What pushes your buy button – in a good way.

The publishing world is changing.  Not news, I know, but I want to talk about a little bit today because I’m curious about how those changes have affected your book buying.  Once upon a time (and not so long ago!), if you wanted to buy a book, you went to a book store or discount store or a grocery store or your local drug store and bought a paperback or a hardcover novel.  You might have also purchased from a book club and received your books in the mail.  That was pretty much it.  And the only books you could buy were books that writers sold to a publishing house who subsequently packaged them and priced them and then you made the decision if you wanted to part with your hard earned money.

Enter e-publishing and self-publishing.  Now, you can still go to all of the above mentioned outlets (albeit there are not nearly as many around as there once were) OR you can shop on line at Amazon, B&N or Borders (to name a few) and purchase either a paperback, hardcover or electronic edition of the book.

The other major change – a writer no longer has only one avenue to get their book published.  You don’t have to sell to a publishing house these days, you can easily publish your own novel – especially in e-book format – and immediately have it available on Amazon for public consumption.

Because of the ease of e-publishing,  the price point for books has also changed.  If you check out Amazon with any regularity, you’ll see mass market paperback sized novels selling for $ .99 to $2.99 and so on up to $7.99 if the book is offered from a traditional publisher.

Another change as a result of the e-book and self-pub revolution is that writers are looking for more effective ways of marketing their product and getting the word out to the book buying public. A task that had once been reserved for the publisher, has now landed in the author’s lap with more and more frequency.  We blog, we twitter, we facebook, we have webpages.

Okay.  Why, you ask, am I stating the obvious?

Because I’m taking a poll. It’s not scientific, it’s not particularly noteworthy, it’s not even necessary … but I’m taking it anyway, mainly because I can, darn it and because I want to. :o)  And I’d love it if you took the time to answer.

So, here goes.

Question 1: How has the e-book revolution affected your book buying?  Are you a Kindle or Kobo fanatic or do you still like the feel of a book in your hand?

Question 2:  How does the lower  price point of the self-published books affect your book buying?  Are you still willing to pay $7.99 for a new mass market paperback or e-book from your favorite author?

Question 3:  Are you more likely to take a chance on a new ‘traditionally’ published author’s book, because you know that the book has been fully vetted, edited and deemed worthy of the investment of time and money from a traditional publisher and pay $7.99 for his or her book OR are you more more inclined to take your chances on a $ .99 offering from an author you’ve never read, understanding that the book MAY not have had the benefit of professional editing? (Before anyone goes off on me here – the last part of the question was not intended to denigrate self-published books.  Far from it.  Many self-pubbed authors go to great efforts to hire professional editors to insure the best possible product. Many, however, do not.  It’s a crap shoot.   So – it’s just a question, okay? :o)

Question 4: When you are shopping on line for e-books, do you even take note if the book was published by a traditional publisher or self published?

Question 5: Have you found new, favorite authors from among the self-publishing ranks?

Question 6: Do you buy books based on authors you see frequenting blogs or twitter or facebook?  If so, what was it about that author’s posts or tweets that made you decided to try them out?

Question 7: Do you hate me now for asking you to think about these things? :o)

Question 8: Who’s watching the Royal wedding today and why?

Thanks, guys

Oh – and I know it’s a ways off, but my next Black Ops Inc. book, WITH NO REMORSE will be released before you know it.   You can read an excerpt here.


“An edgy, sexy thrill ride you won’t want to miss.” ~~ Christine Feehan on WITH NO REMORSE.


About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at http://www.cindygerard.com
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32 Responses to What pushes your buy button – in a good way.

  1. Willa says:

    Oooh – love a Poll 😀

    1. I have just got a Kindle and am in that slightly obsessed, love it stage! So – books in the hand haven’t had much of a look in lately . . .

    2. Oooh – still happy to pay full price for a favourite author, although I have to qualify that and say that my auto buy list is not very big these days.

    3. Not worried about whether a book is self published or not – if the blurb hooks me – and I normally try to find an excerpt on an authors website to see if I like their voice – then I will buy.

