Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A question I would really appreciate some input on...

Hi, all :)  It's that time of year again...for me anyway.  Which means that I need to solidify my marketing plan for next year.  I'd just like to do an informal survey on what types of promotion are most influential to *you* in deciding:
1.  What books you buy.
2. When you buy those books.
I do lots of different kind of promotion for my books, ads in Romantic Times, banners on romance friendly websites, my own website, movie trailers (played on my website only) for my books, participating on reader boards and in reader chat groups (as an author and reader), etc.  I just thought it would be really great to hear what actually has impact for you and if it isn't any form of overt promotion, say that too.
I would really appreciate your input!  As incentive for anyone willing to share their thoughts, I have a supply of very cool, brand-spanking new bookmarks for 2006 and Lucy Monroe pens that I will send you if you send me an SASE (2 oz's of postage) once you have posted your comment.  To be eligible your comments must be posted here on my blog or sent to me as a private email.
In addition, if there are at least ten replies, I will do a drawing of participants in one week and send a signed copy of TOUCH ME to the winner.
(Which means you'll have to check back to see if you won and email me with your snailmail address at that time.)


Lucy Monroe said...

Here is the address to send your SASE for a 2006 bookmark and Lucy Monroe pen once you have posted your comment to the blog. Please include a note with your SASE saying what it is for or my PA will assume it's simply for bookmarks and you won't get your pen. :)


Lucy Monroe
PMB 217
7456 SW Baseline Rd.
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Lisa Freeman said...

Most of the books I buy are from authors that I've already read and know their style. I usually buy the books as soon as my bookstore gets them in stock. I find out about new books by either going to the author's website, reader loops, or from an ad in the back of another book. As a wife, mom, volunteer, and employee, I know how valuable time is, but I think the best advertising an author can do is get involved on a reader loop. I've tried more new authors just because they take the time to "talk" to the readers.

Jodi S. said...

I buy books mainly based on recommendations from the loops I belong too. I think I buy more books when the author is on a loop and actively promoting their new book. Plus, if I've read an author's books before, then I'm more apt to keep reading that author. I think it's very important to have an webpage and to keep it current at all times. (I've been to some that have coming soon books listed that are actually released.) I like to receive email notices from authors when they have a new release, otherwise I may not know about it. I don't have a bookstore where I live so I have to buy at Wal-Mart (which carries very few books) or shop online. Due to my family's budget, I don't buy as many books as I'd like to unless I have gift certificates. I love to enter contests to try to win books.

Barbara-PF said...

Hi Lucy--

I think probably for many people RT is the number one source for information on upcoming books just because it it the most available source for books out there. This publication is how I find out about most upcoming books. Also this is the one source that will reach your audience that is not on the computer often.

Another place where I find upcoming titles is the postcard section on the WriterSpace site. I have discovered several upcoming releases there.

Personally I keep a book journal shere I list books I want to buy each month. As I buy them I cross them off the list and no I don't get every book on the list as it comes out....not enough $$$ for that. I usually have 10-15 books that are MUST BUYS and about as many others that I would also like to read and I pick them up as I have the funds. Because I tend to keep more books than not I usually buy my MUST BUYS new and the week they are released if possible. The rest I buy at the UBS or maybe trade for them there.

I think a great promotional tool for authors is reader chats. I have tried several authors after chatting with them on line. Also as Lisa mentioned reader groups I think are a good was to generate new fans. Interviews on some of the online web sites also have prompted me to purchase a new to me author's book in the past.

Hope this helps you.

Brandy said...

I tried my first book from you based on the review in RT. I also look at writerspace. Another good way to learn about a new book or author are the loops, websites, or sneak peeks in the back of other books. I did see your trailer on your website for one book and that reinforced my decision to try you. Good luck with your poll.

Judy Schlueter said...

I've been reading romance books for about 10 years now and started out just going to the book store and trying books that might look good. Found a lot of terrific authors - but also a lot of "don't like this style". When I joined the Yahoo Group for Lori F and then Scamps, Vamps, etc - I "listened" to a lot of different authors - and the opinions of the other members who e-mail. As I got to know people, I went with their recommendations and have hardly ever gotten a book (or new author) I don't like.
I buy my favorite authors' books the first week they're out - if I like an author, I've already read all the back issues. If I "Try" a book from an author I haven't read, and like the author - I usually get the back issues from a USB and then buy the new ones when they first come out. I also check out Writerspace and a couple of other sites to read their reviews.

Anonymous said...

I have several authors who are autobuys for me and I keep a list of when their next book comes out. I also read reviews, spending a lot of time at Writerspace and thumbing through RT. I love to read excerpts and keep a TBB list of books and ebooks from excerpts posted on various loops. Often I add to my TBB list from authors that other readers/friends have recommended. I also like to look at what's coming at Amazon, and sometimes simply browse at the bookstore, allowing a title or cover catch my eye. I do visit author websites and look around but don't always take the time to check out all of the bells and whistles at the site. Once again I'm posting "anonymously" because I've forgotten my username and password. --Laurie

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,
I used to just browse in the stores and buy whatever caught my eye. Since I have joined a couple of on line groups, I have been buying a lot that others recommend and that have now become autobuys for me, like yourself. The first one of your books that I read was recommended to me on Lori's list and then I had to go out and find your other ones. I hope to get RT as soon as my budget can support it because I know they showcase their authors. I also visit authors websites to find out what they have coming out and I do still like to browse although most of that is done on line now. I posted anonymous because I don't have a blogger identity:) Hope I helped a little. Shari

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy!

