picked up a book from the front tables, even though I check them three or four times a week), then word of mouth, and finally a little bit of blogging... but blogging about the actual book is not usually helpful.

Since I've seen her on Facebook all the time and here, I've been meaning to try Kate Douglas's books, but I didn't get snagged until Kindle offered one for free. (Now snagged. :-) )

Other than that, it's trolling through the shelves. I'll spend hours reading every single back cover, LOL. I just like to know what's out there.

Kimber Li said...

Word-of-Mouth is big for the readers who visit my blog.

Put good money into the best website you can afford. Provide free content like sample chapters and short stories. Blog only if you enjoy it, because if you don't it will show and drive readers away. If your readership is online, be where they are, whether it's Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, whatever. Take part in cross-blog events when you can. Actively partipate in the cyber-conversations. Always be excrutiatingly nice to blogging book reviewers, even if they give you a negative review. The readers I know do NOT like unpleasant authors, whether they're justified or not. And they know blogging book reviewers do it for love alone.

Unknown said...

I hate to say it, but book covers are what draw me in the most. Even online. I had a Lee Childs book in my hand that a friend recommended, and was on my way to the register, when I saw a cool cover of a book called Into The Storm.I stopped in my tracks, read the blurb on the back and realized it was exactly the kind of book I love. Even though it was in the sci-fi section, I bought it. I've since bought the next two in the series, and the fourth comes out next month. Yay!

I purchased the next two on Amazon, which then sent me those "you might like" suggestions, and the cover of one caught my eye. This was even more hard core sci fi. I never read space books before, but the cover and premise intrigued me, and I had to by Dauntless, by Jack Campbell. I hope that when I get home today, the sixth book in that series is in my mailbox. :-) See how well covers work?

Robena Grant said...

I belong to two bookclubs, and one is online. Both require a book be read and reviewed each month. At the physical bookclub we discuss which books we'll read for the next three months, and the rule is if you suggest a book you have to have read it. That brings up many suggestions, and even when we don't choose a book for the club to read and discuss as a group I'll often go and purchase it.

I hate the heavy sell. The constant sell. The tweets, etc. I read reviews in magazines, and often pop into different reviewer blogs but the best marketing device ever is word of mouth, from someone who has actually read the book not just heard about it.

gj said...

It's not terribly new or exciting, but make sure you've got the first chapter posted somewhere easily accessible, either at the point of sale or on a website or blog.

I was searching recently for some new authors to try, and I had a list of 5 names, and the first one, the one I really, really, REALLY wanted to like, based on the plot summary and reviews -- I could not find an excerpt anywhere. Not at the major on-line booksellers. Not at the author's website. Not through google. Not anywhere.

Crossed that name off and went to the second one. No excerpt at the sellers' sites, but there was one on the author's website. Except it was for the SECOND chapter. Which made no sense to me at all. I don't want some random chapter, I want the first one. And by skipping it, the message I got was that the first chapter wasn't as compelling as the later one, and if the first chapter isn't compelling, then I'm worried that there will be other lesser chapters.

Crossed that name off the list. Easily found excerpts for the other three and bought the other three!

Suzan Harden said...

LOL Three things have made me buy books this year.

1) Word-of-mouth, but not just any old recommendation. The personal contact knows my tastes.

2) Anthologies. I know a lot of people in the publishing busienss regard them as passe', but a w-o-m about Charlaine Harris led me to an anthology she headlined. It had a short story by Jim Butcher. I then sucked up all of his Harry Dresden novels. Another anthology headlined by Butcher led me to Kat Richardson, etc.

3) A good title that either cracks me up or makes me stop and think. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Amazon Ink. Soulless.

WriterGirl said...

mostly i just pick my books by browsing the stores so i guess jacket copy and cover art! i also google whatever i'm in the mood to read, so for example "top ten YA contemporary fiction" i end up with a bunch of list and just read the blurbs to see what takes my fancy. i've never really noticed much book marketing out there. i'm sure it's there but i'm not paying attention

Tracy said...

Like a lot (not alot) of other commenters here, I generally choose my books based on word of mouth, and book covers that draw me toward picking up to see what it's about.

However, I discovered my favorite author (she writes both adult & YA books) about a year ago, when she was coming through town on a book signing tour for her latest release. I wasn't able to go to the signing, but I was in the store the week before hand & the associates were drawing a lot of attention to her books. I got sucked right into buying one... and I've since bought all the rest. Until that day I'd never heard of her before.

T. Frohock said...

I work in a library, so we receive several publications (Library Journal, etc.); however, the way I usually find new authors is a) word of mouth (ie the book has come as a recommendation from someone who has read it) or b) blogs and blog interviews with the author.

