Hi there! *waves*
It’s been pretty quiet here on the blog lately. I blame work. *glares at work*. You may also be able to tell I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter, usually when feeding the baby or rocking him to sleep. One of the best perks of reading on an i-Device is the ability to read in the dark. It’s keeping me happy, at any rate.
Anyhoo, I was over at the Discoverability Project page doing some updates, and thought I’d share some of my initial observations from almost three months in.
- It pretty much all boils down to “word of mouth recommendations from friends”. Especially if you include Twitter, Goodreads reviews, and book blog reviews as “word of mouth recommendations,” and I do, because the way I find books on all of those platforms is… recommendations from friends. Usually on Twitter. Sometimes I will also check out tweets from publishers that I’m following.
- If you price your Kindle version at $10.00 or higher, you fall into a price category that puts you in competition with all the current hot-listed trad-pubbed books that I really, really want to read. The ones I will use bookstore gift certificates to purchase in paperback so I can lend them to my friends (sometimes I’ll wait and order a used copy for $5 or less from Amazon). Most trad-pubbed mid-list books fall into this category, which is really too bad, because I’d check more of them out otherwise.
- Keep in mind I don’t fall into the category of “voracious fiction reader”. I do read a lot, but I tend to read a lot of non-fiction (both online articles and books – currently reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow). This means I’m terribly choosy about the fiction books I do pick up. They either have to be cheap enough that it’s no skin off my back to check them out, or one of those books that EVERYONE is talking about. Or have a really, really good download sample.
- Which brings me to my last point. Download samples on Amazon are TOO SHORT. (Granted, their easy return feature mitigates this somewhat. But hear me out.) One of the first e-books I ever purchased (in PDF, no less, because I didn’t have the Kindle app on my phone at the time) was Catherine Ryan Howard’s Mousetrapped. I wasn’t looking for a book to read at the time – I was checking out Smashwords, this new publishing platform I’d heard about. I got sucked into the story, and was half-way through the book when the sample ended. Of course, I had to buy it at that point. This has made me an uber-fan of longer samples. Because really, who is going to get halfway through a story and NOT make a purchase so they can finish the rest? If you’ve read that far, you probably want to see how it ends. There’s no downside for authors that I can see.
By the way, if anyone wants to join me in tracking all the ways they’ve discovered books lately (public service to authors I guess? personal curiosity?) you can read more about how it works here.