Dear Fiction Reader…

Dear Fiction Readers…this post is for you. I’m not selling you anything. I just want to know your opinion. Would you mind giving me a few minutes?

The above image came across my Facebook the other day and I found it incredibly interesting from a writer’s perspective.

There are countless websites, articles and blog posts that you can find about “What Readers Want.” For the writer, there are no easy answers, there is no formula, and if anyone tells you there is, they are lying. For example, I’ve been told, don’t use Chapter Titles, it isn’t professional. And yet, according to the above graphic, readers WANT Chapter Titles. Looks like someone forgot to ask the reader.

So, I’ve decided to go to the source: the Readers. If you read fiction novels, any genre, this is for you. I really want to know your opinions.

Please leave your comments below. You don’t have to answer all the questions. I just want to know what’s most important to you when choosing a new author to read.

  1. Let’s start with what genre do you read? (ie fantasy, SciFi, contemporary fiction, romance, etc.)
  2. Regarding the image above, do you like/want Chapter Titles beyond “Chap 1,” “Chap. 2,” etc?
  3. When shopping for a book (either online or in store) are you drawn by a book cover’s image or title first?
  4. Do you actually read reviews? If so, how much weight to you put into them?
  5. How do you find NEW authors or books to read? (not referring to favorite or familiar authors) Recommendations? Reviews? Amazon search?
  6. Do Facebook Ads or Google Ads ever get you to buy a book?
  7. Where do you buy most of your books? Online or in person? Is Amazon your first choice?
  8. Does following an author on social media matter to you?

That’s all I have for now. Thank you for your participation!

As a reader, your opinion matters! As I writer, I want to write the best book possible with my readers in mind.

4 comments

  1. As a reader, I’ll gladly help out!
    1. I mostly read fantasy and women’s fiction, but enjoy a thriller or cozy mystery now and then.
    2. Chapter titles are nice, but, by the end of the chapter, I never remember what it was,so the brilliance of the chapter content and the title are completely lost on me. I don’t even pay attention to what number chapter it is most of the time. I think it just depends on the novel itself. Some lend themselves better to having titles that help guide the story while others find them irrelevant.
    3. A perfect mix of the two. A horrible image with a brilliant title makes me question the book and vice versa. I prefer to see a relationship between the two, though I think colorful images full of things like flowers and feathers are in right now. Color is what really catches my eye, though, as well as a title that reflects the genre. A fantasy with a title reminiscent of romance would completely throw me.
    4. Depends on the quality of the book description. Ones that aren’t compelling on their own, but do pique my interest, make me look to some reviews, as well as books I’m on the fence about. If the book description makes me fall in love with it, I really don’t care what other people thought of it, which might seem weird considering I’m a book reviewer.
    5. I get most of my books either through Netgalley, which offers free galleys to book reviewers in exchange for honest reviews, or straight from the author, so new to me authors tend to find me. Though I do read a good number of book reviewers who read authors I’ve never heard of, so that’s a good way to learn of new authors and books. Honestly, though, I don’t have as much author loyalty as most readers, so most authors tend to be new to me.
    6. Sorry, I don’t even pay attention to ads on anything.
    7. I prefer browsing bookstores, but most of my books have been gifted to me, so it’s been a while since I’ve gone shopping.
    8. I always think I should follow authors on social media, but am horrible about social media myself, so no.

    Hope I could help! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! These are excellent questions that made me pause and dig deep. 1) I read a bit of everything – mostly contemporary fiction and memoir. 2) I’ve never liked one over the other, but now that I think about it, chapter titles are good when flipping through a book and could make me want to read it. Of the last two books I read, one had chapter titles and one did not. 3) When shopping in a store, I AM drawn to a book by the cover. Online, not as much, but as a highly visual person, I definitely notice the covers. However, I typically keep a large book list and while an attractive cover is a nice bonus, it doesn’t usually impact what I read. I do notice the cover before the title, but neither of these are the reason I choose to read a book. 4) I do read reviews, but I rely more on reviews from friends who are readers. 5) Occasionally I find books from suggestion lists from Amazon or BookBub. I like the site Modern Mrs. Darcy. I guess, as a reader I just try to stay open to different avenues for learning about books, and then I keep a list and select my next read based on how I’m feeling in any given moment. 6) Occasionally, maybe, but I am more likely to read a book if I get a suggestion from someone I actually know who just puts it out there that they liked a book. That might come from Facebook, but it’s not usually in the form of an actual advertisement. I definitely shop based on FB ads but for different items rather than books. I’m actually more likely to read a book that I see advertised in an actual magazine (like the New Yorker or Bitter Southerner or Vanity Fair, etc.). 7) I buy a lot from Amazon, but I also buy from my local bookstore, thrift shops, and I check out a lot from the library. 8) Following an author on social media does not matter to me. I just don’t have a lot of time to follow regularly. I typically DO follow authors, but honestly a lot of it gets lost in the world of info overload. At the same time, I understand that it is necessary these days for authors to have an online presence, so I do follow some authors and I often find myself buying their books.

    Wow, that got long. Hope some of it is helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

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