View Full Version : New poll: What impacts your book buying decision?

04-15-2010, 05:54 PM
This is completely unscientific, but I'm running a poll on factors that affect book buying choices. I didn't put the poll here since I'm pulling in feedback from a few different sites/groups. I'm centralizing it on my web site. If you have a moment, please drop by and vote for your three most important factors.


04-15-2010, 08:59 PM
Should of had DRM on your poll.

For me the three top things is Price, Description/Synopsis, DRM. And of course a easy buying process. But thats a given.

04-15-2010, 09:02 PM
Went with Price, Reading Sample and Author from your options. More generally my decision process is as follows.

1. What I feel like reading at the time. Fiction? Non-fiction? A stand alone book or start up a series?

2. Price. I won't pay more than the cheapest print version for an e-book.

3. Is it available in the Kindle store? If so I'll send the sample, give it a read and buy it if I liked it and want to read more.

04-15-2010, 11:41 PM
For cheap ebooks, I don't really have a decision tree, I just buy it if I feel like it, but anything over two bucks follows the following list.

1 Author
2 Description
3 Reviews
4 Cover
5 Price

04-16-2010, 03:05 AM
Geographic restrictions rate highly for me. The other options do not factor at all if the book is barred for purchase because I live in another region.

04-16-2010, 03:47 AM
I think you should have included format - presuming you are talking about ebooks. I can only read ePub and mobi books, and won't read pdfs.

Regards, Alex

04-16-2010, 04:16 AM
I went for price (definitely my number one factor unless it's a book I'm hankering for), synopsis, and genre.

I agree that being in my preferred format - lrf - is important in ebooks; but pdf's can often be adapted, if badly.

04-16-2010, 05:18 AM
The one thing that impacts my buying decision is if I want to read it. I. e., a decent sample is crucial. For fiction, the few first chapters is fine, but for non-fiction, I typically need a broader sample - the whole book is best, just like when you're in a book store and can browse the entire book.

Fat Abe
04-16-2010, 05:35 AM
I believe in the "auteur" theory of book-buying. Since the author serves as the the rough equivalent of a director, screenwriter and crew of his/her creation, this is about the only criterion I use to choose a book that I will purchase. The format of the book is immaterial. Even early reviews are irrelevant. Thus, if Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Herman Melville, or Theodore Sturgeon were still alive, I'd buy their books without hesitation. With living authors, I'll still order certain books in advance, but it's also sensible to browse through a novel in a bookstore, just to make sure the subject interests you enough to spend several hours reading the book from start to end. Sadly, some books just don't hack it with this test. How many pages does it take for me to decide that a book is just not worth perusing/pursuing any further? Three pages. I must fall for a book, hook, line and sinker. Otherwise, it's CUT!

04-16-2010, 08:18 AM
In regards to e-books, price is #1 for me. Geographical regional availability is also important. And available formats.

But I did vote in your poll, going for Price, Author and Genre.

04-16-2010, 09:18 AM
For ebooks, DRM is at the top of the list. I flat-out will not buy DRM-restricted ebooks. If it's an author I like, or a sample of the book looks good, and of course if the price is appropriate (cheaper than the cheapest available pbook form), then I might buy it. But DRM is a deal-killer from the start.

04-16-2010, 09:43 AM
I was actually surprised at how much price is a factor. I might run a few more polls around DRM as well as prices you're willing to pay for ebooks.

04-16-2010, 12:18 PM
Price is a factor because so many of us are hardcore bookaholics.

To someone who buys two or three books a year, a $10 difference in price is no big deal. It gets lost in the noise. But to someone who, on occasion, buys two or three books a week, it's a very big deal. The serious readers among us buy a lot of books. I know for me, personally, the two things that have constrained me are price and shelf space. Ebooks transcend shelf space, so that brings price to the forefront.

