Do Reviews Really Influence Your Book Buying Decisions?

I wrote about book reviews yesterday, so why not today too?

No. They don’t influence mine one bit. Because typically I read a book and buy the next in the series without looking at anything on the product page besides the price. The price influences my decision much more often than the reviews do. Why? Cause I’m perfectly fine spending $7.99 on a book. I’m not always fine with spending $9.99 on a mass market paperback. What is that, like a 25 percent increase? No.

Quite honestly, are reviews really all that important. I think they’re more important when you’re someone like John Green and your books have thousands of reviews that largely say the same thing. But if you’re a nobody like me and your book has 23 reviews, then I think someone not buying the book because of the reviews is just making an excuse not to buy it. Which is fine, but I’ve never known someone who decides which books to buy based solely on the reviews.

And, reviews are completely irrelevant if you go to the bookstore without knowing which book you’re going to get. I mean, if you’re browsing away and you come across a book that catches your eye, are you really going to open the Amazon or Goodreads app on your phone just to check the reviews? You might. But I don’t think so.

To me, the importance of book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads is greatly exaggerated. Because I don’t think readers read them as much as we all like to think.

Do reviews really influence your book buying decisions?

Take Your Pick: Hardcovers v. Paperbacks

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Photo Credit: Out of Print

 I’m pretty sure I’ve written about every logical book related question you can think of. Print v. e-books. Standalone novels v. series. Types of e-readers. Different genres. And a million others I honestly can’t think of right now because I’ve written way too many posts to remember each one. I’ve had this question on my little docket for some time now. I don’t know if I was saving it for any particular day or what, but it’s been waiting to be written and now I guess it’s happening.

So, hardcover v. paperback. I think I typically list out some of the positives of each choice whenever I write these comparison posts, so might as well get to it.

Hardcovers

I have to be honest here. I’m not seeing a long list of positives for hardcovers. They’re way overpriced it’s not even funny. I mean, I love books as much or more than the next person but I am not okay with spending $29.95 for a book. No. Thankfully, Amazon and other retailers often slash the price of hardcovers immediately. But if they’re not new or bestsellers, then you better pull out your wallet. I don’t even pay that much for Blu-rays. Hm. Let’s see. They’re also bulky. They can potentially be used as weapons in the event of nothing better. They take up a lot of room on the shelf. And I can’t be the only one who hates those stupid dust jacket covers that always want to slide off while I’m trying to read. So annoying. Oh wait, I was supposed to list the positives here. Okay. If you’re lucky enough to meet an author, they much prefer to sign hardcovers over paperbacks. I don’t know why, maybe larger pages?

Paperbacks

Now this may be a bit more positive. Let’s see. They’re typically less than half the price of the hardcover edition. Don’t forget it is the exact same book. They’re much easier to carry around if you’re into that sort of thing (I take my books to my bed and nowhere else.) They’re easier to store on your shelf.  In my opinion, they’re more pleasing to admire on said shelf. Easier to hold while reading. And I have more paperbacks signed by authors than hardcovers. So there. The only real negative is that they’re often released almost a year after the hardcover. Stupid publishers.

For the sake of this post I tallied up my books so I could provide some concrete evidence about what I think of this little question here. I have 175 books. 41 hardcovers. 134 paperbacks. Hm sorry Big Five. Not really.

So tell me which side of the fence you fall on. I’m obviously having trouble seeing any reason to have shelves full of hardcovers, maybe you’ll offer some insight.

Pre Release Excitement

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Photo Credit: Lieberman’s Bookstore

Can you believe I’ve once again tricked you into thinking something completely false? I’m about to release a book! I think it’s a major step above my first book and hopefully the story is read by millions around the world. The excitement is getting to be overwhelming.

Oh come on. I KNOW you didn’t believe that. Writing is the last thing on my mind right now.  But I am a little curious about something. We all have our favorite authors who we hate every year for forcing us to wait a full year for their next book, unless we’re talking James Patterson. Of course, you could be like me and have one or several of your favorites no longer living and that just sucks even more. But as I was saying, we all have our favorites whose books we cannot wait to read. We’re tweeting about their upcoming book tour and new book and then writing a nice five star review of the book just a few hours after getting our hands on it (assuming you write reviews).

But what I’m thinking about now is if you have any author(s) who you don’t look at the price or the synopsis or anything about their new books before making your purchase. You see the book is available for pre-order on Amazon and six months ahead of its release date you have made your purchase. Do you have any authors you love so much that you do this? Cause if I’m being honest here…I don’t. I’ve never pre-ordered a single book in my life. Of course, this is a little misleading because it just happens that most of the authors I read released books years before I found them. For example, Suzanne Collins. Or Robert B. Parker. Or Michael Connelly. There are a few who I am aware of their releases each year, but most of the time I wait for the paperback to come out rather than spend a stupid amount of money on a hardcover. There’s a reason my hardcover shelf is about 35% full and my paperback shelf is about 80% full. But that’s just me.

Now tell me, are there any authors who you pre-order books from months or weeks in advance of their release? Or just go to your nearest bookstore and purchase the book on release day? You know my answer to that question, what’s yours?

And did you know that if you pre-order on Amazon you get the book on release day? Unless of course if it’s a Hachette book, then you get it three weeks later. Ha!