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March 14, 2016


Susan Neace

I read by authors and I read blogs like this one, Smart Bitches and Trashy Books, Fantasy Cafe, and I read reviews to find new ones. I don't have a Kindle so I don't worry about e-books yet. Like Charlaine Harris said years ago, I am at a point in my life that I can buy hardbacks of favorite authors. I can't pass a bookstore but Amazon lets me track down books that are out of print. I give books for gifts and treasure the friends who want to talk books


General reviews and ads don't do a lot for me, but mentions on blogs like this or by my Facebook friends who read avidly do entice me. I read too much to buy all my books so I get them from the library for my own reading. Then I buy copies of good books and use them for gifts as a way to support authors and introduce friends to authors I like. My library offers ebooks so I can use it for those and hard copies.

Karen in Ohio

I was an early adapter of Nook, and have both Nook and Kindle apps on four different devices now, with well over 700 books between them. But I also buy hardcover and paperback books, for a lot of reasons. Since I read 250 or more books a year, I do look for more economical ways to get them on my device, in particular. (Pre-arthritic hands, and electronic devices are a little easier on them, usually.)

1. I prefer to pay about $5 for an e-book, although I've paid as much as $15.99 if the book club is reading it and I can't find it any other way.
2. Everyone likes getting free stuff, and I'm no exception. If it's a series, and a book/author/MC I care about about, I will buy the next ones, but once the prices go up close to $10 I don't keep going.
3. Unless it's a hardback that is part of a series I'm interested in I won't pay more than about $12. If it's the latest Sue Grafton, which I've been reading since A is for Alibi, I'll buy the discounted book when it first comes out. I have discount cards with B&N, Books-A-Million, and Joseph Beth, and they all offer 30% off new releases.
4. The last hardcover I bought (with one of the above discounts) was Go Set a Watchman, because a friend read it and wants to discuss it with me.
5. Lots of times I've seen information about books on author pages, but I block ads.
6. A couple of times, usually from The New Yorker, which has a literature issue every year with great book information.
7. Who knows? Any number of places, including Krogers and Target, both of which have book departments (with discounts).
8. Never read them, partly because when my books were in print and Amazon was a new thing rivals wrote and inserted fake and unflattering reviews. I've never trusted them since. Also, one of my books was "reviewed" in a national magazine (by a friend, no less), and it was patently clear he had not done more than skimmed the back copy.
9. Rarely. I've written a blurb or two myself, back in the day, having actually read the books in question, but the authors told me mine was the only one that seemed to address the actual book. See #8 above.
10. Nope. I know how the game is played, and it doesn't impress me. I've read books that were on those lists and hated them, just as I've read literature prize winners and wondered how on earth anyone could have thought they were worthy. Reading is so subjective, and I know my own taste better than anyone else does.

Hope this helps, Hank, although I'm rather opinionated about some of these issues, as you can tell!


I'm unlikely to pay more than $9.99 for an e-book, regardless of who it is by. This whole concept of "owning" an e-book still have me skeptical. What happens if I shut down my Amazon account - or, though it will never happen, they go out of business - where do my books go (unless I download them somewhere secure for myself).

I buy hardbacks all the time because I am a collector. I usually like to find them at a discount, but will pay regular price up to $30 depending on the author. I've even paid $40 at a conference for a UK release, but that is not often.

As a reviewer, I understand the power of a strong review by someone who one trusts. Since Amazon reviews are typically *not* that, I pay no attention to them and since starting the blog, I have not posted there either. I'd rather folks who know me and trust my opinion read my reviews on the blog and make a decision that way. If you know a reviewer's likes/dislikes, it's easy to tell if a book they recommend is something for you.

Blurbs rarely mean anything to me, unless they are from authors who rarely blurb. Since I know many authors on a personal basis, I know when a friend is doing another friend a favor (or an author at the same publishing house has been asked to help out a newbie). And I actually understand, given the very difficult nature of a writing career today, so I don't fault this, I just am not swayed by it. I will say that with rare exception, I do believe these endorsements are genuine, but they just don't have an impact on me. Again, there are some writers who rarely give a blurb, so if they are saying something, I listen.