    4. No.

    5. Haven’t as yet . . . but only had my Kindle for a short time.

    6. Yes – blogs are a good way to be ‘introduced’ to an author and their work. I like blurbs, excerpts and the author may post something that is quirky or makes me smile and want to check out their work – doesn’t mean their work is necessarily humourous/quirky – am more of a dark reader myself.

    7. No – love a good Poll!

    8. Not I . . .am just paying for it!

  2. kris says:

    Question 1: I’ve had a Kindle for several years, mostly because I do alot of international travel and was having much difficulty deciding between the shoes and the paperbacks in my limited luggage. I originally thought I would convert to e-books, but I still love the feel of a paperback and, when I’m home, I tend to choose the “real” book first before going to the Kindle to see what’s on there to read.

    Question 2: I have no problem paying full price for a book I want, be it an auto-buy author or someone I really want to try. Some people will say “it’s only 99 cents, so why not?” This is not typically me. I only purchase books of interest. My collection of books that I know I want to read is too large to waste time on something just because it’s free.

    Question 3: Going back to my response on the previous question, I have so many authors that I really love and a very limited time to read, so I only buy those books that interest me, regardless of the price or potential editing issues. Having said that, one of my biggest pet peeves with e-books is the editing issues. I find it very distracting and have noticed it in both established authors and self-pubs.

    Question 4: Nope, I just go after the books that interest me. I don’t pay attention to who/how it was published.

    Question 5: I’m sure I have, but I couldn’t even begin to tell you who because it is not something I focus on.

    Question 6: I try new authors based on recommendations, reviews, and/or simply finding their book and being interested in the story based on the synopsis.

    Question 7: nope.
    Question 8: I watched the 2 minute video of their vows on CNN and that’s it.

  3. Michele says:

    Great poll, Cindy! I’m interested in the answers as well.

    I don’t plan to watch the taped wedding, but I did read about it in The Daily this morning, and I had a few tears because it’s so grand and romantic. Sigh… But poor William is going to be bald in another decade. 😦

  4. kylie brant says:

    I’m not an e-book reader and don’t think I ever will be. I love books. Real books. Unless it was recommended by a trusted friend I would never try a self-published author. Simply because I know how much crap is out there and my reading time is valuable.

  5. cindygerard says:

    Kris and Willa. thanks for weighing in. Appreciate your comments.
    I find it especially interesting that your purchases aren’t affected one way or the other by the fact that it’s a traditionally pubbed or self-self-pubbed book. For so many years the holy grail was to be “bought” by a major publisher. Writers (myself included) suffered rejection after rejection and only single minded determination and perseverance gave you that payoff of becoming published. Now, it’s all in the writer’s hands – at least for e-publishing.

  6. Willa says:

    You are welcome 😀 At the end of the day it is all down to reading enjoyment and an individuals taste – I agree with Kylie (woo- hoo, loved Deadly Dreams 🙂 ) there is a lot of crap out there – but what I consider to be unreadable for me, can often be a New York Times bestseller and have a huge following . . . so I just like to remain openminded about trying new authors whatever the publisher.

    I do have to qualify that by saying I always do a little research before plunking down my wad – ie – author’s websites, blogs, excerpts etc.

  7. I still don’t have an e-reader, but I love knowing that they offer people more ways to read good books, including mine.

    I’ve had the new on in the room next to my office so I could take a look at bits of the wedding, starting with the dress. Loved it. I’m a little old fashioned–not crazy about the strapless style for a wedding dress. Kate’s was elegant, demure, beautiful. Also like seeing the uniforms, the carriages, Westminster Abby. Oh, and those hats. What a kick. I love the big picture hats. Some of the nests perched on the foreheads were a bit bizarre, but fun to watch.

  8. cindygerard says:

    I haven’t had much of an opportunity to follow the wedding today – between taking the DH to the dr to get the staples out of his knee, to helping the vet tend to a wounded horse (and the vet ended up on his but in the mud, BTW) there hasn’t been much time for the wedding.
    I HOPE I’ll be able to catch the highlights on the news tonight.
    What I have seen though looked wonderful! And I agree Kathy -Kate looked amazing!

