I also asked my fans what factors led them to choose a new author. There were 66 replies. The most important factors in the decision to choose a new author’s book were:
- The cover, back cover and blurb, and first few pages (by far the most important)
- Recommendations from people they know (a lot of people said this)
- Recommendations from people in bookshops (a few people said this)
- Online forums, blogs, Twitter or book sites (a few people said this)
- Print book reviews (one person said this)
- Book shows on radio (one person said this).
Interestingly, though, people find out about new authors in a different way than they discover new books by their favourite authors. Presumably because fans actively seek out new books by their favourite authors, while discovering new authors by a more random process.
Book Cover/title/blurb/first few pages 64%
For two-thirds of responders, the book was chosen (or partly chosen) based on the book cover either physically or online (which induced them to read the back of the book), the title and blurb, and, for some people, after reading a few pages of the book. Recommendations from family and friends, including online friends, were also hugely important.
All other means were relatively minor.