Genre - I'll try new genres, but a strong story is essential. Same-old, same-old with a different setting and characters becomes a cure for insomnia.
Lately, I've experienced some genre surprises. Edgy fiction makes me think. I don't always agree with the ideas, but at least it keeps me engaged. A foray into Christian chick lit provided laughs, while still carrying a serious undertone.
Author - Have I ever heard of this person? What kind of reviews are out there? Have any of my friends read this book?
I once heard someone say the difference between a woman sports fan and a man sports fan is she wants to know about the athlete's life, while the guy is primarily concerned about the athlete's performance. As a woman, I need to connect with the author, as well as the book. It's one of the reasons I read blogs almost as voraciously as I read books.
My list - Since my funds rarely keep pace with my reading appetite, I've started a Wish List on Amazon. The stress of remembering titles and authors drawing my attention became overwhelming.
Speaking of Amazon, I do shop there. Another happy place is my local Christian bookstore, especially when they send out flyers with coupons. Hurray for coupons! This weekend, they have a 25% off coupon on regular and sale-priced merchandise, making them competitive with Amazon and my other favorite, Christianbook.com.
While I suppose a lot of people read the back-cover copy, I'm not one of them. If I turn a book over, it's to check the price. My research is done via computer and word of mouth. When I go into a store, 99.9% of the time I know exactly what I want. However, seeing something I want on sale with the added spice of a coupon often causes me to switch gears (and usually spend more than I'd planned).
With all the books out there, how do you decide what to purchase?