I found Theresa Walsh's novel through a blogging friend who posted a link to the first chapter of The Last Will of Moira Leahy. I loved her "voice" so much, I wanted to read the book.

Twitter and FaceBook are other places where I've found authors' novels that I've enjoyed.

Book trailers are nice, but I rarely judge books by them, and I haven't seen any that would make me want to buy the book.

wonderer said...

Word of mouth. I get a lot of good book recs off the "Big Idea" feature on

I second gj above about having first chapters or even first 5-10 pages available online, whether via Amazon or elsewhere. Voice is becoming increasingly important to me as a reader, and if I can't get a sample of it, the book won't go on my wish list.

A good blog is a nice bonus. It's important that the blog be personable and, as others have said, that it doesn't just talk about the book - though anything about the writing process is good, and mixing up a variety of topics is even better.

I don't usually watch book trailers.

I've seen book ads in the subway here in Toronto; never bought a book because of a subway ad, but then my reading preferences don't really align with the sort of books that are advertised there.

V said...

The best way to sell me a book on line is to give me a cover blurb and an excerpt. That is because it matches how I buy books in a bricks and mortar store.

If I'm just browsing, I look at the cover/spine art, read the cover blurb, and finish by scanning the first chapter or three. If I know the author, I usually skip looking at cover/spine art and blurbs in favor of going straight to the first chapter.

I refuse to buy a book I can't read an excerpt from.

I also hate book trailers.
One - they look like really bad tv commercials done by a middle or high school media class.
Two - I still have to read the information. The fading in and out make that annoying. Ditto for waiting for the text to change.
Three - the cover copy on a book or blog is written much better.
Four - some trailers are done in a format that is incompatible with my computer's software.

Ulysses said...

Strangely enough, mentions on agent blogs have led to me buying and reading books they represented. Or links on agent blogs to author websites/blogs which were intriguing enough to make me want to read their work.

Of course, as a would-be author, I hope I'm a statistically insignificant contributor to the whole reader demographic.

jjdebenedictis said...

I think the book itself is its own best advertisement, so I agree with the commenter gj. Have your first chapter, or at least the first few pages, accessible online.

Another idea would be to approach the owners of cafes to see if they would let you leave fliers on their tables that say, at the top, "Business X Supports Local Authors!" Your cover art and book-flap copy would be printed below that, and the reverse could have an excerpt from your novel, giving the coffee drinkers something to idly read while they're sipping.

If your book really is gripping, you should make a few sales that way, and the business establishment winds up looking good too. Win-win.

Unfortunately, professional-looking fliers are expensive, and you can only engage in this process locally.

Savannah J. Foley said...

I'm always on the lookout for ideas I haven't seen before. Another 'woman trying to find true love' story? Boring. 'Woman trying to find true love, encumbered by her siamese twin who is also a ninja assasin'? Awesome. Immediate buy.

Nic said...

always been word of mouth/front of house in a bookstore. even though i'm 21 - i will still look at the YA section. I've been reading more blogs lately but haven't purchased a book of them.

Sometimes also if there is a film out based on a book and i like the film, i will buy the book because i often prefer the book. works for tv shows as well. pretty hard unless you sell the film/tv rights. Are the film and tv rights the same or different?

Michelle said...

All I ever read is YA, blogs and creative writing books. If I see a book mentioned over and over by other bloggers in comments then I buy the book. If I see a random teen in a bookstore pick up a book, I ask her why she liked it and I read the first few pages. Recommendation don't always work, I need to be prodded. When a friend takes the time to loan me a book then I read it right away so I don't forget to give it back. I skim over a book featured in a blog, unless I've already read it. I do like suggestions based on what I've bought in the past. I will read the first few sample pages when they are available. Author interviews on my favorite sites always work.

Lale said...

More and more of the books I read are coming from blogs- either book trailers posted, reviews posted, and even clients of agents whose blogs I follow!

Anonymous said...

"I guess I'm a Debbie Downer on this, but no traditional marketing trick has ever made me buy a book...but reviews from bloggers I like have."

I'm with you. I'll be buying a novel this weekend based on a great blog review.

Bethany said...

It's weird, but for me, a lot of the "jewels" I find is just from wandering around the bookstore. Generally it's a clever title that gets me first.

As an adult, I read both adult and YA novels. I don't remember how I found this one novel, but the title made me think of the movie "The Princess Bride", so I picked it up, read the synopsis, thought that not only was it well titled, but that the storyline sounded good. I had it on my wish list for Christmas and got it as a gift. It's "As You Wish" By Jackson Pearce and it was awesome.