I only read on my kobo, due to hands and eye issues as I get older.
1. Rarely more than $10, but definitely never if it is equal to or greater than the paper version.
2. Yes, but see #1
3. Don’t buy them, too heavy to hold and too big to store in limited space.
4. 10+ years ago – I used to follow series that were published in hard cover and I couldn’t wait.
5. No
6. No
7. –
8. No
9. No
10. No
I follow various blogs I trust with reading tastes similar to my own, and as I read prolifically, I go for new or self-published authors recommended there to keep me supplied. Obviously I get a lot of mediocre, but find enough gems to keep me going. I get the more expensive books from the library as I can no longer afford to buy as many as I would like. (I’ve learnt to be patient!) There are a few authors I save for and treat myself when I can.
I usually lurk, but found this a very interesting query – I have a great deal of sympathy for an author trying to increase their market share and only wish I could buy more to support you all.

Charlaine Harris

Hank says: I am so fascinated by your responses! I am having internet issues at my office today, and trying to find a way to post comments and will be there as soon as I can!

Posted by Charlaine

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, I'm back! Hurray! Something was happening with the server. What ever. Now it is serving again.

Anyway. You are really giving me the scoop, and I am so riveted to it!

Susan and Jill, thank you for giving books as gifts! Love that--and it makes such a difference.

Karen--hmm. Someone else told me they only believe Amazon reviews when some of them are bad--because that means the others are real.
I love the vox pop element of the Amazon reviews, but some of them have me completely baffled. As if--as you say--they havent read the book. Ir they give someone a one star, and say--I hated this book fro mthe first page because I don't like cowboys. So WHY review that??
Or the ones that give away the WHOLE plot. Argh.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Kristopher, and all, how about a cover blurb from a trade publication review?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

May--so lovely to see you here! xoxoxo And hey, just knowing you are reading the blog makes a huge difference!

And so lucky that e-readers exist, right?


Hi, I was a bout to comment and of course saw the prizes. My last hard covers I bought were those two books, last Thursday evening. I think $10 is plenty for ebook. I enjoy a "real" book and able to leave my book mark. I am always a sucker for "get one free"deals and when I find an author I enjoy it is a no brainer. As far as seeing an ad for one, if Amazon recommends one based on my previous choices I do give an extra look. I also do enjoy reading about the author, makes me feel like I know them better. Of course meeting you was better than any jacket information I've read.


1. For an e-book, I pay around $5 - $10 if it is a book I MUST have and/or cannot find as a printed “real” book. If I find something interesting free or $1, I pick it up without much investigation.
2. Yes, I download free e-books, first of a longer series as an easy and affordable way to explore authors who are new to me. I often purchase additional newer books after I have read the older first free one, either an e-book or a printed copy. I subscribe to several e-book lists which offer free older books as well as new e-books available. I think the "free first" is a convenient way to introduce people who read e-books to a series they might not have read. I do like the convenience of e-books. I always have something to read while I wait for an appointment, have time at lunch, or have to pick up someone after practice or lessons. I especially like having lots of books at my fingertips when I travel without having to manage heavy books in my carry-on.
3. My first choice is always a "real" paper book. I like to flip back and forth through the chapters to revisit something (a clue) I previously read, and I like the feel and the heft of a book. I do pay more for “real” book, around$12-$15 for over-sized paper backs and around $30 for a nice hard cover.
4. Well, the last book I purchased was The Runaway" by Peter May. I met him at The Book Carnival, Orange, California last Saturday, and actually purchased two of his books. I usually purchase books from new- to-me authors after hearing them at a book signing.
5. I occasionally click through ads on Facebook. If it’s a “real” book, I buy from my local book store.
6. I don’t remember the last time I saw an ad in a magazine for a book I HAD to have.
7. As I said, if I want a “real” book, I purchase from my local independent book store. If it is not in stock, they order it for me.
8. I do read Amazon reviews, and I have done Amazon reviews as well. I take all reviews as suspicious because I have hated books that other thought were the world’s best, while others have hated my favorites. I look at the content/topic/plot of the book to see if it fits my interests.
9. I do read the book “blurbs.” If I value the writing of a “famous author” I value his or her opinion as well. It is not a make-or-break, however.
10. I look at the best seller list every week to congratulate myself on my past wonderful choices. I also look for an additional title or two that would be worth further consideration for purchase. It is just a starting point for me. I have never just bought a book on the NYT best seller list without investigating the author/content first.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Wendy, thank you! I agree--person to person is the best way!

And Barbara, smiling. I agree. I love to say "I told you so" to the NYT list!

