When readers consider our book, few will bother to look to see who published it. They won’t care if a major publisher, let alone any traditional publisher, produced it. When it comes to publishers, there is little brand loyalty, let alone much brand recognition. The imprint is of no consequence. How the printed book gets into their hands or the e-book gets into their reader doesn’t matter to them.
Here’s what does matter:
Cover: What they will look at is the cover. They will, in fact, judge our book by its cover. First impressions matter a great deal.
Title: The title is critical, too. Depending on how they discovered our book, whether they see the title first or the cover first, the other element will seal the deal – or not. If the cover is great but the title, lame, they will dismiss it. Similarly, if they see the title first, a great cover will move them towards a purchase, while a bad cover will move them to a different book.
Formatting: Next, they will look at the insides, whether thumbing through the actual pages or clicking online. If the layout looks “normal,” they will proceed. If it looks odd – even though they won’t know why – a red flag pops up.
Content: If our book passes these first three screens, they may actually read a section or two. Great writing beckons them; bad writing or editing – even average writing or editing – sends them packing.
Only when they get this far will they consider buying it.
Readers don’t care if our book is traditionally published or self-published; they care if our book is professional looking, well written, and interesting.
What is your experience when buying a book? What do you care about?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!