Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Who Makes You Buy Books?

One of the discussions to come out of the Don Imus/Rutgers scandal is Imus's almost unmatched ability to spark sales for a certain kind of book, aimed at a certain reader. If you're a politician or businessman, or have written a work of serious non-fiction aimed at an older audience, having Imus plug your book is worth its weight in gold.

In this article by Publishers Weekly's Sara Nelson, Sara mentions Kelly Ripa's book club clout when it comes to pushing romance and frothy fiction, as evidenced by her launching Vicki Lewis Thompson's NERD IN SHINING ARMOR onto bestseller lists. Jon Stewart's star has inspired many to buy very un-comedic books like Ishmael Beah's A LONG WAY GONE and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's IN THE LINE OF FIRE.

Now, not everyone listens to Imus (I don't). Not everybody watches Regis and Kelly (I don't). So I'm curious to know what other mediums are effective in pushing books, specifically in various genres.

Is there a certain person whose rave review will convince you to buy a crime novel?

Whose gushing praise will make you pick up a diet or fitness book?

Who makes you buy books, and what kind of books do they make you buy?


Blogger Christopher M. Park said...

My wife makes me read books. If she reads something and loves it, then I'll be reading it before long (and vice-versa). I look through Publishers Weekly reviews and such, but otherwise it's all just what I can find in the bookstore or word of mouth.

I've never put too much stock in individual mainstream reviewers. For movies, I prefer a meta-critic like Rotten Tomatoes. Do they have anything like that for books? I haven't seen it if it does exist.

3:41 PM  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

I like the metacritic idea too. If 85% of the critics on RT like it, I probably will too. Unless Sandra Bullock or Tom Cruise is in it.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Spy Scribbler said...

I don't watch much TV aside from some dramas, so I don't even know what Oprah, Regis, Kelly, and others recommend, LOL.

If Stephen King recommends something, it's an automatic buy; I don't even need to read the book jacket, LOL. I like about 85% of what David Montgomery recommends, and about 65% of what Mark Terry recommends. After that, then it comes down to wandering the aisles of Borders and popping out at me.

If lots of the bloggers on my list are raving about something, I'll check it out. Same goes with the Killer Year folk.

Fitness book? Diet book? I'd sooner pick up an exercise DVD. Maybe Angelina Jolie or Gwyneth Paltrow might influence me to pick up a book. It'd be a hard sell, though.

I make me buy books, and I make me buy books I'll like. :-p

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have friends who like everything. They suggest things. Of course because they are less discriminating than I I borrow from them before buying. But if a person, who's style I like (often this is bloggers who's blogs I like), recommends a book I often check it out. I do buy books based on how a writer writes on their blog. It's a pity that I find some of the best blog writing done by romance and erotica writers, because honestly those genres almost always disappoint me.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Stingaree said...

If Gayle Lynds recommends it, I'll read it. Same for Bob Crais.

11:48 PM  
Blogger WordVixen said...

I'm a word-of-mouth only girl. If friends or family who have similar tastes recommends a book, I'll either borrow it from them or buy it myself. Occasionally, a blogger with go bonkers over a book- if I've grown to trust their judgement, and they make it sound interesting to me, I'll often buy it even if it's not in my favorite genres. Very rarely do I even bother to read someone else's review on a main website/magazine/newspaper, and I never watch any television programming that is likely to so much as mention the name of a real book.

11:57 PM  

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