Francine Crawford

1. I am not unhappy paying $15 or $16 for an ebook. I share my Amazon account with my husband and daughter so if anything happens to me my family still has access to my cloud library. I consider this a "lifetime rental" price.
2. Rarely download a free book - I have the old fashioned attitude that if it's free someone is trying to get rid of a subpar product.
3. I buy hardcover art books, reference books, and cookbooks. Don't like paying more than $50 but some photography books are more.
4. The Nomad Cookbook - read good reviews, and it's two cookbooks, a savory and a cocktail small book, in one package.
5. I don't click through on Facebook - I have enough junk mail as it is.
6 & 7 - No and no.
8. Sometimes read Amazon reviews, especially for mysteries. Wrote one for a nephew's art reference book
9. Famous author blurbs - not compelling.
10. Best Seller lists - hey, Sarah Palin was on a best seller list. Enough said.


1. Depends on the book, on the author. Fiction or non-fiction. I expect to pay more for non-fiction. For a favourite author I'd pay up to $6.99 for an e-book. Usually I would expect to pay between $2.99 and $6.99

2. If I liked the first book in the series (assuming I remembered to read it after downloading it for free) I would pay regular price for the next one. I have so many free books on my Kobo though that I tend to read the books I actually bought first.

3. I don't buy them because they're too expensive. Anything over $20 for a book is too much for me.

4. I don't buy them unless they're deeply discounted so I don't remember the last one I bought. None in the past six or seven years.

5. Nope, never.

6.  Nope, never.

7. N/A

8. I don't read reviews of fiction books. I will read reviews of non-fiction books. Yes, if all the reviews are positive I'm suspicious. I think I've done one review.

9. I don't really care about blurbs from famous authors. If I like the description, like the preview from the look inside and the cover grabs me I'll buy it.

10. A book being on a list doesn't sway me one way or the other. Is the book something I would like to read? Did the description intrigue me? Does the look inside pull me into the story? Does the cover grab me? That's what I look for.

Dave Freas

1. Less than the cost of a paperback.
2. Only if the first one is good enough to make me want to read more by the author or in the series.
3. I'd say $30, but I don't usually buy them.
4. I can't remember the last one.
5. No.
6. No.
7. N/A
8. I don't read reviews until I post my own on books I've bought through Amazon.
9. Blurbs by famous people don't affect my interest in a book in the least. Sometimes, it smacks of a mutual admiration society ("You praise my book and I'll praise yours. Deal?")
10. No. I buy books based on liking the author's work.

Sally Schmidt

Hey Hank,
1. Of course I want them to be cheap (because it doesn't cost anything to create an ebook, right ;-) ) but I am okay with the $9.99 or $12.99 for some books. For some authors the first book I read of theirs was an ebook, and now I want the new book right away but want to keep the series together so I'll get it as soon as it comes out and pay the full price.
2. When I first had e-readers I tried a lot of free books but realized you often get what you pay for. However, if I get a free book and it's part of a series I'll often buy the previous books so I can start at the beginning, and I have no problem paying for future books. Not sure why people think authors have to give their books away. Discussed that with a "lesser-known" author the other day. Stephen King hasn't given me too many free books and he doesn't communicate with me very often (translation none and none) but I have no problem buying his books, so why should other authors be expected to constantly give things away?
3. My upper limit for a hardcover is probably around $25. I try to use coupons or free shipping or wait until the price goes down but often I am anxious for the new release. Gift cards usually go for hardcovers because I can treat myself.
4. Not sure of titles but there are a number of authors whose books I want in hardcover only my shelves: yours, Hank, Lisa Scottoline, J. A. Jance, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, other biggies but also other titles and authors I just must have. Probably the reason I bought the last one is it said take me home now, and I did.
5. Yep.
6. Yep.
7. Not sure where that time, but online is usually Amazon or Barnes & Noble because shipping is free, in-store usually BN because no indies close by, Costco, Walmart.
8. I usually only read Amazon reviews for books I am on the fence about reading, but usually they are all so glowing they aren't that helpful. I do submit reviews on Amazon and other places if I have received the book in exchange for a review or if I really enjoyed it, because I think it is important to the authors.
9. Nope. I will read an author's list of favorite books though for ideas.
10. Nope. I don't care at all about the NYT or what someone thinks I should be reading. The best pointers have come from blogs where my interest in one author led me to another and another and . . . . (like Jungle Red).

And even though I said I am happy to buy author's books, I'd sure love to win today! This was a thought-provoking post. Not sure we can figure out why people do anything but interesting to read points of view.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

This is the BEST info I could ever get! Thank you all so much for taking the time..it's amazing.

Hey, Francine! Missing you! So...can your husband and daughter read the ebook, too, on their readers?