I starter buying your books when I joined Lori Foster loop. Someone recomended "Ready" and I went and got it. I got hooked ever since! Then after that I had to have your other books. I think that for me what had work in getting new authors has been recomendations in the loops. Once I found a author I enjoy I can hardly wait to get the next release. Thats how I have found so many wonderful authors. So far I have not been disapointed. Also reading the reviews have helped, although some reviews havent been so favorable for a book if someone on the loop have read it and recomended I give it a try. Another thing I have enjoy is to interact with my favourite authors, for some reason after you have contact with them on line you can find traces of them in their books, and that makes them unique. I really admire and appreciate the fact that you all take the time to answer to us readers, specially now that I have learned you have pressing deadlines and should be writting instead of "playing with us " on line. I'm still new at all this, but for me word of mouth its what had work and have more weight.
Keep up the good work!

Leslie Hodges said...


My first exposure to one of your books was when I read Star Quality. I have been a Lori Foster and Dianne Castell fan for a long time, and when I read your story in there it intriqued me to check out more of your work. Since then I have picked up three or four of your other books when I have seen them on the shelves of my local bookstore. Once I find an author I like, I will buy everything they put out. I don't gamble much on new authors, unless they are referred by a friend, or unless there is a lot of talk on a list group about a specific book. Hope this helps. :)

Jana said...

I have a few select authors that I buy no matter what. However, sometimes due to budgeting, I don't always buy the first week a book is out. I hate that it works that way because I know how important those first numbers are. I generally read a book because of a recommendation from someone else. I do read reviews, but I also know that some reviewers & don't agree so I take everything with a grain of salt. Covers & back blurbs catch my eye quite a lot too.

Lucy Monroe said...

Thank you everyone for posting and for reading my books! I really just want to hug each one of you and am reading your discussion with avid interest! All of your comments are helping *a lot* and the fact that so many of you agree on what prompts you to buy books is crucial. Lisa, I am honored that you made your first blog post on my blog. :) I'm hearing that reader groups are really good sources of word of mouth on an author's books and that an author's participation is beneficial too. It goes both ways, by the way...the attagirl posts I get on new releases from readers on the loops make a huge difference in how I feel about my writing. I've given up a lot of online activities, but I fight for my time to spend with readers because I need it. :)

The one thing that surprised me is how impacted by reviews readers are. While most of my reviews have been positive, the Presents reviewer in RT doesn't seem to like my books, but they still are usually #1 in sales for the month. Perhaps it is that single title readers are more impacted by RT reviews than category readers? Anyone care to comment on that?

I hope you all send your envelopes for goodies...I'll try to remember to put something sweet in there as well...as an extra special thank you!


Anonymous said...

Hi there!
My favorite series are HPs. I have a list of favorite authors whose books I buy automatically -- mostly in bookstores and sometimes from M&B directly and very rarely from the Harlequin website.

I pay very little or no attention to reviews since I found that I do not usually agree with them. The exception to that is if an author is not on my auto-buy list and the back cover blurb intrigues me. Then I will see if I can find some reviews and or comments by posters on the eharlequin boards.

Too many times I've been burned by buying "intriguing" sounding books. My time for reading seems to grow less and less every year. Given that and the price of books I am reluctant to "waste" both time and money -- both are equally precious.

I started reading your HPs and then read some of your mainstream books as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved your historical as much as your contemporaries. That is usually not the case.

So far, you have not disappointed me and I always look forward to the release of a new book.

Lidia said...

Lucy, Just testing!!! My "old" sign on did not "work" and I had to post as "anonymous." I just created a new one.

Danica said...

Lucy, I just bought Touch me the other day. I can't wait until Mr. Postman delivers it. :)

You know, I have so many books in my TBR pile that I generally never venture past authors I already know and love unless the book is really highly recommended by people I know, trust, and have similar tastes to mine (I never base it on reviews)

The whole reason I bought Touch Me, for example, is that my friend told me to get a certain book that we're going to start discussing. I went to BN.com, ordered it, realized that I could either pay for shipping, or for the exact same amount of money, buy another book and get free shipping. So I sat there and thought, who do I know that's had a recent release that I don't have. And you got to be the lucky author. :)

To be honest, that's how I choose. Each month, I buy the books I need for work, and out of my remaining book budget, I buy the books of people I know and love.

The last new to me author was Julie Kenner's Carpe Demon, and the reason I read her book is because you and a number of my other friends were recommending it, and I ended up getting it at one of the signings in Reno. I still would have gotten it in Reno (a free book's a free book, after all), but it would be on the bottom of the pile rather than one of the first ones I read.

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks, Lidia...it's great to see you here. :)

Danica...you're obviously not the only reader impacted by budget. There have been a couple of other comments to that effect here and I know that I have a book buying budget that can get mighty tight when more than one of my favorite authors comes out in hardback too close together. Thank goodness for the book clubs! LOL


Michelle B said...

As others have mentioned, I am on a tighter budget these days, so I try to get as much information as I can before buying a book. I will say most of the time, I have bought books in the store after reading the summary on the back, the blurb in the front and even sometimes the first few pages. Even know when I buy online, I read excerpts first when they are available. There are many times when the excerpt sways me when I am on the fence about buying a book.

Just recently, I've joined more of the online communities and the excerpts that authors post do really make me anticipate their books and I tend to buy those as soon as they come out!

Though this isn't necessarily a promotion tactic, I find that I really get caught up in short series (like trilogy's) by the same author (even when they are spread over different years rather than published in consecutive months). If I like the first book, I will almost always buy the rest of the series even if I'm a bit unsure on the stories in the remaining books. I just love seeing glimpses of familiar characters and their lives in related books.