Another one was when I was wandering a Barnes & Noble and I found this one book of a retelling of "Romeo & Juliet" called "Saving Juliet" by Suzanne Selfors. I thought it was awesome and ended up loaning it to my mom. I also received the author's next book for Christmas and that was fantastic as well (the book is titled "Coffeehouse Angel").

Christie Craig's got some great titles. I've read "GOTCHA!" and I'm looking forward to "Shut Up & Kiss Me" her titles are just so clever.

Promient displays work for me, too, but often it's just me looking at book titles that gets me.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any yet. Most of what I see are well-intentioned attempts to promote too hard, which tends to turn me off. And I've seen plenty, too :)

So far, it's word of mouth for me.

Anonymous said...

Bought Memory of Running because of the original cover, the red bike in the grass under the stars, great cover, GREAT BOOK.
Who could possibly resist reading THE SHACK after looking at that cover. Loved it. Like I said,

Anonymous said...

The cover, the blurb, the first few pages…

Doing a fantastic guest post on a blog I read, especially when there's a link to an amazing blog.

Anonymous said...

Oh also! I can't believe I forgot this one: I check out the first few pages on the Amazon "look inside" thing ALL THE TIME. I can't tell you how many times I've gone there first to see if I like the writing style on an author I'm not familiar with. I have also not pursued an author further when that little "Look inside" wasn't available. That's sort of my need for immediate satisfaction. When I'm thinking about a book, I want answers on whether I'd read it or not right now and will forget about it soon after if that need is not met.

Anonymous said...

A review on NPR.

Jess Haines said...

Goodness! Wasn't expecting to see my own book come up in this comment trail. *g* I'll take that as a compliment of the highest order.

For unknown authors, I used to rely on word of mouth and the cover blurbs on the backs of books. These days, I've added a few books to my queue based on the word of a few bloggers whose opinions I've come to trust.

When I'm browsing the bookstores, mostly it's the cover art and back cover blurb that draw me in.


_*rachel*_ said...

--Seeing a short synopsis and glowing praise on an agent's blog, one I regularly read for good advice. (Jeff Somers, Evan Mandery) Or seeing it in agency sales. (Ally Carter)

--The author has a witty, entertaining blog on the book, publication, and something relevant to the story. (Gary Corby)

--A friend said they loved it.

--I meet the author, who has something good to say.

--Hearing it was interesting, thinking it looked interesting, and having everybody I asked between the ages of 12 and 15 say they loved it. (The Lightning Thief) That, and every copy at the library being checked out for over a month straight so the only way to read it was to give up and buy it first.

--Seeing it while browsing at the library, reading it obsessively, and finally just buying it so I can read it a few more times.

--A good cover and title will get me to read the back of the book. A good back/inside cover will get me to read the first page or two, and we'll see after that.

--A good bookstore. B&N/Borders--maybe. An indie bookstore that keeps cats and has friendly people? I want to buy books just because I like the place.

One that's key to this context is blogs. I've read at least 5 books I've seen on an agent's blog recently, and have at least 3 (including A Farm Fresh Murder) on my to-do list. If the blog is useful and interesting, I stick around and am more open to books outside my usual tastes. Of course, the books does have to look decently interesting.

I'm much more likely to buy something I read and liked than something I've never read--though that's been changing a bit ever since I found this really cool bookstore downtown.

Victoria Kerrigan said...

I have never purchased a book from a blog review or magazine review.

I'm a bookshop browser. Usually, I see a nice cover, and pick it up. It then needs to have something origianl about the premise on the blurb, then a great opening page. If I like the opening lines I'll flip to the middle of the book and see if it holds up - is the dialogue still tight? I'm annoyed by poorly structured dialogue and I know I won't make it through the book if it doesn't feel real. Also, if they're trying to be too arty and there's no evidence they know how to tell a story, I'll also pass.

A small card with a staff member's recommendation is a big plus, likewise, word of mouth might make be buy too.

This doesn't of course relate to my favourite authors - I usually pick up their latest regardless.

Sarah N Fisk said...

Besides Word of Mouth, which seems to be everyone's #1 way of hearing about a book, I think speaking engagements are the biggest motivators for me to buy a book. Just a few weekends ago I bought four books as a direct result of an author speaking on a panel at the UCF Book Festival.

Rik said...

I'm currently developing a Facebook app that (fingers crossed) will raise awareness of my book. The biggest barrier to sales is that people don't know the book exists. I'm hoping that a fun app that relates closely to the content of the book will get people curious about the book, then talking about it with their friends and - crossing toes now - buying a copy.

Kimber Li said...

1) Cover Art- I'm a visual person, so this is big for me. Unfortunately, the author has little to no control over it. And if you're a Romance author, you're likely to get stuck with one which looks almost exactly like all the other ones in the aisle and it may very well be misleading, which readers hate. This is another reason word-of-mouth can be soooo important.