  9. elizabeth ruggiero-miele says:

    1. i am a kindle and a nook person and i do not miss holding a book. 2. yes price doesn’t matter if i want the book i buy it. i love the get the book right now about ebooks 3. i buy the traditionally published books by my favorite authors i also buy the 99 cent books if they seem interesting 4. no 5. yes 6. yes definitely the covers and peoples comments 7. no 8. i watched the whole thing i loved diana and wanted to see her son get married and i love everything royal especially in my reading

  10. Tracy MacLeod says:

    1. Books only for me. I do not like the eReader experience at all.

    2. I am willing to pay what ever the author’s books cost of the books I want.

    3. I will take a chance on any author, subject matter or publisher as long as the book appeals to me.

    4. I will not purchase ebooks at all.

    5. Yes I have.

    6. I buy books based on the previews of them I read either on the authors sites or on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Authors I love I buy no matter what, just because they publish a new book I buy it many times with out even reading what it is about.

    7. I could never hate you. You have provided me with too many hours of enjoyment for that to happen 🙂

    8. I watched the wedding from when Charles and Camilla arrived until they stopped covering it. I watched it because I loved Diana and watched her and Charles’s wedding and wanted to watch her son get married too. I hope she was watching as well.

    P.S. – LOVED the excerpt!

  11. leannebanks says:

    Coming in late here. I don’t have an e-reader, so I can’t answer the e-reader questions. I do see that changing within a year. I’m getting closer to buying one. I like knowing a book has had some editing. I was thrilled to see that a NYT historical author put out a self-published contemporary because her agent wouldn’t sell it! Power to the people!:) When I get more than two minutes, I would like to read it. I don’t buy based on reviews. I will, however, pick up a book from an author who gives an interesting turn of phrase or pov on facebook. I’m still a sucker for a good cover… even with all I know about them! lol And I didn’t get up early to see the wedding, but I’ve watched the re-runs and gotten a kick out of the hats.:) I think it was beautiful and that Kate’s dress was wonderfully elegant. I hope they are able to make a wonderful life for themselves.<3

  12. Lisa S says:

    1. E-books have not changed the way I read or purchase my books. I have downloaded to e-books onto our ipad and honestly, I just dont like reading off of an ipad/nook/kindle when I am reading for enjoyment. I dont mind reading news articles or studies electronically, but right now I am not a huge fan of an e-reader. Also, I travel a lot. I can see the benefit of an e-reader when you dont have to pack 4 of 5 books in your suitcase-but you cant read during takeoff and landing of the plane and that is HUGE negative for me!

    2. I am more than willing to pay up to 8.00 for a traditionally published paperback book. I like to hold the books in my hand and feel the paper when I am reading. I have to make sure the cost of buying the books remains within my budget, but I definitely purchase paperback books often and I will continue to do so.

    3. I pretty much read Authors I have read in the past and like OR ones that have been suggested to me by a friend or via a chat online etc.. IF the story seems interesting enough I may purchase a non traditionally published book for .99, the cost is not so much that I would regret doing it. However, the synopsis on the story would have to be extremely captivating to make me want to purchase it!

    4. Honestly, I have never noticed where they indicate that the book is self published or traditional. Perhaps it is because I have only purchased a few books electronically. I plan to take note of that the next time I do purchase an e-book.

    5. Because I don’t purchase/read e-books often, I have not found new authors from the self publishing world. No new favorites.

    6. I did have an author who was trying to build her name “friend” me on FB. She noted I was a friend of other Author’s and requested the friendship. Her popularity is now growing and I have read a few of her books.

    7. No

    8. Highlights only, it is on DVR and when my daughter gets home from school she wants to watch it with me!

  13. cindygerard says:

    I am LOVING reading all these responses. Thanks, guys for taking the time out of your days!

  14. Janet says:

    Royal what? There’s a wedding? jk. I did look at pics online and some video clips, but the juxtaposition of it against the devastation from the tornadoes has me conflicted.

    I have to say I found Kylie Brant from Twitter. Actually, I think she found me? and then I think I saw you had recommended her books, etc. Anyway, love her books.