On a similar note, I have found that when authors do a "prequel" as on online read at eharlequin.com and I really enjoy it, it gets me excited about the book that continues the story or is a take off on another character.

Ok, I'll stop before I've written a book myself. Hope this helps!


Stacy ~ said...

I agree with the replies about recommendations. That's probably been the most trustworthy way of finding new books/authors to read. The added bonus of having the author(s) actively visit the loops is wonderful because you learn a lot about them and why they write what you write. Sometimes that can change a reader's mind about a topic that maybe they weren't previously interested in reading about.

In addition, I read RT magazine and visit sites like Writerspace and Amazon and the author's website to read reviews and learn more about the authors. Money and time are major constraints so if I'm going to take a chance on a new author, I want to get my money's worth.

Lucy, you don't have to worry about that cuz I love all your books and think you continue to get better. Ready is my absolute favorite so far followed closely by Real Deal.

Lucy Monroe said...

This has really turned out to be an eye opener for me. Things I did as an "aside" like posting excerpts can actually be *the* determining factor in whether or not someone buys my book. It totally makes sense, but I wasn't thinking in that light before.

How can I thank each and every one of you enough for sharing your views??? And your ultra kind comments on my work have really lifted my spirits this week!

Thank you all again and to think the announcement still hasn't gone out to my email newsletter subscriber group.

It just goes to show what I've often said...romance readers are a very generous bunch!


Cindy said...

Anything that catches my fancy. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. When I buy. Anytime. At the airport, waiting for a plane. At a supercenter, or a bookstore (my drug of choice). I usually stick with authors I have read before but I'll always read new things.

Lis said...

Hi Lucy,

Here's some of the things that help influence me to pick up a book:

websites - the best are the ones up to date. Like some other comments have mentioned, recently I've stumbled onto sites where the coming soon are out and have been since the spring. I usually end up spending a good amount of time browsing the website, reading excerpts and coming soon info and looking at the backlist to see if there's something there that interests me.

I confess I've yet to pick up a RT so can't really say one way or the other there. But posting excerpts on websites and short stories, ect on eHar have gotten me to go out and buy the book or something from the author.

Most books I do buy are from authors I've already read and loved or in category in a line I enjoy and the story idea hooks me. I tend to try new authors after having them join some of the reader loops I'm in or taking part in a q&a or chat and of course, recommended by friends.

Hope I helped.


Anonymous said...

I spend a lot of time reading. I look in Writer's Space and then go to the book store for books that look interesting. What I buy depends on how I feel at the time. I read romance, futuristic and mystery mostly. I haven't made lists because I never know what will look good when I shop.I appreciate it when authors send out newsletters letting me know when they have a new book coming out. It gives me a shopping headstart.

Anonymous said...

Good gracious. What a neat thing to do. I search web sites. Go to my used book store, and shop at Amazon. I try out different authors to see how interested I am in their work and how a story flows.
I a am a 24/7 caregiver for my husband who has Alzheimers. I read at least 5 books or more a week. It keeps me sane.
But books are expensive. I belong to my authors sites to get info.

Jean P. said...

I used to go to bookstore and spend a lot of time reading the blurbs on the back of books and skimming through the books. Once, I found an author I liked, they became autobuys. Now, it's the loops and authors' websites. Newsletters are also great, but I really don't care for them when you have to click on a link to read the newsletter. Authors chatting on the loops, posting excerpts, reading what others recommend, that's become my main source.

Jean P.

Nell Dixon said...

Hi Lucy,
I first got your books when you answered some questions for me on cataromance and I love getting newsletters to tell me whats new. As I'm in the UK I rely on reader groups and author led sites like Romance Junkies etc to se whats new. I agree about the websites too. I'm currently working towards launching mine on Dec 1st and know what hard work that is. This is a fascinating discussion. Hope my comments help.

terri said...

I am usually introduced to a book at chat or on a loop. Even if the book that is not being promoted id one I am interested I always then go to thier web site to see what else they have written. I also listen to the other readers in a chat or on a loop to see what book they are raving about and usually wind up giving it a try. Do not pay much attention to banner ads!Newsletters are great also. Terri

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Melissa (reddaze@excite.com) and I've never been here before, but I read your e-mail and had to visit.

To answer your question, I spend a lot of time at the bookstore! I like to check out the selection and scan the backs of books, look at covers, read inside blurbs. I'm not one for auto-buy authors; I usually have to like the topic or storyline. And it depends what kind of mood I'm in -- contemporary, historical, funny, serious, etc.

However, I've just recently realized that I buy a lot of books based on previews e-mailed to me. What I mean is, if an author sends me (I'm on a lot of mailing lists!) and all of their other fans a sample chapter of an upcoming book that intrigues me and pulls me in right away, I'll put it on my list. Does that help?

Anonymous said...

Lucy, I usually buy historical and contemporary books. I subscribe to RT magazines and look forward to their reviews. But that does not influence me buying a book. Some authors are autobuy for me. Your one of them, I love 3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys.

I am the queen of pre-order, I have a notebook that I use to write down who has a new book coming out in what month. I'm always adding to it. About a month before release date I pre-order the books I want from Books A Million.com. If I should forgot to order a book I usually just buy it from my local book store or discount store.

Danielle D
Wheaton, IL

Anonymous said...