2) I was stunned yesterday to discover an author without a website, not even an email. Tracked down the publisher (small press even) and they were no easier to contact. I couldn't believe it! Do these people want to sell books or not?

Be easy to contact!

Keep a stash of books to give to reviewers on the spot. Buy them if you have to, keep a couple in your purse. You want a reader/reviewer to get your book when they're excited about it, because then they're more likely to give you an awesome review. Don't ever make them wait.

Make it fun and easy.

Anonymous said...

Lately, I've been finding great books to read from the samples of query letters I am reading while trying to write a decent query of my own!

I also pay attention to the book recommendations from authors that I read.

I am going to throw in another vote for posting the first chapter. This has gotten me into the bookstore on several occasions.

PS- It's nice to have the oppourtinity to help you out for a change. I have been grateful for all the advice you and Jessica have put out here!

E. L. Psomiadis said...

I'm old fashioned. I browse books at the front of the bookstore. I pick up books with catchy titles and covers and read the first few pages. Also, if a book is on the NYT bestsellers list, I'm liable to pick it up at the bookstore, but I won't buy it if I don't like it.

Kari Wolfe said...

Word of mouth, catchy title, interesting back content, interesting cover.

Sadly, a lot of times I find books at King Soopers (Kroger's, to you not on the Front Range of the Rockies) and while I can't buy them when grocery shopping, if I'm interested enough, I do pick them up at my local bookstore.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to join the w-o-m group on this. There is nothing more powerful than a referral from a person you respect or trust. This said, there is nothing as disappointing as starting a book others have recommended and discovering it is just not all they claimed. I've given more books to the charity shop or back to the library because someone said I 'must' read it.

I pay no attention to hype - the more it's hyped, the more you can trust that book/series won't meet your hyper-inflated expectations.

Don't trick me. Just give me a good read and I will tell all my friends for you.

Unknown said...

The blurb, the blurb, the blurb!...or summary. No matter where it's broadcast, Oprah, oral pitch, book reviewer blog, author website, radio, book cover...if the hook's not there, I'm not taking.

L.L. Muir said...

Actually, what has pushed me to buy books I never would have otherwise, is a rave from an agent, on his/her blog. Especially if they didn't rep the author and still think the book is a must.

Also, seeing something tweeted about over and over by YA authors have me shopping for some YA titles.


Anonymous said...

The way a book usually hooks me by way of a marketing tool is through a magazine or catologue (Target usually has some really good picks in there's, also Writer Magazine - for example, Lark and Termite sounds really good, was a book advertised in Writer Mag, and Target catalogue, now I want to buy). Also, giveaways are really big pluses. Even if it's not a giveaway, but just reviewing on a blog, that makes me interested in buying a certain book if it sounds good. I like the idea of publishing houses creating ventures for book bloggers to sign up and receive review copies to review on their blogs.

Anonymous said...

I'm always bouncing around blogs, looking for popular titles. Especially mentions that come from agent's blogs, but also regular ol' readers who thought a book was good enough to gush about it online.

I'm always more compelled to read a person's book when I feel like I know a little bit about them. Really, if I like the author, I'll disregard a boat load of bad reviews and give their book a chance. That works both ways though. I followed a series for years and dropped it after reading a self-written bio and a few blog entries from the author. She was a total -- well, she wasn't likable. At all.

The Reenosphere said...

1: I agree with Anonymous.Magazine and newspaper reviews. One gets to know which reviewers to trust and they can't help showing whether they really liked the book or are just doing a job.
2: The local Library...the staff know the new books (or should)
3: Word of Mouth.
NO,No,No, to readings, signings, meet the authors etc. A load of embarrassing promotional rubbish, which could just as easily be done (and has been) about a boring book, or simply one that's not my taste.

Erin said...

It's not traditional marketing, but I've become pretty heavily reliant on Goodreads, which is like the newfangled version of word-of-mouth. Every book I've picked up in the last year that wasn't given to me as a gift as been because of Goodreads recommendations. Books have exploded in popularity among the large group of acquaintances I'm linked with on Goodreads...all it takes is one person to give a book a great review, and suddenly it's on everyone's "To Read" shelf.

flowerpups said...

Recently got a postcard in the mail from an author. Thought it was pretty cool she believed in her book enough to tell me about it. I've also read experts from her book in an email newsletter. I put it in the Amazon list right away.

Sophie said...

What steers me to a particular title?
Word of mouth and the NYTimes Book Review magazine.

Sophie said...

..Oh, and one more thing, before buying a book I go on Amazon books where sometimes the first many pages of a novel are posted, and read them, as well as reviews from readers. (I find book trailers totally biased and unreliable.)