Cindy--that's exactly what some experts (!) predicted--that people devalue free books. Hmm.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Dave, so you read mostly ebooks and paperbacks? (Gang, if you ever need a character name, Dave is your go-to guy!)

Dearest Sally--I am still re-reading your Number 4. xoxoo Thank you!

Valerie Cannata

I will only buy hard covers by Elaine Viets. I will not pay more than $6 in general for an eBook except for a select few; you, J Carson Black. I love getting the first in a series free. It's a great way to try out a writer new to me. I absolutely buy the rest in the series. Very rare that I don't. I don't care at all about blurbs from other authors. If someone mentions a writer I don't know, I'll research a little and often give them a try, if I hear about it from someone with similar tastes.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Valerie, you are such a rock star!Thank you! So you DO read free books?

Do you have Book Bub?


I don't know if I count here because I'm a writer as well as a reader but . . . I don't own an e-reader. I'll buy new books by beloved authors in hardback and while I'm in the bookshop, anything with a powdery or a waxy finish to the jacket can easily hook me. I can always resist shiny hardback jackets. And I buy books for presents. Last October in Edinburgh I had one day to buy 35 presents for my immediate family and leave them behind for Christmas. I was aghast to find out that the bookshop didn't gift wrap. The manager said "madam, if you buy 35 books and give us the giftwrap, you've got a deal" !!! What sways me are recommendations from trusted sources (like Kris!) and blurbs from writers I enjoy. I know that the blurb might be a favour but I also believe they're sincere. Mine always are.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, mine are, too, Catriona. I really take it personally.

SO agree about the powdery-waxy! xooo

Keenan Powell

I buy autographed hardbound of my favorite authors. I just got Charles Todd's No Shred of Evidence from Poisoned Pen. With postage it was a little over $30. I spent $9.99 on my last e-book without concern. If I received the first book free, and I liked it, I'd be happy to buy the 2d book at full price. I have not bought a book advertised on FB. I have not bought a book because I saw it advertised in a magazine. I do read amazon reviews. Blurbs from famous people get my attention but I've noticed lately they are pretty vague, designed not to offend, which makes me doubt their sincerity.

Rickie Banning

I prefer hard cover books am old fashioned in this regard. I occasionally read e-books but not often so I won't comment on price points. The most recent hard cover I purchased was Traction by Gino Wickman for business purposes. I do tend to gravitate to Barnes and Noble our last remaining bookstore on island and like their price discounts for being a member.

Terry Odell

An ebook should NOT cost more than a MMPB, so $7.99 is my cutoff.

2. First in series free is good, but again, I don't buy book 2 if I think the publisher is inflating the price. I heard one publisher say they keep their e-book prices high 'so as not to compete with their hard covers.' Hogwash!

3. Hard covers seem to be in the $25 to $30 range. It would take a lot for me to buy them. I used to get them for half that via the Mystery Guild, but we've downsized and I don't have much room.

Never bought a book from a FB ad, or a magazine. I look at Amazon reviews but am suspicious if (from "lesser known authors") they're all 5 stars. There are too many 'services' that will provide good reviews for a price.

Blurbs don't mean much as a reader. Certainly not enough for me to buy, although if it's an author whose books I like, I MIGHT look further. I buy based on samples.

My high school English teacher told us never to buy anything because it was on a best seller list. I have bought books on the lists, but not because they were on the list. Again, I buy based on samples.

4. Can't remember the last hard cover I bought. Probably at a conference where one of my fave Big Names was appearing.

Karen in Ohio

For the record, once I've downloaded a book, whether it was free or cost $15, I will read it. I have so many that I can't possibly remember how much they all cost. Also, Barnes & Noble, for years, offered Free Fridays, so I found a lot of new authors that way.

Leslie Budewitz

Ooh, such good questions! As a writer, I’m not a typical reader, so maybe I don’t count, but I always have opinions! I do not, however, have an e-reader – too much screen time as it is, so I read in print. I’m comfy spending $25 on a hardcover novel, but I cringe over $30 – cringe and buy – though I’ve spent more for cookbooks and references. (Pics just got more to publish, and for recipes, you gotta have a pic!) Last hardcover I bought was Susanna Calkins’ The Masque of a Murderer b/c I’m reading all the MH Clark Award nominees and hadn’t read hers.

I’ve not bought books directly b/c of ads, but I can’t say they don’t influence me, subliminally. Of course, I also can’t say they do. I’m usually choosing a book b/c I love the series and am behind, or want to find out what a writer is up to and learn from them, so reviews, blurbs, and lists don’t influence me. But I have given a few blurbs, and I promise, they are absolutely genuine. I hope the ones given to me are heartfelt, too – I know how hard they are to write, and to get, and so I’m not as cynical about them as some readers are.

