...when you're selecting a book. I'm curious what influences you in the selection process. 1 being the most important, 7 being the least important. Rank the following in importance to you. So as to not unduly influence you, I've listed the choices in alphabetical order.

Is it;

Author (known or recommended to you)

Back cover blurb (what the story is about)

Cover art/design

famous author or review endorsement taglines

Genre

Publisher name/company

Sample--First couple of pages

David DeLee

A Cold Wind - a Grace deHaviland novella

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Author (known or recommended to you)

Sample--First couple of pages (or you could call this an assessment of the prose)

Genre

Back cover blurb (what the story is about)

Famous author or review endorsement taglines

Publisher name/company

Cover art/design

Author = 4

Back cover blurb = 6

Cover art/design = 5

famous author/review endorsement = 7

Genre = 6

Publisher name/company = 8

Sample--First couple of pages = 1

I'm pretty much exactly where Eric is.  For taglines, I don't consider famous authors (shills, mostly), but I do consider newspaper reviews and PW.

Author

Genre

Sample (maybe)

The rest matter not a bit. I would add recommendations from people whose opinions I trust.

Dana, Do you mean you do not trust famous authors, who endorsements appear on a book?

David DeLee

A Cold Wind - a Grace deHaviland novella

What can I say? I'm a cynic. The downside is, no matter how cynical you are, it's never enough.

More like you're a realist, Dana. Those celebrity authors giving endorsements tend to share the same publisher and/or agents as the lesser knowns being endorsed, and the grade inflation is usually off the charts ...

Not to mention that some don't read the book but ask the author to write something they can put their name to.

Selecting a book. ... What influences you in the selection process. 1 being the most important, 7 being the least important. Rank the following in importance to you. So as to not unduly influence you, I've listed the choices in alphabetical order.

Is it;

Author (known or recommended to you) There are only a few authors that attract me right away, since we writers are many and my memory cells are few (perhaps not "little gray" enough). I'd give this a 3.

Back cover blurb (what the story is about) Initial attraction can be influenced by the cover, but it certainly isn't a deciding point. The blurb can help, however, so it''s probably a 6.

Cover art/design As just indicated, I like nice covers but don't use them in deciding. This gets a 7.

famous author or review endorsement taglines I suppose this might rate a 5, possibly tied with the blurb.

Genre Certainly very important in rejecting  huge number of books. If it's labeled "romance" or "horror" I'm very unlikely to buy it, or if it's labeled "western," I'd be disinclined to buy, but perhaps less so. Perhaps a 4.

Publisher name/company I seldom notice the publisher unless there's a special reason to. This is surely another 7.

Sample--First couple of pages Knowing the emphasis "how to write" works of art put on the first couple of pages, I don't expect the first few pages to tell a lot about the writing, though they can be useful in getting a hint about whether the plot will hold up. But only a hint. So I prefer to open the book to several places further inside. If you insist on the first few, they I'd give it a 3, but if you  permit broadening to count looking here and there inside, it gets a 2.


You didn't ask about price, but in my case, price has to be relevant. So it would have gotten a 2.  Note that I can't really attribute a 1 to any single aspect of book-buying. It's always a combination of things.

Hello, Byron!  Welcome back.  We missed you.

Author 5

Blurb 2

Cover 4

Famous 6

Genre 1

Publisher 7

Sample 3

Genre

Author

Blurb

First Page

In that order

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