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How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven’t read before? What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?
If a friend or fellow blogger with similar past tastes to mine recommends a book, it certainly gets my attention, but to be honest, when it comes to trying new authors, I’m just as likely to find it from the back of another book I’ve just read. For example, I loved Ash by Malinda Lo and in the back of that book was an advert for Sisters Red by Jackson Pierce and I immediately fell in love with the cover art.
Which leads me to the other thing that attracts me to new authors – the covers! I’m afraid I often do judge books by their covers and a particularly striking or beautiful cover is likely to attract me even if it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the author’s name. An example of this would be the day I saw a copy of The Plucker by Brom. The cover was so darkly beautiful that I just knew I had to check it out of the library. I fell completely in love with Brom’s work that day!
There have been instances of “cover recommendations” going very badly wrong for me. For example, I read The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and on the front cover was a quote that read “This is the next The Lovely Bones.” So I got hold of a copy of Alice Sebold’s novel and absolutely hated it. In fact, if I’d read that one first and seen on the cover a recommendation that said, “This is the new The Time Traveler’s Wife,” I would never have read Niffenegger’s novel!