And thanks, thanks, thanks to all the readers who buy books, in whatever format. We heart you!


1. I've never seen an eBook for more than $14.99 or so. I'd buy it if I wanted to read it in that form.
2. I have never downloaded a free book, so that wouldn't be an enticement for me.
3. The most I've paid for a hardback is $28.95. Any more than that, I'd probably buy the eBook.
4. All the Light We Cannot See because everybody in my world told me it was brilliant, which is generally how I find books.
5. No
6. No, but I am influenced by ads sometimes.
7. N/A
8. Sometimes but not often.
9. I care about blurbs. I bought The DaVinci Code based solely on a blurb from Robert Crais.
10. I don't pay attention to the NYT list but I do watch the LA Times list, which features a whole different group of books.
This was fun!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

So interesting! Love this. Whoa. Rushing out to a bookstore event--ah HA!--and back to you all later tonight.

Rhonda Lane

I’m hardly a typical reader, either, because I’m a yet-unpublished writer, but I’m also a voracious reader and live surrounded by books, both paper and digital.

I don’t like to pay more than $10 for an ebook, although I really, really, really have to want it or need it for research. Trad pubbed non-fiction tends to be more expensive. For series books, I’ll try a free first ebook, but I have to like what I read to buy the next one.

I tend to cringe at the prices for hardcovers unless they’re by authors I love to read or a dear friend and I can get it signed. My last HC purchase was PLAYING WITH FIRE by Tess Gerritsen. I bought it at an author talk. BTW,

I often buy both, paper and ebook, so I can study certain aspects about a book. Sticky notes are easier for studying structure than the highlights in an ebook. And sometimes, I mark up a signed first edition and turn it into my own personal teaching tool.

I read Amazon reviews, but I read the fewer star reviews first. One convenience I love about ebooks is the ability to download a free sample.

Before I started writing, I bought the first Kyle Mills ty years ago because Tom Clancy blurbed him. Now I glance at blurbs, but they don't really influence me, yet I also know how crucial they are for non-writing readers and am aware of how tough they are to get if you’re with a small press or, worse, self-pubbed. For good or ill, I suspect they're very political, which also makes me doubt them.

If a book is on the NYT list AND booklovers are talking about it, I’m more likely to buy it. I have bought books I saw featured on Jungle Red.

sandy gardner

Hi Hank,
I often buy new, hardcover books by favorite, new, exciting, etc., etc., authors.
recently: What Was Mine
Dear Daughter
The Luckiest Girl (Alive? in Town) by Jessica Knowlton
The Girl on the Train
Fates and Furies,
etc., etc.
ps trying to subscribe to this blog but wasn't able to do it.

Kevin brown

I think Ebola are priced okay but hardcovers are high. The magic would be for me is how to bundle the Ebook with the hardcover. That would be cool and sell more hardcovers I think.

Sarah Glenn

1. Not more than five bucks for an e-book. I know Stephen King books are at least $10, but that's what the library is for.

2. If I really like Book One, yes.

3. I usually go with the library for hardbacks. Obscure nonfiction... well, the more obscure it is, the more I will pay.

4. The last hardback I bought was a gift for my mother.

5. Yes.

6. Yes, in the 1970s.

7. I bought it from the Rhine Institute. A deck of ESP cards.

8. I've done Amazon reviews, but I prefer Goodreads.

9. Are you offering?

10. Not unless it's genre-specific.

Francine Crawford

If you share an account on Amazon, everyone on the account can download all purchases made by all from the cloud on their own readers, which means you can't buy anything a dear husband deems unworthy without being teased. Also, Amazon starts to tell you "Because you loved The Handbook for Aviation Mechanics, we think you'll love the following. "


A trade review blurb is more compelling, as is something from a blog review. I will still take a closer look to see if the book sounds like something I will enjoy before buying though.

And dear Catriona, thank you so much for considering me a trusted source. Means the world.

Storyteller Mary

I mostly read library books, though my own bookshelves are overflowing and there are dozens of titles on the iPad (many free, a few, not available elsewhere, priced from $.99 to maybe $3.99). I think I feel compelled to put the library books first because they have to go back, and my library is very good about ordering books I request. I definitely prefer holding a "real" book, so the ebooks are mostly backup for waiting times out-and-about.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

SO interesting, all of you! And somewhat life changing.. SUch good information for authors--you are all so generous.

