As an author, wouldn’t it be great to gauge the thought process that readers undergo when choosing good books to read? Uh Yea! After all, what’s the use of spending countless hours constructing the “perfect” book when the pages never get to see the light of day?
Of course there is no one size fits all method to choosing good books to read. Some book lovers read everything under the son while others have very specific tastes. Regardless of one’s preference however, the process of finding a good book is like an art form. The approach to narrowing the options down to a few titles and choosing that one book that’s bound to engage imagination usually involves 10 considerations:
Believe it or not, the price of a book matters; especially in this age where ebooks are rapidly gaining popularity (some are even free!). Book lovers that make frequent purchases often cannot afford to spend a lot of money on a book they might not enjoy.
For a lot of people, their choice of good books is determined by their unique interests. People always flock to the categories of books that satiate their particular reading interests.
Today, name recognition can drive sales in the publishing arena. Readers gravitate towards authors they know, whose work they have tested and, thus, trust to entertain them no matter the genre or subject. New novelists might find this a little disheartening.
- Book Reviews
Readers trust other readers. They want to know what other people are reading, and they will typically flock towards books with a positive reputation and good reviews.
- The Publisher
In some cases, the publisher of a book matters almost as much as the author. When the Harry Potter books exploded in popularity, readers began buying everything Bloomsbury (the Harry Potter publisher) had released up to that point.
- Book Length
Most readers have no patience for voluminous novels when choosing good books. On the contrary, some readers will turn their noses up at books that are so tiny they hardly take an afternoon to read. The right book must be large enough to keep readers interested for hours but not so lengthy that reading it becomes a chore.
- An Interesting Voice
This might be the most important aspect of selecting good books. The first few paragraphs of a book can tell readers whether or not they will enjoy reading it. If readers cannot connect to the voice of an author, they will not buy the book, no matter how great the story might be.
- Memorable Characters
Great characters make great stories. Readers want to read books with characters they will remember and connect with from the start. This is why the first pages of a book are so important. If a reader cannot attach to your protagonist in the first few pages, they are unlikely to keep reading.
- Great and Vivid Settings
When looking for good books to read, different readers have different preferences when it comes to settings. Some readers prefer locations they can relate to and with which they are familiar. Others prefer new worlds and unfamiliar arenas that they can explore. Whatever the purpose of your book, every reader wants a book with a vivid setting that grounds the story and intimately engages their senses.
- Gripping Story
It might seem ridiculous to think that readers need a gripping story to compel them to purchase any given book. After all, how can they know that a story is gripping and engaging unless they actually read the book? Again, this is why the first few pages of a book can make or break an author’s career. If your story doesn’t grip your audience’s interest from the very first sentence, you are unlikely to transform them into loyal readers. Readers want to be intrigued and entertained from the get go, and they will write off any story that cannot grip them from the very start.
Good books are difficult to find and there is a general process that most readers go through in their quest. However, while knowing the factors and elements that drive readers to select certain books can help your efforts, it’s still most important to just tell your story the best way you know how. All-in-all, readers just want a book that’s engaging and will hold their attention from cover to “the end”.