What Is Your Book Buying Process?

I noticed a pattern in my book buying habits the other day when I found myself running down to the local book and music store to snatch up the last paperback copy of Wolf Hall. Since there is a lot of talk about “discoverability” in this new digital age, this might be interesting to look into, both other people’s buying processes and your own.

For me, I do a lot of searching on Amazon for new books and writers. It’s my first stop to find something I might like. Particularly I go there hoping to find a new indie writer in a genre I enjoy (usually Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and now Historical Fiction). The algorithms are pretty good at predicting what I would like, but I don’t trust them 100%.

Instead, I browse the Top 100 lists and the Also-Boughts. If I see a cover I like, I click on it and check out the description. Right after that, I read a bunch of reviews. I get a lot of enjoyment out of reading reviews, and I usually go from the 5-Stars to the 1-Stars. If the 1-Stars have ridiculous criticisms, I dismiss them and check out the “See Inside” feature or download a sample if the book is on Kindle.

From there, I decide if I’m hooked enough to buy the book.

Now, as far as digital over physical copies is concerned, I do like to have a physical copy of certain books. If the fantasy has beautiful maps and diagrams in it, I do not go for the Kindle edition. If it’s traditionally published, I will seek out a physical copy at BullMoose Books and Music down the street from me. They have a very reliable website that lists if a book is in stock, and which locations have copies. They also do a fantasic job of letting me know as I’m searching if a location has limited stock, which means there is only one copy left on the shelf. If that’s the case, I make a run to the store as soon as possible to pick it up – or call ahead if I’m 100% sure I want to make the purchase, and have them hold the book for me at the front.

If the book is indie published, I usually go for the Kindle edition because it is cheaper and the quality is not too different from a printed book from CreateSpace. I have been surprised by some interior design in the indie world, however, though I haven’t been tempted to buy a POD paperback…yet. We’ll see what tempts me out of this comfort zone in the future!

So, there you have it. That is the process I make when looking to buy a book. I also check to see if the local library has copies of a book available as well if I am crunched for money.

What about you? Any interesting or quirky habits as far as your book buying process is concerned? I’d love to hear from you!


2 thoughts on “What Is Your Book Buying Process?

  1. I’ve actually started to lean on bookbub for finding new books and authors.
    They send about 5 or 6 books everyday for me to consider, so that’s nice. Often a boom I was already thinking about grabbing pops up at a steep discount. So I scoop it up.

    I’m perpetually behind on my reading, so I’m rarely actively searching for books.

    I firmly believe that readers are far more likely to buy a book they’ve heard something good about or they recognize the author’s name because that’s the first sign of quality for me. It may be a bad sign, but social proof has an effect on me.

    Since I’m into writing, I hear a lot of author interviews, so I’m exposed to a lot of different authors. The ones that stand out in my mind either get a buy from me immediately or when I see their book happen to pop up on bookbub.

    I also don’t just buy a book because it’s cheap. Yes, I’m more likely to buy it if it’s cheap, but if I’m not interested at all, I won’t even get it for free. I just don’t want to clutter my collection with stuff I have no real intention of reading.

    I go to book stores often, but rarely buy anything.
    I bought the first two Song of Fire and Ice (and some other books) from Savers (a used items resaler). Again, I don’t grab anything I don’t intend to read.

    I also buy audio books if I like the narrator(s) and interested in the story or content. I’m picky about the narrator though.


    1. I definitely agree on word of mouth and name recognition. I picked up a bunch of audiobooks because Victor Bevine did a masterful job on a series I had started listening to.

      I used to grab things that were on the free lists on Amazon, but then my algorithms got all cluttered. So, I usually don’t go for the free things anymore unless they are a genre I’m reading, or happen to be part of a series I’m interested in. I’m a huge fan of used book stores, too.

      Having gone through my book collection, I certainly have narrowed by buying habits for physical books since I only have a finite amount of space left on my shelves! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s