    I am a bargain hunter, so I try not to pay full price for a book unless I have to. But, really, $7 or $8 for a book is a pretty cheap vice, IMO (unless I were to buy several in a week – oh wait, I do that sometimes). I check the library first, then if they don’t have a book I want I will check Walmart, Target, or use a Borders coupon.

    As for e-readers, it’s not in my budget now. Sadly, I will probably have to miss RomCon this year, too. I did download Jill Barnett’s newest book to my ipod, but I keep forgetting it’s there! I am still in the 20th century, I guess and not used to the ebook revolution.

    Self-publication: I recently read a book by a new author that was published by a very small independent publisher. It was so bad, editing-wise I had a hard time reading it.

    BTW, I was just in Borders yesterday to finally buy Kylie Brant’s newest book (yay!) and Beverly Barton’s newest and the sales clerk was SO helpful. She found Barton’s book for me in the stock room and then saw me looking casually at the Harlequins and asked if I was looking for a specific one as she hadn’t gotten the newest ones out yet. I still believe in old fashioned good customer service in gaining business. I was impressed.

  15. I enjoy my Kindle and the instant gratification of it. I haven’t bought any straight to self-published books yet, though have bought some backlist books now put out by their authors. One of the concerns I have is the length of what I’m buying. I’ve bought a couple of ebooks that turned out to be very short…and not 99 cents!

    As for the Royal Wedding…loving it!

  16. cindygerard says:

    Janet – so glad you found our Kylie! She’s great, isn’t she. As are ALL the riders. I’m so honored to be a part of this blog with all this amazing talent.

    As for Beverly Barton. It was so sad that we lost her. the entire writing community will miss her both a a wonderful person and a wonderful author.

  17. cindygerard says:

    I imagine I’ll take that plunge one of these days, Christie and buy and e-reader but for now, it’s ‘book in my hand’ all the way for me..

  18. Mary Lou Steele says:

    I have a Kindle and use it for travel, but for my favorite Authors (those I will read and re read and re read) I go with a book. I don’t really look at the cost of the book, as much as what it is about. I will say my favorite way to find a new author is the anthologies that come out. I can’t see ever giving up books, as I love reading and I think if you love reading you have to love books.
    Yes I watched the end of the wedding, because that was all that was on when I got up.
    Don’t know if I hit all the questions, but that is my general opinion.

  19. Wendy M. says:

    I have a Nook, but I only use it to access requested review manuscripts. I MUCH prefer printed material. As far as my buy buttons, price doesn’t effect my decision. I go by previous works or word of mouth. I have started following several new authors based on Facebook and Goodreads interaction. I have also stopped reading a couple because of same. As far as self publishing, I have found a couple of very promising new and veteran talents in those ranks, but you have to really sift through some questionable material.

  20. Janet says:

    Um, excuse me? Beverly Barton died??? I didn’t hear this. When? What? 😦

  21. Janet says:

    Ok, now I’m depressed.

  22. MaryC says:

    1) I just received a Nook as a gift this week, but must say I prefer holding a real book.
    I read before going to sleep – if I drop the book, it’s not an issue.

    2) I have a rather extensive autobuy author list, so coupons I can use towards the purchase is certainly a budget helper, but will purchase regardless of the price. If an autobuy author goes the ebook route, I will follow.

    3) No
    4) No
    5) No

    6) I try out new authors based on recommendations from trusted authors(eg RWTTD).

    7) No

    8) Ive seen wedding clips on the news.

    Already have With No Remorse preordered.

  23. cindygerard says:

    Janet. Sorry about delivering the sad news on Beverly. Yes, unfortunately, she died of a massive heart attack last week. totally unexpected. Very, very sad.

  24. cindygerard says:

    It sounds as though the bulk of you kind people read for content and quality – regardless of how the material is delivered. And that’s what it’s all about anyway, isn’t it?
    Thanks everyone for answering – and thanks MaryC for ordering With No Remorse.

    I had a million things going on today so i didn’t get to watch footage from the wedding until tonight. Oh My. What a lovely bride she was!!

  25. Amy Conley says:

    So many questions!

