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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Really read them?

I just got a couple of reviews and I shook my head at the comments... and it made me think, are these people actually reading the product descriptions before they buy, or do they simply buy based on what's on the cover, or the gold star ratings, or what? Points were raised that neither my beta readers nor my editor raised, simply because, they weren't points.

How is it that folks completely miss things and then feel they should review something?
 

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Remember, anything written is subject to interpretation.  You know what you mean when you write a blurb, but if I'm coming from a different angle, I may read something else into it. 
 

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I can't speak for anyone else, but my own personal purchases are based on the product description. The book cover might get me to look at the Amazon page (step one) but the "buy with one click" button (step two) doesn't get hit unless the description interests me (and if the price is right, heh).

Though are they read carefully? I miss things occasionally, I admit. I even had a publisher at a pitch session tell me I should mention my genre in my elevator speech...which starts out with "In my fantasy novel..." So it happens to the best of us. I'm not sure the best way to fix it or if it can be. Keep it short, simple, and interesting maybe? I don't think there's anything so perfectly done that someone isn't going to misinterpret it :(
 

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I always read the full product description before buying. My time is too valuable to buy something without knowing what I'm getting.

But I do notice when skimming reviews of other authors' books that there are sometimes complaints about the story length, even though the description (and sometimes the cover) clearly says "short story". That leads me to believe not everyone reads the descriptions as carefully as I do. I think if a book is cheap people are more inclined to click and buy in a hurry, without always knowing what they're buying.

In their defence, plenty of short works aren't properly labeled. For example I wrote a piece of bad flash fiction years ago that was around 1,000 words long. I sold it to a terrible publisher I no longer associate with. It was never intended to be represented as anything but flash fiction. But the publisher put it up for sale on Amazon at $0.99 without stating the length. A reviewer complained very angrily about it ("if I could give this less than one star I would") and I felt terrible they were suckered into buying what they thought was a novel only to discover it was super short. I hope they complained to Amazon and got a refund. I would love to have the book taken down because it's hurting my brand but that's not happening.

Sorry for the thread jack. :-\
 

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So now I am wondering if the blurb should be included up front in the book. Why? Suppose people are like me and do lots of BUY clicking, build up an inventory, then scan the inventory and forget exactly what they bought. Is that the book about the serial killer or the Korean War?

If I have a pile of paper books, it's obvious. But on the Kindle, what I have is a list of titles. Not so obvious. Include the blurb and that would trigger the same set of expectations that were present when clicking BUY.
 

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Terrence OBrien said:
So now I am wondering if the blurb should be included up front in the book. Why? Suppose people are like me and do lots of BUY clicking, build up an inventory, then scan the inventory and forget exactly what they bought.
I have included the book description at the beginning of each of my books. I do it because as a reader I want it there for exactly the kind of reason you mention, Terrence. With my paper books I could always pick one up and read info about the story on the flyleaf or the back cover or somewhere. I don't want to have to look a book up online to see what the heck it's about. I want to be able to find out from the info in the book.
 
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