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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Maxwell

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe? (or, How did you choose that book?)

With my last giveaway, I asked entrants to answer a question: What most attracts you to a book initially? Is it the cover, blurb, author, genre, or something else?

This isn't by any means scientific, mind you, but two answers appeared noticeably more than the others – cover and genre, both of which had more than double the responses of either author or blurb. I was a little surprised that "author" didn't get the most votes, because I do know a lot of readers follow specific authors. But I'm not at all surprised about covers. I know when I'm in a bookstore, or just browsing online, it's covers that initially capture my attention.

As I said in answer to a question posted by author Tracy Weber in one of my Facebook groups, I look for mystery covers that reflect themes that interest me in my personal life. In Tracy's case, I wanted to read Murder Strikes a Pose, the first in her Downward Dog Mysteries, because I enjoy yoga. I picked up The Merlot Murders and The Chardonnay Charade by Ellen Crosby because, hey, I enjoy a nice glass of wine in the evening! And I'm currently reading Murder at Hatfield House by Amanda Carmack because I love Elizabethan history (all history, actually), and I was intrigued by the cover image of a woman in a red cloak running toward the palace.

In all three of those cases (or four), the cover made it quite clear to me that certain themes ran through the story. The fact that all four are murder mysteries is where genre comes in. I wouldn't have been attracted to the covers if I hadn't already gone straight to the mystery section.

Then again, once I read and enjoy an author, I'll keep them on my radar for future releases. There are definitely times when I'll go straight for a certain author's latest release that I've been breathlessly awaiting. For me, those three factors encourage me to pick a book off the shelf. It's then that I'll look over the back cover blurb, and then flip the book open to see how it reads. My biggest problem? There are so many wonderful writers I can't possibly get to them all.

So how about you? Let's continue this very serious, scientific analysis. What prompts you to eagerly and happily hand over your hard-earned cash for several hours of unbridled enjoyment?

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