I buy mostly romance novels. I like them to have a mystery attached to them and I am more apt to buy the book if it has some sixth sense or sci-fi elements to it. I buy in book stores based on the back cover and the front page. On the computer, I buy based on the summary, readers comments, and reading an insert. E-mails help me be aware of what is out there, I do not pay any attention to other marketing strats. Hope this helps, Tracy-no blogger identy

Stephanie said...

Hi Lucy!
Its hard to believe but its been 2yrs now since a then new friend said 'you have to read this book'. Its kinda scary and amazing just how fast my collection of books and ebooks has grown and keeps on, and on, and on *blush* wisely budgeted of course *blush*

Thats in thanks too atleast for me author's websites that are kept current with summeries and excerpts, and maybe a good short story or 2 on so I get a good peek at what I'm getting before I buy!

But also from those sites I've found that links to places such as Writer's Space and The Romance Studio who have introduced me to more Fabulous authors with links and banners that catch my attention!

I'm not always lucky enough to catch a chat with an author so those with the occational newletter are what get my attention, besides just going in a store and browsing covers and summeries on a shelf!!
Hope that helps with the plans ;)

Brenda Dickson said...

I buy my books as soosn as they are available at my local bookstores or on the internet. Usually I buy them locally because I don't have to wait for the post!! I am really into "series" historical romance and sometimes wish the stories would never end. I keep tabs on when new books are coming out by going to the author's website or I am notified by e-mail from the author with a "heads-up" as to when something new is out. I also am a voracious reader and sometimes find out inadvertently by reading ads at the local bookstores. I really appreciate the notifications by the authors themselves.

snowflake said...

I sign up for authors' newsletters and romance reader groups to keep me informed of new releases.

I have a list of auto buy authors whose new releases I would buy as soon as they come out or when my budget allows. For authors not on my auto buy list, positive word of mouth or contests will make me look for their websites as well as surf the internet for more information on their book.

I think it's a must these days for an author to have a web presence and a mailing list. Keep the website updated, professional looking, informative and user friendly. It may be nice to be different from the norm but if I have to split hairs to figure out where to find something, a website's not user friendly. Frills don't really impress me if they make page loading and navigation a slow and painful experience and I am not even using dialup.

Just having a website alone is not sufficient. The author must promote it and make it easy to find, like putting the url in their sig lines, doing contests, author days, etc. Winning a book from an unfamiliar author is a great way of finding out if the author is for me. I appreciate authors who organise contests that overseas readers can take part in.
I have discovered new favourite authors by taking part in contests, where I make a purchase decision based solely on the strength of the excerpt on their website, so I think having at least one excerpt per book is important.

Some authors organise contests where readers enter by signing their guestbook but I don't like it if the guestbook doesn't hide our email address. Spammers use sophisticated software to harvest email addresses from the internet and guestbooks have proven to be an easy target.

I am more likely to take a gamble on a new-to-me author if I've chatted with them on the list and I like the blurb and excerpts posted.

Anonymous said...

I buy a lot of books that have been reviewed in People magazine or are advertised in Vanity Fair. I am never disappointed in these books and I buy them when they are quite recent so I will be "up" on things. Most are fiction, but sometimes I buy non-fiction.

CrystalG said...

What influences me to buy a book is reading an intriguing excerpt and positive reader comments.
I buy books at Walmart, online bookstores and at used book stores.

SimplySunsational said...

I ALWAYS read either the back of a book if it is in front of my face or I read an excerpt from the book like on websites selling Romance novels. If it intrigues me I will probably buy it...money willing. I admit I have also won books in contests and when I received it and read it...if I liked it I would buy more from that author. I adore author websites. They seem like more of a personal touch. I buy books just about anywhere that sells them online or brick and mortar...depends on my mood.

Anonymous said...

For me, because I live in Europe and get most of the "advertising" over the Internet in terms of finding out what books will be released, backlists of authors, etc. the websites and the loops are the best form of advertising. Blogs are fun but I don't regularly read all of the authors i enjoy, advertising over the publishers is nice but it is easy to miss someone, with all the publishing houses...My TBB list is definitely supplied with new titles right off the loops and websites. glenda

Theresa said...

Hi Lucy,
As you know you are a auto buy as well as a few others. Otherwise I take other suggestions or what I hear in the loop.
When I pick a review I go to the aurhors web sight or a link to the publisher.
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I buy books from authors that are known to me. Several are autobuys. Some of the authors who are autobuys I now hold off on b/c they've gone to hardback. I can read up to six books/week so I have to be careful how I spend my money.

I belong to several readers groups and get numerous email updates. If I find a new author, I usually go to their website and read any and all excerpts to see if the book/s interest me. If they do, then I will buy. Many new authors that I've read come from BB recommendations. These rec's usually are right on target.

I rarely pay attention to sites that do reviews. I've found that reviews are just one persons opinion on that particular day. I do pay more attention to the reviews in RT. They seem more balanced. I've found that the reviewers don't let their personal feelings come into play.

Finally, I will read the first 5-10 pages of a book. If those pages hold my interest, make me want to keep reading, or make me wonder what is going to be on the next 10 pages, I buy.

cathyv said...

I read my emails of new releasesby my favorite authors. On the weekends, I try to treat myself with trip to Barnes and Nobles check out my favorite author's books and pick up a Cafe Mocha. When I am in Walmart, I also check out the paperback books for the new releases. If I don't find any of my favorite author's books out then I am usually drawn the rugged modern day cowboy stories..I love to read about ranches.......

Kristen Schuster said...

Usually I buy my books after browsing around the bookstore for a while. I see whats out there and then try to decide which books I'm going to buy. Colorful covers usually catch my eye, as well as creative titles.