    I don’t have a kindle or ereader…yet. I really want one though, for several reasons, many of them the answer to some of your questions. I follow lots of authors on Facebook, and have found many NEW authors I’d like to read. Since money’s tight, I have just been getting books from the library. IF I had a kindle (or something along those lines) I’d buy the lower priced “books” regardless of who they were written by, whether an old or new author, as long as the excerpt caught my attention and it was something I thought I’d like.
    And since I’m going to try the self-pub route soon, I guess I better say it doesn’t really matter to me. But it doesn’t matter to me either way, really.

    I watched all day almost!

  26. Carly Buchanan says:

    1~ I ❤ my Kindle almost as much as I ❤ my kids (OK, that was porbably a bad joke), BUT I still read my books. I read A LOT of series and it's nice to know that if I don't have a book in a series or I can't find it at my bookstores around here, all I have to do is click "Buy" and there it is.

    2~ sometimes yes/sometimes no…depends on how much I want to read the book and how long I've waited for it to come out…ex: With No Remorse…been waiting a while for that one. 😎 I have a "book budget" every 2 weeks when I get paid b/c I will go completely overboard buying books. There is a JR Ward book that I had been waiting for and I saw it in a bookstore 2 days before it's release date…well, I had to buy it…Paid 30.00 for that book. My first and only time…still haven't lived that down from DH either.

    3~ I never really pay attention. If I see a story that sounds interesting, I buy it.

    4~ No

    5~ Not sure b/c I really don't pay attn. I do love the "recommended for you" section of Amazon.

    6~ No, not really. I have my fav's that I follow…that's about it.

    7~ Of course not. I think it's great that an author wants our feedback and takes the time to ask our opinions.

    8~ I did watch the wedding. I was TRYING to watch the 0600 news, but guess what???…Instead of hearing about storms tearing through NC, I got to watch Kate and William get married… oh well, it was really beautiful.

  27. Stephenia says:

    1. I prefer the feel of a book, but my hubby bought me a kindle last Christmas and I’ve been putting some books on it, mostly alot of classics and freebies plus some older books I want to reread and they were offered for a good price.
    2. $7.99 is just fine but I don’t like hardback prices or oversized book prices
    3. I prefer traditionally published books and feel like certain publishers offer a certain level of “quality” just like a favorite clothing or shoe brand. Some publishers seem to have a certain style to them and while I don’t search specificially for a publisher I do find that I’m drawn to certain ones and avoid certain ones. I might try a 99 cent book if it had good reviews and I liked the first dozen pages after reading it, but I don’t think I’m going to give up on my tried/true authors and publishers for a cheap fix. If my favorite authors went to strictly ebook publishing, I’d follow them and continue purchasing their books until I wasn’t interested in their writing anymore.
    4. I do look to see who has published an e book, not specifically, I just notice it when I look to see the book length.
    5. I am more likely to try an ebook author that I already know – I have been considering purchasing my “keeper” authors on my kindle, then all the books are there for my rereading pleasure. But I’m torn about doing this, I love to see the covers and hold the books in my hand, that is part of my reading experience and a kindle feels very impersonal. I’m less likely to read my kindle at the pool/beach – oops, what if it gets wet/sandy? It would be alot more expensive to replace than a paperback would!
    6. I do try authors based on book reviews from romance type blogs or author blogs like this one, it is nice to find new authors in my favorite genre – romantic suspense! I am also convinced to purchase a book after reading the first dozen pages or so. I don’t facebook or twitter.
    7. I imagine as an author you have to keep working all the time to get your books out there. The explosion of ebook publishing has opened lots of doors to new authors and new reading experiences. Cindy – I’m looking forward to your next release in July!
    8. Loved the Royal Wedding, such a great looking couple. My favorite prince has always been Prince Harry – he seems to laugh alot, is rakishly good looking and seems to be a hard working soldier

