How Do You Choose?

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How Do You Choose?

Editado: Jul 3, 2023, 5:07 pm

Just curious ... what kinds of criteria do Early Reviewers use to select the book(s) they request from the monthly offerings?

Okay, I'll admit it -- an interesting cover will often lead me to click for more information. At that point, I'll look for an indication that the book is part of a series (ZONK! You're elminated, but here's a board version of the game for you to enjoy at home, and thanks for playing).

Genre comes next, and some get automatically removed from consideration at that point. Everyone's taste is different, and it hardly seems fair to the author to ask for a book from a genre that's proven itself not to my particular taste.

If I'm still interested, I'll look at the numbers of copies available vs the number of requests. Often, if it's a book I'm only mildly interested in by that point, I'll skip the request if the odds are extremely long. (That's because I never make more than 4 requests -- in the highly unlikely event that I should win every request, I don't want to be overwhelmed with LTERs.)

By that point, I'm ready to look at the synopsis, and my finger is hovering over the "Request" button. Is this an interesting idea? Set in a geographical location I'm familiar with? Dealing with a topic I follow on a regular basis?

And sometimes the final go/no-go decision comes based on the publisher. If I've got more than four possiblities by this point, I start looking at the publisher. There are one or two ebook publishers whose track records are overwhelmingly positive with me, and that's often the difference between Title A and Title B making the cut.

What's your process? Are there things that will immediately make you withdraw a book from consideration?

Jul 3, 2023, 6:01 pm

Having eliminated a slew of genres from consideration, the only remaining criterion I use is whether the book description intrigues me.

It’s rare these days for me to find a book to request. Only one this month, and none for the past several.

Jul 3, 2023, 6:28 pm

If I plan to either buy the book or take it from the library when it is out anyway, I request it. That’s pretty much it - if I would not read it outside of LTER, I won’t ask for it from it either.

Which does not mean I only request authors and titles I know - sometimes it is LTER that brings a book/author to my attention - if I win it, I read it from the program; if not I find it in another way when it is out.

Editado: Jul 4, 2023, 11:27 am

Genre is my first criteria. Some interest me, some don't. Bonus points if it's an author I know and love. Since I've been requesting books for awhile, bonus points for a publisher that I have been able to receive books from reliably.

An attractive or arresting cover will make me stop and read the blurb, but unless the blurb is intriguing, I will move on.

Jul 3, 2023, 7:06 pm

In the early days, I requested pretty much anything that sounded vaguely interesting, but I got very behind and also read a lot of stuff I ultimately didn't get much out of. For me the issue with getting books isn't so much the financial cost but the opportunity cost. Now, I only ask for books if I feel pretty certain I'll enjoy them as much as the average book already on my reading list, which usually means it has to be by an author I am familiar with. Over the past year, that's been six books, though four were in a single month.

Jul 3, 2023, 9:28 pm

Jul 4, 2023, 2:45 am

After months of not asking for any, I finally thought one might be interesting. I won it, and it was so bad I've given up and left ER.

Jul 4, 2023, 11:21 am

Interesting to see folks' general attitudes toward requesting and reviewing.

I currently have the luxury of a lot of reading time. Certainly when I was working full-time and raising a family, a "good" reading day included maybe 45 minutes with a book. I was a lot more selective then about what I picked up. If that were still the situation, I might make fewer requests and/or re-evaluate participating in the ER program.

As it is, I do have the time, and I enjoy many of the selections -- though some, admittedly, demonstrate more enthusiasm than skill, and there's the occasional offering that is just painful to get through. It's all part of the journey.

Ago 2, 2023, 7:26 pm

Years ago I would read the listing for every er book listed and request anything that sounded interesting. Since coming back to librarything I just scan the title/covers and if one catches my eye I'll read the write-up and if that sounds interesting I'll request it. I don't see nearly as many appealing sounding books as I used to though so maybe the publishers I'm interested in stopped participating while I was away.

Ago 3, 2023, 11:28 am

Primarily by genre - I have 15 excluded, anything else is possible. After that further exclusions if it's not the first in a series (unless the 1st is also offered or else I've already read them). Then it gets a bit more subjective. Author's own books get downrated unless they sound really promising, I've read too many that just aren't written well enough. Which normally leaves half a dozen or so ebooks that I'll pick and let the algorithm decide.

Ago 4, 2023, 1:03 pm

I usually look for books that are either first time authors, being given away by the author or small indie publishers. And no romance or christian themes. I just like to support those starting out or small time presses.

Editado: Ago 4, 2023, 1:22 pm

>8 LyndaInOregon: "Demonstrate more enthusiasm than skill." Nice turn of phrase!

What catches my eye in order, at least sometimes:
1. Clever/catchy title
2. Well-written and pithy description. Not "if you read X, you'll like Y" or "She was ___. He was ___. They were destined to___."
3. Publisher with whom I'm familiar vs. self-published (which I select only rarely)

It's impossible to tell from an ER blurb, but when I'm browsing with the book in my hand, I immediately shelve anything with profanity so plentiful you can't find a page without it and anything written in first person present tense. Personal preferences.

Ago 4, 2023, 1:37 pm

The yea or nay on author offered books is interesting. I don't have any strict objection to books offered by the author, and I like the concept of giving new or non-mainstream authors a chance, but I rarely request them because my experience with them has been poor to date. However, there was a very intriguing one in the last batch, so I requested it and won. We'll see if it holds up when I receive it. :=)

Ago 6, 2023, 8:36 am

It dawned on me as I was writing my earlier note that I wasn't showing much love to self-published authors. Shame on me! Self-publishing takes gumption. Over the years, I have been pleasantly surprised a few times by author-offered titles. However, in each case, great care was taken to produce a professional-looking, well-edited product.

Editado: Ago 7, 2023, 9:33 pm

First and foremost, genre. I only look at books that interest me. I then look at the description and if it sounds intriguing, I move on to step 3. Step 3 is it is hard copy or eBook. If it's a hard copy, I request it. If it's an eBook, I research the author and if the author has a number of titles, I'll request it. I've read too many disappointing eBooks from inexperienced authors and it takes away from my reading time. I read for pleasure and to escape my otherwise hectic work life.

Ago 8, 2023, 9:50 pm

#1. Genre
#2. Description
#3. Cover - (Yes, I love a good cover;)
#4. Author - Have I read this author before or have I heard of them
#5. Presentation - I only request hardcover and audio books

This criteria seems to work well for me as I have received many excellent and enjoyable books through LT's early reviewer program:).