Lately I've been taking recommendations from romance novel loops I'm in. If a lot of people are reading a certain book, or if someone really liked a book, I'll go out and buy it. If you suggest a book on these loops chance are someone has read it and will start a discussion about it. And everyone gives their opinions, whether good or bad, which is a good way to find new books to read.

My TBR pile is growing into a mountain!

As to when I buy books...I usually go to the bookstore once a month and purchase a few books. But only ones I really really want to read. Usually I wait for the books at the library or on paperbackswap.com. I have no self control around books, so I try not to go to the bookstore very often! :0)

Anonymous said...


Most of the time I browse both the web and local bookstores. I have a few auters that I buy on sight. But I am always open to new and exciting books I come across.

My favorite time of year for reading is now. Between September and May. The weather here in Arizona is ideal that time of year for wrapping up on a chaise on the veranda and enjoying a good book.

Susan Walters

Sherry Hobbs said...

I generally buy books of authors I have read before and I buy them as soon as they are released. If an author is unknown to me I am generally drawn to the book by the title, cover picture, or comments from other readers. What makes me buy the book is a catchy synopsis on the back cover. I love synopsis' that make me want to know what happens next.

janeann said...

I am one who lives thru my books just give me a good book and I am gone.Crippled with arthritis and a year ago diagnosed with Bladder Cancer my books are my life. I get hooked on an author and go searchin till I have read all they have wrote. Then have to wait on them to write another :) I started goin into authors websites and save them on computer to go back to. Joined Writers Space recently so get plenty ideas from them. Browse book stores and usually have to leave before I really want or just too many books I want to buy and can't. I too live on limited income of $300 a month. I do get 3 or 4 books from Reader Service I joined and they have introduced me to some new authors. I keep a wish list on Amazon just this past birthday my daughter bought me 6 books that was on list with them :)LUCY just keep up the good works and thank you for shareing your talent with those of us who love reading............xoxo

Jeanne Barrack said...

I look at everything when I consider buying a book - contests, reviews, ads in RT, elists I'm on, newsletters from authors. Since I'm also an author, I am especially interested in the various marketing and promos other authors use. I buy both new authors and my keepers. I love promo items - bookmarks, keychains, etc. but then I'm a collecting nut!
I buy books all year long. I love paranormals, fantasy, historical genres - the hotter the better. I absolutely adore books that combine the genres I love - Give me a vampire historical set in the Civil War and I'm a happy camper. I do buy straight comtemporsries, but to be honest, they aren't my favorites. I write erotic fantasy/paranormal and I really enjoy those the best

Andie said...

I buy books that are from authors I have read before ,that are subjects/areas I am interested in or that will "Take me away" from my everyday life. I buy books on a regular basis, either on recommendations from friends or famiiy, when something is new or catches my eye, or I have seen it on WriterSpace.

Becca C. said...

A lot of the books that I buy are from authors that I know or that are recommended to me. There are also times that I will walk into Barnes and Noble and simply walk down the rows of books and wait for something to catch my eye. It could be that I buy that book, or I stop and look at the shelf and the books around the one that got my attention. Having done this many times normally leads me to finding another favorite author to add to my collection :-)
When I buy my books varies considerably. Usually I do so whenever I get a paycheck, or when I decide to go on a shopping spree. So about once every two or three weeks I'll stop at a bookstore or go to Wal-Mart looking for a good read.

Beth said...

I buy books by authors that I have read and enjoyed in the past and also I choose a new author by reading excerpts from their books. I buy books about once a month because that is how often I am paid. I am like everyone else I'm not able to buy all of the books I would like (is there such a thing as too many books?) I buy on line and at Wal-Mart and at the Borders books in my local mall.

Terrie A. said...

Like most readers, I have authors that are auto buys--of course including you, Lucy! But for me to try a new author, I usually have to have my interest peaked by a lot of buzz generated on the various romance novel web sites (AAR, TRR, The Romance Reader's Connection, The Best Reviews, Romance Reviews Today, etc.). The message boards are my favorite forums because there you can read the opinions of a lot of different readers and not be locked into the opinion of one reviewer. For example, I love books with strong alpha heroes who start off aloof, but who come around to realizing that they can't live without the heroine in the end. Many reviewers who are more PC these days don't like these heroes at all, but other readers do, so I know which author's books I would like to try. Also, even if I have never heard of an author, I will often buy a book based on the back cover blurb and story synopsis, as well as by glancing at the first page of sample prose. That is how I first purchased your book The Greek Tycoon's Ultimatum, and I've been hooked ever since.

Christiana A. said...

In answer to your questions, I will admit to being a compulsive book buyer, as a college student far from home, I find the only way to not go stir-crazy with homesickness is to bury myself in the romances my mom and aunt got me hooked on in my teen years, or to write, and lets face it, college students avoid writing for pleasure as much as possible during their college years. I check Author sites, for upcoming releases, and RT for synopsis of books that aren't by the authors who's websites I have on my Favorites, and of course the monthly emails from the various readers/writers group lists that I am on always help, as for when I buy, I try to get them the month they come out, or.. in retrospect I have no problems with special ordering if I have to, if I find an author who's books I might not have all of, to where I can read more from them. Alot of the books on my list to buy this year, came from attending RT in May, I met a lot of wonderful Writers, who caught my interest with what they write, and now I am looking for them each month, to see if there is anything new. That said, I hope it helps.

Tisa E said...