I think you might want to break down the poll into two categories: positive factors that make people more likely to buy a book (good reviews, for instance) and negative factors that make them less likely to buy it (priced higher than a pbook). Any purchase decision is a tug-of-war between the plus and minus factors, and it's really hard to judge it without taking both into account separately.

For me, for ebooks, DRM is an absolute deal-killer. For pbooks, it's form factor: I almost never buy hardcover fiction because I haven't anywhere left to put it. That's not a problem that the person who buys two or three books a year has to worry about; for me, it's a matter of not having to sleep on in the back yard because the books have taken over my bed. So you may be polling two separate groups of people (the casual readers and the hardcore readers) and getting results about as valid as if you polled casual and hardcore World of Warcraft players on their interest in game features.

04-16-2010, 12:57 PM
I cant believe that publisher only has 2% of the vote. I haven't bought a single book, even ones less than $9.99 from any of the agency 5. I refuse to give them a single cent.

04-16-2010, 01:05 PM
I just have so, so many books on my TBR list right now that I will not even consider a purchase unless 1) someone recommends it to me 2) I read about it and sounds interesting 3) the price is right 4) there is a free sample. I am not interested in taking a chance and wasting my money. It has to be a valuable read to me to buy it. No reviews, no sample, no purchase. I have too much else to read.

04-16-2010, 01:19 PM
I cant believe that publisher only has 2% of the vote. I haven't bought a single book, even ones less than $9.99 from any of the agency 5. I refuse to give them a single cent.

I personally have no problems with agency pricing.

Publishers are free to charge whatever they want for their products. I'll buy e-books priced at a level I think is reasonable and not buy ones that cost more than I'm willing to pay for the particular book.

Tons and tons and tons more books I'm interested in than I'll ever have time to read in my lifetime (especially with reading not being in my top 3 or 4 hobbies) so no skin off my nose if some books are priced more than I'm willing to pay.

In short, I have no problem with people who hate agency pricing. Just saying why you shouldn't be surprised. Most people just don't give a crap. We're all used to prices for things varying, and just buying what we feel is reasonably priced and skipping other stuff. So I see no need for e-books to be any different.

04-16-2010, 11:22 PM
Geo restrictions arwe of course a major factor - If the publisher won't allow me to buy it because I live in the "wrong" place then it doesn't matter how many positive factors there are encouraging me to buy!

I'm not surprised that price features so highly - I get a definite ripped-off feeling when I pay even the same as a pbook for electronic content with no physical material cost, no distribution cost and no storage cost, or at least very low such costs.

04-17-2010, 11:29 AM
1. DRM
2. Publisher (I will not buy anything from MacMillan)
3. Geographical Restrictions
4. Price (I rarely spend more than $5.00 for an ebook never over $10.00)

That's the practical side of the equation, now for the emotional/subjective reasons:

1. Author (There are a handful of authors that go on my automatic buy list unless the book conflicts with my practical list.)
2. Decent book sample, especially important if I'm not familiar with the author
3. Genre (I read mostly science fiction, fantasy and romance with the occasional technological thriller thrown in. I don't read mysteries even though I gift them to my Mom.)

I have many books on my wish list, just waiting mainly for the price to go down.

04-17-2010, 11:46 AM
I couldn't get started on the poll because I will not buy a book with DRM - though after that author and reviews would come into play.

04-17-2010, 12:08 PM
It's the book for me. The author has about 10 pages or less to grab my attention. If s/he doesn't, I don't purchase it. The publisher has zero impact on my book purchases. Price is now becoming an issue. I won't buy an e book that costs more that a physical book and with the discount and half price bookstores available in my area, I can always find something for $3 - $5 dollars to read. I'd rather have an e book but can live without it.

04-17-2010, 12:50 PM
I can put up with DRM, but Geo-Restriction is the number one factor for me. As for price, I've rarely paid more than $6. (My most expensive would be dictionaries in mobi format)

04-19-2010, 03:07 PM
price and subject matter... and some of the time, my familiarity with the author