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Yes, I’m a writer, but this is coming purely from a reader’s perspective.
I’ve always loved browsing in bookstores, but these days, more often than not, I browse on Amazon. Lately, I’ve found very specific reasons on why I click on a book and then why I purchase it.
Definitely at the top. But not even close to why I actually purchase a book. So if you want people to at least click on your book to give it a try, then go for an appealing cover that represents your story.
Even if you have a great cover, I won’t click on the Look Inside feature, if I’m not crazy about the premise. This is very subjective. So hook your reader by being concise and getting to the heart of your story.
3. Rank and Reviews
After the cover, after the blurb, I check out the rank. Is the book selling? I also check out the reviews.
4. First page
I have very specific tastes. Voice, tone/mood, the writing – all comes into play. I know almost right away within the first page, the first paragraph, if I want to buy it.
What turns this whole process into a purchase is the price. If I’ve loved everything so far, and the book is on sale for 99 cents, then it’s usually a definite impulse purchase.
If the book is 2.99/3.99, I wait and think about it. If I keep thinking about it, then eventually I’ll buy it and read it.
Final conclusion: Even though the cover, blurb, rank, and price play a role, the first page is most important. Because even at free or 99 cents I won’t buy a book unless I really want to read it.
Want an example? Here’s my latest impulse purchase. Note that this book dropped in price to 99 cents. This kind of price pulsing worked on me. Check it out here. (This is a New Adult book with sexual situations.)
What was your last impulse purchase? And why?