Lucy; It was so lovely to meet you at the Author Tea and book signing Oct. 15th. I had a wonderful time.
Most of the books I read I discover through reviews in Romantic Times, on websites veering toward book reviews, and through friends' recommendations. I absolutely have my "auto-buy" authors, and discover many new authors through reader loops or contest announcements on other websites (Writerspace, for example). I feel strongly also, that a writer should keep a website current. There is nothing more frustrating than to visit a website and discover it hasn't been updated for a month or more.
I have to travel over 30 miles to reach a new bookstore so it is most convenient for me to have an inkling of what to look for ahead of time.

Lucy Monroe said...

Wow! I want to thank EVERYONE who has participated so far. ALL of your comments have been extremely helpful and the patterns I'm seeing are very encouraging too. I'm also realizing that excerpts are a lot more important than I ever used to believe they were. :)

Thank you all again from the very bottom of my heart.

I'll be drawing for the winner of the signed copy of TOUCH ME midnight tomorrow night, so there is time to get a comment in still if you want to be eligible for the contest.

Hugs to you all!

GladysMP said...

I have been attracted to more new authors through contests at their sites than any other way. Chats are entirely too time consuming and belonging to groups results in too many emails that overload one's computer and require too much time deleting. Once I have learned an author is great, then I know to patronize her or his books. I find myself having to unsubscribe to many author's newsletters due to lengthy excerpts. Excerpts at an author's site are fine, but not in emails, for they, too, overload one's hard drive.

joyah82 said...

I work in a library so I read a lot of reviews in journals and
we also subscribe to RT. Along with that I belong to many yahoogroups and hear from many women which books they give high
ratings too. I usually check my books out at the library but when I don't I buy them at Borders or at

Anonymous said...

What inspires me to purchase a book? Well as you know, hands down I always buy yours but as for other authors it's an auto buy for those who are also my favorite writers.

As for new authors, I watch the boards and comments posted on forums. I also look at reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Writerspace, CataRomance, Romantic Times and Romance Junkies, etc.

Because I work full time, I'm limited now as to how many I can purchase and my dh can attest that I have boxes stashed in the basement I haven't read.

One last comment, Lucy...your participation on the boards and forums only tells me one thing.....you care what your readers and fans believe and think and that you listen. Thanks so very much for the hours of enjoyment you've provided us all.

Warm regards,

Marilyn Shoemaker
Seattle, Washington

emma said...

I lucy,
I usually get the books of authors I have enjoyed reading for a while. But there are a lot of new authors which I have found from the different author sites or book sites. I usually find what new books are coming out by that route or I check in the romantictimes book which is always a help. I found romance, and intrigue books are excellent. I used to go once a week and buy books but now about once a month. I also enjoy paranormal books also. The newsletters I get also help in what I want to buy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy:

I am a senior on restricted funds but I find the Author's newletters and excerpts really helpful. I am a romance/intrigue fan and have a few favorite authors. If I can't afford the original when the book comes out, I will comb the used bookstores until I find them.I love to read and will stock up as many as 10 or 15 books ahead. Love your writing and your attitude with your readers. Keep up the good work, we need you.

Anonymous said...

peronsally im just recently, couple of months, have actually started hunting authors names on here, i always bought before on their bookcovers and what i read on the back, but now im learnin names of authros and realize, hey thats my type of book ___ writes

Anonymous said...

hi Lucy...i'm an avid romance reader, but like many working mother's i don't have a lot of free time. i rely on publications- like Romantic Times magazine and author websites for my picks. Also, if i've read and liked the author before, i tend to buy their books regardless of any ratings.For instance, i loved your book READY, so i automatically bought Touch Me...

Anonymous said...

I buy books from authors I have read before and love. I try to keep up with new books by my favorites through their websites, through Amazon.com and through Barnes and Nobles. Occasionally I look for new authors and when I find one I just love, I will look for all back issues of all that author's books. I recently became a fan of yours through a recommendation from Lori Foster and through the ebay site where I won three of your auctions. Loved all three books I won and now I have to start looking for other books you have written since I am now a big fan of yours. I love all the book marks, pens and chocolates you sent me from the ebay site to help a Katrina family. I plan on reading more on a chat author page when time permits.

Ivka said...

Before I had computer I would visit my book store and ask if they have new bookmarks.I aslo read blurbs on the back cover (that was my first choice).Some books will have back pages with coming soon boooks wich I always check,then write down name of the book and author I am interested.I am also RT Book club magazine subscriber for six years now and love it.Now that I have computer I like to go visit authors web site and get all the news. I also belong to few group that are great at recomending authors and their books.Love when authors interact with readers!Chats are great way to promote your books! I love promo items too!

Anonymous said...

I like to read romance with action and suspense, military and time-travel. Mostly modern but on occasion I enjoy a really good historical novel. I purchase books all the time.

Mariea Kohli said...

I look for info on new books from my bookstores magazine, the "Writerspace" website, and I am constantly checking out my favorite authors websites for upcoming info. The Writerspace website lets me find out info on the authors that I don't know and many times I can participate on chats w/ the authors or others that have read their books. My bookstore that I frequent has a romance reader card that helps me save and they send me emails that many times offer discounts. I first discovered your books when writerspace sent an email w/ new releases and I read an excert for Come and See Me. I was hooked after that and have read any that I can get my hands on. I was really excited to read Touch Me and loved the story. (I had to get it the day it came out.)

Latesha said...

I usually read romance, historical fiction or young adult books. Authors that I find particularly entertaining are autobuys for me. I make a list out monthly and usually stick to it. Sometimes, if I see a book that captures my attention, I'll buy that as well. I buy from bookstores and online.

Betty Budd said...