So, instead of just one prize, three!

Sarah Glenn

Please email me at h ryan at whdh dot com with your address--and whether you'd like THE OTHER WOMAN or PRIME TIME!

Thank you! xoox


Sorry I'm chiming in so late. For whatever reason, I just didn't see this post until now. But you know me, I have to share my opinion, too. :)

1. I don't have an e-reader. I do have the Kindle App, which I use for reading eARCs. I have also "bought" some free books, but more on that in the next question.

2. If I am interested in a series already and I find the first book for free, I will go ahead and buy it. And then it will sit on my Kindle app collection dust because, while I fully intend to read all the books I have in whatever format, I have piles of physical books around and I tend to forget about the digital ones. If it's not right in front of me, it probably won't get read.

3. I do buy hardcovers, especially by authors I know and love. The only time I pay full price is if I am going to an author event - otherwise it is Amazon or Barnes and Noble (and since my closest independent is 45 minutes away, I'm not going to feel remotely guilty about that). $27.99 seems to be about average these days, and it feels high to me until I think about what I paid a decade ago. The price of hardcovers hasn't kept up with inflation, so I guess I can't really complain.

4. Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke and Time of Fire and Fog by Rhys Bowen (just last week)

5. The only ads for books I remember seeing on Facebook are for authors I already follow, which means I'm already interested in their books, so either I already own it (most likely) or already plan to buy it.

6. I can't remember the last time I picked up a magazine. It's even been years since I read TV Guide, and that never had book ads in it.

7. N/A

8. If I'm on a fence about a book, I'll take a look at the Amazon reviews and see if I can get a feel for the book. I feel like I can usually tell the honest from the paid for. I've still bought a few I didn't care for, but everyone's taste is subjective.

And yes, I think you could say I've written an Amazon review or two. :) I've reviewed every book I've read there since early 2001.

9. I look at blurbs because I find who did them to be fascinating. However, I don't necessarily put much stock in them because a) you know the blurbs on a book are going to be good and b) tastes vary. I bought a couple of books years ago because of the blurbs and I got burned. So they don't have much in my decision making process.

I'm not sure how much I listen to blurbs from blogs/professional review organizations either just because the quote on the book is always going to be good.

I always assume the blurb is genuine. I just know it doesn't mean I will necessarily enjoy it.

10. I check out the NYT list to see if my favorite authors have finally made it. There are a few authors I started reading after they were on the list, but I had heard such good things about them that I decided to give them a try. Harry Potter is a prime example of that. The fact that they are on the list is irrelevant in my purchasing and reading decision.

Rick Helms

1: There is no discernible reason for an ebook to cost more than $6.99

2: I will if the price is reasonable (see #1). If it isn't, I'll wait until the price drops.

3: I no longer purchase hardcover books, but it seems that a price of $25.95 should be about tops.

4: It was four or five years ago, and I bought it because it wasn't available as an ebook. (It was a biography of Misia Sert, the French arts patron).

5: Never. And I'm getting really tired of the 'sponsored' ads that keep referring to obscure authors I've never heard of as "the next Robert B. Parker" or whatever. No. You. Are. Not. The. Next. Robert. B. Parker. There was only one, and even Ace Atkins isn't him.

6: No. I'm not that easily swayed.

7: See #6.

8: I've written a number of Amazon reviews, and I sometimes read them. I don't pay much attention to individual reviews, but if there is a consistent trend across reviews, that will have some impact on my buying decision. If everyone is making the same complaint, it probably has substance. If everyone is raving about it, I may give it a tumble.

9: Only if they are blurbing MY book. Being in the business, however, I know how much of the blurbing process is friends helping friends. I take them with a grain of salt, but I am also deeply indebted to everyone who has provided me with blurbs.

10: The NYT list is a marketing tool that bears almost no resemblance to reality. I check it from time to time to see if a friend is on it, and I'm happy for them to get the attention, but I'm pretty cynical about the meaning of making the list. It usually means the publisher has decided to put a lot of push behind the author. I also expect to see a lot of those books on the remainder shelves at the local B&N and Ollies. I've never purchased a book JUST because it was on the NYT "Bestseller" list.

Why do I purchase a book?

1: I've read the author before, and I like him/her.

2: A friend I trust recommends a new author or title.

3: I know the author, and am willing to give him/her a toss.

4: A reputable authority (NOT the NYT Bestseller List), such as a high profile reviewer, has assured me that a new author has a distinctive and compelling voice. I'm disappointed about half the time I read these authors, but the other half of the time I find new faves.

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