Attract book buyers
According to author, journalist, and speaker Kevin Smokler, there are only five reasons people buy books. I’ve added a couple more.
The reader is drawn to the subject matter
This means the reader needs the book or wants the book or feels a connection to the book based on the subject matter. If you want to renovate your own home, you purchase a book that breaks it down into manageable steps. If you are a huge baseball fan, you might pick up either a baseball biography or a fictional tale with a baseball story.
The book was recommended to the reader via word of mouth
Whole cultures have been built around reading and readers in the past ten years, and because they are online, they are international. So now you can garner book recommendations, not only from your friends, but also from a wider context of referrals.
The reader heard about the book through major media
Major media is still a major player in influencing the books we buy. Think about it: You may not purchase a book just because a friend recommends it, but if you also see a cover section story on the book in your daily newspaper, you might decide to buy.
The reader is already a fan of the book
If you follow and enjoy a particular author, you are quite likely to buy the next book and the next and the next. It’s possible for readers to lose faith in a favorite author, but assuming he does not let you down, you will continue to buy what he writes.
The book is short
In a digital age where life is increasingly hectic and free time is at a premium, you might read something by an author you never heard of—even if you are not drawn to the subject matter and the book wasn’t recommended to you—if the book is short.
You trust the author/imprint
If you like writing books, and you trust Writer’s Digest, you are more likely to purchase a book by Writer’s Digest than another type of writing book because you expect a certain level of quality and comprehension.
Another reason people buy in these tight economic times is price. The risk of buying a book for a buck or two is a lot less than buying a book for ten or twenty bucks. Admit it. You have always loved a bargain and you always will.
What makes you pay hard, cold cash for a book?
Over the past decade, Christina Katz has been a gentle taskmaster to hundreds of writers. Her students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, and increase their creative confidence over time.
Christina’s newest book for writers is The Writer’s Workout (Writer’s Digest, 2011). You can find out more about her at ChristinaKatz.com.