Because I used to buy more books than I could possibly read in this lifetime, I now read through the current RT and make my selection thusly. The author comes first. If she is someone I have read before and enjoyed, or if she is someone that is recommended on one of the many online sites I frequent, it's an authomatic buy. I have several favorites that I pick no matter what genre they are writing, however my favorites are historicals, fantasy i.e., vampires,werewolves, etc., and some of the series books. The current practice by a couple of sites of promoting a book by having a chapter a day for five days has caused me to buy the book too. When an author takes the time to respond to a fan letter that always makes me look for her next book. I know that authors are busy but it's nice when they express their appreciation for my time.

Sassy said...

I usually read the synopsis summary o your website. If it interests me, I read the book ASAP. If it doesn't I wait until my book reading group passis it around.
We love to read your stuff.

Sassy said...

If I like the summary on your website, I buy it ASAP.Or, my reading group buys it and we pass it around.

glenna day said...

I buy mostly historical and paranormal romance novels...mainly vampire and shapeshifter. I look to see what books are out and if it looks good then I'll buy it. I only buy paperbacks though. Also I buy the ones that are recommended to me from sites and others. I also have a few favorite authors that when they have a new one come out it is automatically a must read.

Angela said...

I have several favorite authors, which I keep up with (and I am happy to say you are one of the main ones!) and typically purchase their books the same week they are released. Nearly all of the books I buy are romances. However, I don't have a favorite subgenre. I tend to go more by the authors themselves than what type of book it is. I also tend to look at the "previews" in the backs of the books that I do buy to see what is coming out and if I might like a new author, etc. Often I will find info on the new books that are upcoming by going onto authors' websites as well.

Jane said...

*waves* Hi Lucy

I keep a list of books I want to buy and I carry it around with me. On it I have upcoming releases by favourite authors and other books that I've decided I'd like to try.

Given the cost of books here (which you know all about LOL) I tend to buy the favourite authors first and then what I'd like to try second. I buy when the budget allows and I don't worry about street dates or buying in the first week of release (to make the best seller lists) because honestly the books aren't here at that time and I don't think that foreign sales would count (?)

How do I decide what "other" books get added to my list? It can vary. It might be a great cover that's caught my eye, or it might be a recommendation from a friend, or it might be the review I've edited, or it might be discussion on a loop, that will send me to the author's site to seek an excerpt and further details. I'll then read the excerpt to see if it's something I'm interested in, and if so, I'll add the book to my list and I'll keep an eye out for it or order it.

I also read excerpts on blogs and in chat loops. Where possible, and it can be hard with the time difference, I like to go to author chats. I also like to listen to the internet radio shows, particularly if they're archived and I can listen at a time that suits me (because generally the "live" time is inconvenient). Through chats, radio and blogs I've been introduced to new authors I never would have read otherwise.

If I'm browsing in the store, it's usually the cover or name recognition that will invite me to pick it. In that case I'll read the backcover copy and maybe the first page to see if it appeals.

I do read RT. I don't always agree with their reviews or ratings (because they can be wildly different to how I would rate the book) but I do like to see the colour ads and the author features.

Ok, enough rambling :D

Janie Jones said...

There are some authors I enjoy so much I make sure to buy their books as soon as they are released. The way I found you was in an anthology with Lori Foster who is a favorite. I keep an eye on your website and WritersSpace News. I don't do loops. I do check out the ads and exerpts in the backs of the books I read.

Gerie P said...

I have to admit that my book buying has changed dramatically with my use of the internet. I no longer stick with authors I've already read to ensure a good read. Now, I recieve email notification of books from many different authors, there I can read a summary and decide if it is something I would be interested in. I also find books on various websites that I visit regularly. I find that in an actual store, the cover is what draws me. But on the internet it's more the topic of the book that catches my attention.

Mannamaribeth said...

I read way too much to actually buy the books I read- I take out from the library. When I find an author I really like I ask them to get more of their stuff which they do. The way I find new authors is often through the ads in the back of books- or occasionally through the 'new books' table at the library.
I also check out websites of my authors regularly for new books and for referrals to other authors. As well I subscribe to several publisher email lists.
Don't know if this helps.

Jamie Kersten said...

A big part of the decision is if it is a book by an author I know I enjoy, once an author is on my must-buy list, I check out her website monthly for updates on what's coming next. The other big source I use is the RT magazine, I go through it with my highlighter to determine which books I have to read and put my shopping list together. If I spot an ad for a book anywhere that just catches my attention, I will check that book out further to see if I need to add it to my list.

Lucy Monroe said...

I am totally overwhelmed by the generous response of readers to this question. I want you all to know that I *am* reading every single post and taking note (and smiling hugely at so many kind comments), but it would make the blog unreadable if I answered everyone individually here. Though goodness knows, I want to. I'm so touched by all your generosity, it brings tears to my eyes. I asked a question that plagues authors all the time and you all answered. THANK YOU!!!

Just a reminder...I'll be posting the winner of the signed book tomorrow morning. :)

Hugs to you ALL,

dquandt said...

I like going to writerspace.com to get the latest news on upcoming books. I also like going to my favorite authors websites to get the latest info. I also like their input on other authors and that way I can check out their books too. I try not to buy the book if I can get it at the library. If it is a really good book that I know I will read again, then I will purchase it. I have also purchased books on ebay.

brooks said...

The first books I buy each month are from authors that I know and love. Then, if money permits, I venture outside my comfort authors and try new ones. I love emails from authors, websites with many different authors such as writerspace and just browsing through books at local bookstores and online. This blog thing is kinda neat. My very first blog.