  28. Nadja says:

    Question 1: I received a Kindle as a gift and I loved it. I’m in the process of moving and spending many, many hours on airplanes. The Kindle makes it easy to have countless books on hand without adding pounds to my luggage/purse. But I still purchase my favorite books and authors in paper format so that they may fill up my bookshelves and so that I have their complete list on my shelf (not some on the shelf and some in the Kindle).
    Question 2: Absolutely. Unfortunately it’s still often true: you get what you pay for. Unless it’s a special limited time offer that lowers the price, I’m wary of the $2.99 books. They are often shorter, too.
    Question 3: Hmm. I’m more likely to try someone new on my Kindle and only spend $.99 or $2.99. Just last night I bought a book I wouldn’t ordinarily read, thinking if I didn’t like it, the loss of $2.99 was no big deal. That doesn’t happen very often, though. After reading samples and looking over reviews and such, the majority of the time I end up with a higher priced, vetted book.
    Question 4: No.
    Question 5: No.
    Question 6: Not really. I may hear something about an author or book and then search out their blog or facebook. The authors I follow on social media were all known to me before I started following them. But there is a second side to this coin: I am perfectly willing to drop an author if they misbehave online.
    Question 7: Absolutely not. Those were good questions.
    Question 8: I did, because I’m European and we take our royals seriously. But I didn’t get up in the middle of the night  I just watched what was on after I got ready for my regular day.

  29. Janet says:

    I forgot to mention I just read a book by a new author, Hope Ramsay, because two of my favorite authors had written recommendations on its cover. Loved the book, as it turns out.

    As for Beverly Barton. I am sad and feel for her family and friends. I read her blurb at the back of her newest book, book #2, and she commented that she had left a cliff hanger at the end to be solved in the book #3 of this trilogy. Not sure I want to read it now.

  30. Jess says:

    Question 1: I’ve had a Kindle for a couple years and I’ve definitely bought more books than I would have otherwise. I read a blurb I like, one click and I have the story. It’s hard not to like that, and it’s easy to spend a lot of $$ that way 🙂 However, I probably still buy more books overall. If I have the series sitting on my shelf, I will absolutely buy the books so I have the entire collection, not half on Kindle and half as books (would drive me crazy!)

    Question 2: I tend to shy away from e-books that have a price set by the publisher. If the cost of an ebook and the paperback are identical, I’ll buy the book. What gets me, is seeing new hardbacks priced lower than the Kindle version. Really?? I will NEVER buy a higher priced ebook, when the paperback or hardback is cheaper.

    Question 3: If I read the blurb and it sounds interesting, I’ll give it a shot. However, if it’s the .99 ebook by an author I’ve never read, it’s almost like a shot deal. If the book has tons of errors, or I don’t really connect with the writing style or characters, then I figure it was .99, no big loss. I guess I don’t really expect much from the <$2 books, and have much higher expectations from the traditional $7.99 story.

    Question 4: Hardly ever, except (like mentioned above) when I see the ebook price was set by a publisher. Otherwise I usually only take note of the blurb, excerpts, author and yes, the cover 🙂

    Question 5: I've found new authors, enjoyable stories, but I can't say that I've found any authors or stories that have shot up my favorites list. No new auto-buys.

    Question 6: Sometimes I'll see a tweet or an RT about a book coming out, and if it's a genre that interests me I'll usually check out any links provided, but I can't say I've bought anything just based on random tweets or FB posts. It's usually book related posts that catch my attention.

    Question 7: I could never hate the woman who's currently writing Joe's story!!! I can't wait for Doc (and yes he's coming as a book, I have the series sitting on my shelf!) but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't already so excited for Joe and *fingers crossed* Steph's book 🙂

    Question 8: I watched the wedding, not at 3am – let's not get crazy here, but I watched in on the DVR. There's something about the old tradition mixed with the kind of fairy tale feel. I didn't think I'd get as caught up in it as I did.

  31. cindygerard says:

    Jess, Nadja, Stephina, Carly and Amy — thank you all (and everyone else who commented and answered my questions) for your thoughtful responses. I’ve learned a LOT from this poll. And it sounds like everyone is on mostly the same page (no pun intended) on the paperback vs e-book and self-pub vs traditional pub issues. You all have open minds and open hearts and are willing to give writers a try.
    Thanks again. I so very much appreciate it.

  32. Pingback: Getpublished Conference 2011 – May 14th, London | The Independent Publishing Magazine

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