I’ve never done this in a bookstore before.
I was looking for a specific book (okay, yes, that part has happened before. Several times.). Shelved nearby were other books, tempting books.
Tempting because I realized, “Hey, I know these authors”. Not in a we go out for pizza every Thursday kind of way. But in a I follow them on Twitter, I’ve checked out their blog, they seem like good people and good people probably have good stories kind of way. Please note that this isn’t a rule, more of a guideline.
When that happened with the first book, I snatched it off the shelf. I’d been wanting to read this author for a while, but was a bit chicken because he doesn’t write in a genre I enjoy. Or so I thought. Turns out I do like military science fiction, if this particular person writes it.
Then there was another book. Name recognition. I know of this person. She seems like a good person, an interesting person. Somebody with good stories. Let’s have her book, too!!
This is not the way books were purchased in the past. Usually it was cover attraction first, then page through checking out the story (which is why if an ebook sample contains only the book blurbs and a table of contents and doesn’t let me at least eyeball a few pages of story, I don’t buy the book. Probably I’m missing out. But them’s the rules), and then buy the book. Perhaps after that, looking online to see what the author’s story is, as much of it as they care to share, anyways. Cover, story, author. Not author, story, cover.
Twenty years ago, the author’s name was just another line of type on the cover to me. It was the story I engaged with. I’m glad I’ve gotten with the times (after prodding from my agent, who was right), however belatedly.
I found two new books I’d never have found otherwise, from doing it backwards, in a bookstore.