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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I forget whether I'm allowed to link to an offsite forum from here, so I won't supply the link.  But I will tell you that an Amazon "Kindle Book" discussion that has the same title as this topic exists.  (That should be sufficient for you to find it, if you are interested.)

I found it very interesting because it is mainly readers telling what inspires them to buy from unknown authors.

If someone who knows for sure that posting the link here is okay, I'll edit this post to include it.
 

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I think it's fine to post links to other forums, but I'm not going to commit to that.

For me, if it's a book by a total unknown, meaning no one's even recommended it to me, it goes in exactly the same pattern:

The interesting cover gets me to click and read the interesting blurb that gets me to download the well-written, well-edited sample that gets me to buy the book.

Sometimes reviews play a part, but I generally don't put much stock in reader reviews. If they have quotes from review sites, though, that can sway me towards downloading a sample.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From the posts I see up above, I get the feeling that I wasn't clear about the purpose of my initial post.  I was hoping to direct those of you who are new to publishing/marketing (and any one else who is interested) to a discussion that might help them with their marketing.  I found the discussion very interesting and informative.
 

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one was short mystery stories. The author had posted here a number of times, and seemed interesting. Then I saw a good review on the stories, so I gave it a go. I loved them. Not a short story fan either.

another - they were listed as a side bar on someone's blog page, Derek Canyons, I think. The title was a hoot. I followed the link to amazon, read several reviews and bought it w/o reading the sample as it sounded off the wall and very interesting. Which it was. It was written in a style I normally loathe but was so well written I could not put it down and read it in one sitting.

Others: seen here on boards, amazon reviews, good reads, and facebook reviews. I get very good suggestions here, and also from good reads and links I have on my facebook (like apex reviews, and direct publishers like Carina), I like the reviews that are just people saying what ever they thought about a book.

as an interesting note: I've loved all the indie reads recently, and the trad books picked up in store - have only read one cover to cover from a fav author. The rest have been duds....expensive duds...which is why I'm reading more in the indie then anything at this stage.
 

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Depends on what you mean by "unknown" author. Any author I haven't heard of is the same to me.  It doesn't matter if they have written millions of best sellers, or it's their first book.

The cover might get me to check out a book, and in very rare cases, it might even get me to a sample, but most of the time, a cover is just a datapoint, like price or title.  (Actually, a great title will get my interest before anything else -- and the best thing a cover can do is feature the title, and maybe enhance it.)

The vast majority of the time I have to know the genre and what the book is about.  If it has an intriguing premise, or just sounds like my kind of book, I'll sample.  NOTE: this means that most of the books I find are because of recommendations, or being mentioned or featured on a blog or article or column.  Not necessarily formal reviews.  Seldom an "indie support" blog which just has canned author announcements (although I do scan Daily Cheap Reads, because they have non-indie books as well as indie books, and you can usually spot the genre and style right away.)  Mostly it will be an informal mention.

There are a million ways a book might get on my radar (and lots of minor ones might add up before I look), but in the end, it's the book description (as enhanced by title and cover), and then the price.  Over $5, and I'll look for it at the library.

And I hate to say this, but this goes for known authors as well....

Camille
 

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daringnovelist said:
Depends on what you mean by "unknown" author. Any author I haven't heard of is the same to me. It doesn't matter if they have written millions of best sellers, or it's their first book.
That's true!

Thanks, OP, looking for the thread now.
 

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For me, it goes cover->blurb->reviews->sample->sale (in that order)

If any one of those things doesn't add up there may not be a sale but it's a case-by-case basis. The cover brings me in; the blurb entices me to look further; reviews inform me what others think but if the story sounds interesting enough then I'll try a sample and go from there. I've been pretty lucky with my choices but I won't lie: generally, if the author makes the effort to write a good blurb and have an interesting cover, chances are good that quality control has leaked into their writing/story as well.
 

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DanM said:
From the posts I see up above, I get the feeling that I wasn't clear about the purpose of my initial post. I was hoping to direct those of you who are new to publishing/marketing (and any one else who is interested) to a discussion that might help them with their marketing. I found the discussion very interesting and informative.
Recommendation - don't pose a question in the title if you don't want people answering the question instead of reading the actual post. Seriously - it causes people to start formulating an answer in their head before they even open the thread.
 

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DanM said:
From the posts I see up above, I get the feeling that I wasn't clear about the purpose of my initial post. I was hoping to direct those of you who are new to publishing/marketing (and any one else who is interested) to a discussion that might help them with their marketing. I found the discussion very interesting and informative.
Dan, I gotta say, it looks to me like you got exactly what you're looking for: this conversation IS extremely informative to those who want help with marketing. And the conclusion is.... the best marketing is a good title, cover and blurb. And, of course, writing well so that the story pays off on the cover, title and blurb, so you get word of mouth.

It all goes back to the product itself. Sure you can announce it, and make sure people get more chances to hear about it or see it, but marketing tricks are just not that important.

Camille
 

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For me about 50% of the new authors I've read have been because they were recommended by an author I know or whose work I like. This could be a blurb, a blog mention, you name it. Another 25% have been ones I've found on kindle boards. Another 5-8% have had banners somewhere that looked intriguing.  The remainder I noticed the cover first on also boughts or some other such Amazon reference. Then I read the blurb and if it looked good downloaded the sample.  Don't care much about the title personally.  The sample has to be good though.  I tend to not buy from a sample if the author shows a tendency for too much description or passive/verb to be, even if the plot and characters seem interesting - I worry I'll be noticing it the rest of the book.
 

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A good cover, a good blurb, a well written sample.

Also, I tend to trust author's I've seen on the Kindle Boards more. Mostly because I know they care about their work, take time to edit, etc.. In fact, I'll forgive a Kindle Boards author a 'bad cover', for that very reason.

I don't think I've bought any Indie books that weren't Kindle Boards authors.
 

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This is such an important question and such interesting answers. One issue I find is so many people want to write books but aren't reading and so the word of mouth on books is harder than ever to generate. I have to say cover plays into it for me - and title - and reviews/blurbs.
 

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A cover, blurb, ad, and/or review will get me to download the sample. If the sample is good, I'll click the "Buy" button and keep reading.

One of the things I love about my Kindle is that there's no hesitation between "that sounds interesting" and grabbing the sample. The threshold is very low because the monetary commitment is nonexistent. Then all the writer has to do is convince me to keep reading.
 

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I've only really tried out one unknown author, seeing as how the indies that I had read before were already selling enough to stand out amongst the crowd. Once I'm done with my WIP, I plan on remedying that.

Anyways, that unknown author recommended his book to me in a suggestion thread over on the Amazon forums. It was more expensive than I wanted to pay, it did not have a good cover (it was a PublishAmerica cover), and it was a specific type of epic fantasy book that I avoid reading (where a character, or multiple characters, travel to a fantasy world through a portal.)

I bought it regardless. The man seemed to be a nice guy, and he was understanding when I said that it didn't sound like my type of book. Still, I downloaded a sample. I was hooked.

That author is now among my top ten favorite authors.
 
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