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View Poll Results: What is your #1 method of ebook discovery?
I browse book covers, and if it grabs me I investigate further 22 6.98%
I browse paper books at brick and mortar bookstores, then search for the ebook online 11 3.49%
Recommendations from fellow readers on online forums, blogs, message boards 82 26.03%
Personal friend/family member recommends it to me 13 4.13%
I look first for my favorite authors 56 17.78%
I read free ebooks, and if I like the author I buy their other titles 18 5.71%
I browse randomly then look at reviews 26 8.25%
I'll sample anything, and if it grabs me I'll download/buy it 12 3.81%
Bestseller lists for my favorite genres/topics 16 5.08%
Retailer recommendations (incl "people who bought this bought that") 16 5.08%
Reviews/recommendations from traditional media (newpapers, television, magazines) 11 3.49%
Other (please elaborate in comments!) 32 10.16%
Voters: 315. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-19-2011, 03:13 PM   #16
jersysman
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Since I have started with ebooks, I get most of my recommendations from other like-minded readers over at Goodreads (I go through their shelves and see what they are reading) and since I like reading books in series, I use FictFact to get the latest book in the series that I am currently reading.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:14 PM   #17
RainingLemur
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I had to go with "other." More or less, it's a combination of pretty much all of the "recommendation" options. I'll take ideas from friends and other forum-readers...and when they pop up on my "other readers who bought this" lists, I'll give them a further look.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #18
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I also chose:

Quote:
Recommendations from fellow readers on online forums, blogs, message boards
However I use a few of the options.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:07 PM   #19
Elfwreck
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I said "I browse randomly," but that's not entirely true. I notice recommendations and collect freebies, but they often don't lead to sales or even reading. I tend to browse with a specific goal in mind--"I'm looking for something light and funny" or "want something currently political with a side of philosophy" or "bring on the pr0n!... as long as it's less than $4."

I browse Smashwords with covers turned off because (1) I browse at work and (2) most of the covers are *atrocious* and are more likely to turn me away from something I'd like than draw me in.

I tend to skip around and try lots of different filters. It drives me crazy (by which I mean, "prevents me from buying ebooks") that they're all sorted by most-recent-update; there's no filter by price (other than "show me the free ones"), no filter longest-to-shortest or vice versa, no way to combine keyword searches with categories (or at least, not that I've found; if there's a way to look for Pagan *nonfiction* only, I'd love to know what it is). So I consider Smashwords browsing kind of like poking through a rummage sale; lots of cool stuff, ten heaps more junk, and just take some time to look at things and maybe find something I'd like. There's no way to sort by tag+keyword, or genre+tag, so it's all rather haphazard.

Fictionwise browsing is easier (they'll sort by price or length), but still doesn't allow tag/keyword searches. However, the ability to find other books by that publisher tends to get things in a similar range. I understand why Smashwords can't do this (well, they can, but with so many individual authors it's just not useful), but it'd be nice to see ways of grouping books other than just by subgenre.

I read a swarm of publishing blogs, and get notes about freebies from some of those. I get recommendations here. I get occasional suggestions from fanfic writers & readers.

I keep thinking I should find something more systematic, but ... I'm not running out of things to read.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:07 PM   #20
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I'm at a point in life where I mostly stick with authors I already know and like. Why waste time and money on something I may not like? (of course, there's still that risk when reading newer works by an author since, as a rule for most of the ones I read, their earlier works WILL be better than their later works)
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:15 PM   #21
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I chose other because I check online store, get recommendations from friends, & check my favorite author sites. I used to browse the books store but seldom do now.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:16 PM   #22
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Do we have to choose just one? I use nearly all of the methods in the poll but I have to say I always check my libraries before I buy a book.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:17 PM   #23
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I checked "Other" because I use multiple methods.

I follow favorite authors, I browse favorite subjects, I read back of books, I take recommendations from people with similar likes, I read reviews, but seldom use them as my only criteria and regularly I wander through my favorite bookstore.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:43 PM   #24
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I voted "Other" as a stand-in for "The Library", because that's how I get the overwhelming majority of the books that I try, and am usually introduced to 80%+ of the new-to-me authors I haven't read before (and interesting non-fiction subject matter) whom I then go on to buy my own copy of if I happen to enjoy them enough.

I check out the New Books Shelf* regularly, sometimes pick up from the librarian-assembled theme displays and recommendation listings, semi-randomly sample interesting-looking stuff from authors/subjects which happen to be filed very close to titles I've been specifically looking for already, and very often go back to get other books from authors I've tried and liked using the above methods.

The used bookstore and discount sale table also occupy a similar niche, but a narrower section thereof, because a book has to be really promising or extremely cheap (and interesting-looking) before I'll shell out for it if it doesn't already cover one of my pet subject areas or belong to one of my favourite sub-genres.

And from there I go on to get the e-books if they happen to be available at a decent price (okay, really cheap on sale).

I'm actually really bad at browsing for new e-books and tend to go by backlists of established fiction authors whom I know to have a decent reputation and have tried at least one of their works (or they've won an award), and perusing the catalogues of e-publishers which specialize in reprinting such, though occasionally I have picked up totally new authors from reading the promotional giveaway freebies.

* The "New Arrivals" section of the library's e-book catalogue gets treated the same way and I wishlist anything which looks even remotely interesting and put holds on the most promising-looking stuff.

But frankly, if a particular e-book title is available through the library, I tend not to buy a copy and instead focus on picking up another non-library-available work by the same author.

Last edited by ATDrake; 09-19-2011 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Elaborate, since this is for e-books, not just print, although the methodology is almost completely the same.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:31 AM   #25
Tattncat
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I went with authors I know and like. However, I have a lot of authors I follow. Keep in mind, I read the freebies looking for new authors and I check (constantly) GoodReads and MobileForums for recommendations.

In addition, I spend a lot of time trolling through Smashwords, I have found several/a lot of authors that I now read avidly wherever I can find them.

Last edited by Tattncat; 09-26-2011 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Add further information.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:03 AM   #26
emellaich
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I am seeing a definite trend here and it looks like -- all of the above. I think one problem is that your sample is biased by including only people who are interested in reading enough to be active in an online message board.

I do use free books to get me into series. I also follow authors I like, and recommendations of others. I also rely heavily on Amazon's lists of recommended purchases.

In terms of purchasing, I am quite comfortable with buying indies, but I usually look for some sign of validation before diving in, typically something like an average rating in the four star plus range, and the more reviews the better -- one to five reviews isn't enough.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:12 AM   #27
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I look in the recent books section of Project Gutenberg every morning.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #28
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I browse the kobo site and I also like to read your comments on authors so keep them comming my good friends
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #29
Xenophon
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I voted "other," because none of the available choices quite fits for me.

By quantity of books purchased, my single most common method of eBook discovery is to purchase the monthly WebScriptions bundle from Baen. It's cheap enough, and reliably contains enough books that I like to be a no-brainer. For me, that is; your mileage may vary.

That said, I also have authors I follow. And I frequently check new arrivals at the library. And get recommendations from friends, family, folks hear at MR, etc. And...

None of these methods comes close to being a majority.

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Old 09-20-2011, 12:00 PM   #30
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For me, it usually is just a friend recommending a book, be it someone I know near me, or someone I know online.
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