There was a post today on Google+ that got me thinking about what really pulls readers in. Of course we use to argue that to get bricks and mortar sales you needed a captivating cover, an eye-catching title and then a hell of a blurb on the back cover to reel your readers in. It was always argued that one of the benefits of traditional publishing was that you could get your books on bookshelves in stores and supermarkets. It gave potential readers the opportunity to pick up your book and flick through a few pages. Or if they’re like me they could lose hours curled up on a leather sofa in a good book store, with the opportunity to get a sample of the writing style and experience the quality of the writing. This is still true. However the rapid changes that have occurred in the publishing industry have meant that publishing has become open and accessible to a wider number of writers and led by the digital revolution potential readers of your book can now view the cover, see the title, read the blurb and read the first pages of our books online.
But what makes people pick up books in the first place? Is it the cover art, the title, reviews and recommendations, knowing the writer’s reputation as a master word-smith?
The post on Google plus I mentioned at the start of the article was a screen shot from A Goodreads survey which suggested that of a sample of over 197,000 readers, 86% would read a book based only on the cover and the description (blurb). 86%! What was even more surprising to me was that only 11% of the sample would want to rely on reviews, recommendation and media mentions to be convinced to read that book. The screen shot of the survey can be found below.
If you want to grab the attention of readers – Goodreads readers anyway – then you better make sure that your cover art and blurb are professional, sleek, engaging, and ignite the interest of the potential reader because it seems that first impressions really do count. It really does matter how much attention you pay to every aspect of your book, however it is imperative that you grab the attention of potential readers if you want them to do more than simply glance at your book and glide on by whether it is in a brick and Mortar store or online.
Are you paying attention to what will grab potential readers attention and get them to read your book?