A lot of importance has been placed on the perfect cover. After all, it's the first thing we see when we browse books. But is the cover the thing that makes us pick up our next read? Or is it something else?
When a new novel comes out, there's often a lot of publicity around it, describing the plot and the biography of the author. Authors like Dan Brown, JK Rowling, Sophie Kinsella and Jodie Picoult have a reputation which already precedes them so when they release a new novel, a legion of pre-existing fans are likely to go out and buy their latest offering without much persuasion.
The power of word of mouth cannot, of course, be overlooked – especially now, in a world of social media. Opinion and positive reviews from bloggers, critics and general booklovers seem to have great importance in a book being selected. After all, #Fridayreads seems to trend every week now. Of course, you could just prefer to look out for special offers in Smiths and see what takes your fancy!
Being part of the Novelicious team certainly has had a dramatic influence on what I read. Reading the reviews, seeing what people have to say about certain books and generally discussing everybody's favourite novels always throws up numerous new titles to add to the neverending to-read pile. I picked up Emma Donoghue's Room because Cesca raved about it. I read Yours Truly because our fearless leader Kirsty wrote it. Aside from Novelicious suggestions, though, I only read The Great Gatsby when they announced a film adaptation was coming out and one of my favourite books of all time – To Kill a Mockingbird – was assigned at school.
I chose the book I'm currently reading – The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – after I read an article about Shannon in the Bookseller. Her publishers have done a tremendous job in raising her profile and it helped that film rights have already been bought and the initial buzz (apologies, I hate to use the word) has been overwhelmingly positive. It also helps, of course, that the book is fantastically written and right up my street (review coming soon)!
So how do you decide what book to read next? How much importance to you place on the cover, the author's reputation, word-of-mouth and your mood on that particular day? As ever, let us know in the comments.