Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique. They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Merissa shares with us a little about her reading habits, reviewing books, how she finds books, and much more.
indieBRAG: How do you find books and what do you think of social media and books?
I usually find books through recommendations from friends, or if I see a book cover/teaser on Facebook. I think social media is a powerful tool in the promotion of books, but it is used so widely that good books can be missed. That’s where my friends come into it.
indieBRAG: Do you go to an author’s website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search on sites such as amazon?
If it is an author that has been recommended to me, then I will go to their website to see if they have a newsletter to sign up for. Also, I like to see the books they have available through them, not just sales sites. I get some books straight from Amazon without checking, but not many.
indieBRAG: If you search books retail sites such as amazon or B&N, how important is the cover, title and synopsis?
For those I do get from sales sites, the cover has to be eye-catching to me, but more than that, the synopsis has to grab me. I’ve bought books where I didn’t like the cover, simply because I was intrigued by the blurb. Sometimes this works and you find hidden gems. Other times, not so much!
indieBRAG: Does it turn you off when an author promotes their book on social media a lot?
It doesn’t turn me off, but I do like variety. I don’t want to see the same thing all the time, but different teasers/pictures are good.
IndieBRAG: When going to an author’s blog or Facebook pages do you hope for more than just promotion of their book?
When I visit an author’s FB page, I hope to find something else apart from promotion. I want to see something that makes me want to see their page each day, something quirky. What I don’t want is to see every minute drama of their personal life.
indieBRAG: Does it make you more interested in an author’s books if you feel like you have gotten to know them a bit more?
I don’t mind snippets of ‘them’, what makes them tick, how they started writing, intriguing bits about the book that I never knew. If I’m liking them as an author though, that’s different to knowing them as a friend!!
indieBRAG: If you meet an author in person – at signings etc.-are you more likely to buy their books?
If I meet an author at a signing, I will definitely show my support by buying a book from them! That way, I can also be cheeky and ask them to sign it too!
indieBRAG: By offering free short stories or pieces that expand on their characters, make it more likely you will look at the books they offer?
Most definitely!! I love hearing all the back bits, the bits that didn’t make it into the book.
indieBRAG: Do you depend on reviews on sites such as Amazon and B&N? If so are you suspect that they may be padded with friends or members of an author’s writing group?
I take little notice of reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, which I guess is hypocritical considering I always leave a review, simply because I have LOVED books that others don’t seem to like, and others that have been raved about, I just don’t seem to get. Not every book is for every reader, so I take all reviews with a pinch of salt.
I think your views are helpful to all authors! I am also not as impressed with a book by its reviews anymore. Once I search a genre, the blurb is what gets me also.
Thanks Merissa. I like this comment best: “When I visit an author’s FB page, I hope to find something else apart from promotion. I want to see something that makes me want to see their page each day, something quirky. What I don’t want is to see every minute drama of their personal life.” 🙂
I like to check the most critical reviews (1- 2 stars). One or two out of twenty or more won’t scare me away from a book unless both those reviews say the editing was poor or too many typos were found to make the reading smooth and easy.
Other ones and twos that deal with a personal dislike of the subject matter, attacks on the author, or just someone obviously having a bad day and taking out their frustrations on the unsuspecting author are easy to ignore.
I look for consensus by the bulk of the reviews to help me decide. But I also see too much “grade inflation” on reviews where readers feel obligated to give every book they even moderately enjoyed a 5-star so that they won’t hurt the author’s feelings. I go more on a bell curve, slightly skewed toward the high end (because most books are at least decently written and minimally edited). I rarely give out 5s because to me a five-star book should be so memorable and excellent that it sticks in your mind for years, often gets re-read, and/or resonates so personally with you that it positively impacts your life. I’d never give my books a 5-star rating unless I believed it was one of the best books in my genre that I’ve ever read, especially when compared to the bestsellers considered to be of the highest quality.