Rhonda said...

I buy favorite authors first, then go from there. I find RT helpful as well as internet information.
I receive information from several sites so I am fairly confident when I purchase a book that I will like it.

aznbikechic said...

When I choose a book, it's the combination of title, cover and excerpt/summary that really sells me. Just this year, I subscribed to Writerspace, Fresh Fiction and even more recently the Romantic Times. I like these methods for finding new books and new authors to read. I found about you and yours through Writerspace!

I also enjoy the newsletters or emails from favorite authors that tell me about new books coming out or being written. Question & answer contests get me to read excerpts which leave me wanting to buy & read the entire story.

Lucy Monroe said...

First, another thank you to the readers who have posted comments since yesterday. I've already spoken to two other authors who are also reading all your comments with avid interest.

I hope you all remember to send the SASE to the address at the top of the comments for a special thank you from me.

There were 95 comments made between email and the individual comments made here. I had my daughter choose the name...the winner will be posted momentarily on the blog's main page.

Hugs and mega blessings to each and every one of you!

Trudy said...

Reading is my thing and I purchase about 10 books a month. Right now I am really enjoyed the fantasy (vamp, werewolf) genre and of course, romance.

I believe I learned about your work on an anthology with another author that I really enjoy and then visited your website based upon that experience. I have signed up for the Writerspace e-mails and the NAL authors' e-mails. Comments from other authors will often times encourage me to try someone new.

charlotte shedd said...

Hello Lucy,
I usually buy books from writers that I have already read. Sometimes,the cover of a book catches my eye and I read the book jacket. If it sounds like a good book, then, it is mine.
But, the best way for me to buy books is belonging to Double Day Book Club. And believe me, I have bought some books!! My husband gives me money for Christmas so I can order my books. So, I have books coming all through the year.
I also go to the web sites and check out what is new and I have signed up for every news letter I can to be alerted when new releases are coming.
I like to read books that continue to a next book when I have them all. Like, I have your book Ready and I won't read it until I have Willing and Able. I read so many books that I like to keep fresh one book to the other.
And I hope you will like the fact that I donate all my books to my public library.
I hope this helps you find an answer to your question.
Charlotte Shedd

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks for your comment, Charlotte. I've been so impressed by everyone's thoughtfulness in responding.


Alicia said...

I like to read a variety of books, so I'd rather read a book that doesn't require me to read its sequel. To each her own!

Honestly, I read books that are recommended on my book discussion board. We choose "group reads" each quarter, by voting. I read those first, then fill in with more books... usually other recomendations from the site! It's great to have a big group of readers for input - the ideas never end. Some authors drop by too. We're more likely to read something by someone we've "met".

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,

I buy books from my favorite authors. I find my favorite authors by going to the library and reading a wide variety of books, mostly romance, paranormal or science fiction (and if two or more are combined, so much the better!) The back cover, the book jacket, a snippet on a flyleaf, and even the cover of the book can pique my interest. Once I find an author that really tickles my fancy, then I buy their books. I don't put too much stock in reviews - I like to decide for myself. If I happen to be looking at a site such as Amazon.com for new releases from my favorite authors, I will often look at books that "people who ordered this book have also ordered". This helps me find books of the same genre I like. I then will check out that author at the library, and if I like them, they are also on my must buy list.

I have signed up on websites of my favorite authors for their newsletters. I really like the announcements when a new book is coming out, so I can plan to buy it at one of my local bookstores. I don't get many personal recommendations for books, as a lot of the people I know don't like the same type of books that I do.


Lucy Monroe said...

I love hearing how much use libraries get in the book selection process. :) And how much support they get from readers. I have been building a private library since I was a little girl and my husband is very supportive (i.e. buys lots of his own books to add to it). I love my books and re-read favorites over and over again. Don't ask how often I've re-read "Little Women" because I've lost count. Reading...no matter where we get our books, is a wonderful thing! :)


Anonymous said...

I, like many other readers, generally only purchase books from authors that I've read in the past and like. To find new authors, I most often use the library. However, I have been known to purchase a book at the bookstore or online because of the cover or blurb on the back of the book. Online, I love to read other readers comments to help when making a purchase. I visit most of my favorite author's web sites about once a month to see what is new and I do subscribe to many author's newsletters to get a heads-up on when new books are coming out.
Since I'm on a budget like so many other readers, I generally only purchase books that my local library does not carry. I do, however, purchase some books that I know that I will read again in the future.
For me, the best promotional tool is a good newsletter. I would be more willing to purchase a book if it is promoted well and in my e-mail inbox.

Lucy Monroe said...

I've certainly come to appreciate how important online promotion is. Thanks for sharing!


LouBabe said...

Sorry I'm late in answering but would like to comment, anyway. If I'm in an actual store shopping, believe it or not, I usually select a book by it's cover. That's how I discovered Sherryl Woods, fell in love with one of her book covers a couple of years ago. If I'm online, I just put in the name of authors I have enjoyed in the past. Other incentives are series that sort of interweave stories and characters. If I buy one and learn that there are others, of course, I have to have them, too. I discovered Lucy by buying a Christmas book with offerings from several authors. I love getting new holiday books this time of year!
PS If I'm lucky to win a book, or an author sends me a freebie, I purchase her books from then on out! Susan Wiggs sent me some freebies, because it's hard to find American books in Saudi Arabia, and now I own almost all of hers (never had read her before). Same with Barbara Bretton.

Lucy Monroe said...

You're never too late to comment and of course you are still eligible to send the SASE. :)