Thursday 20 August 2015

Would you BUY or PASS (13) ?

My weekly contribution to Rosie Amber's Friday Five Challenge ~ if you know what it's all about, please go down to the line of red stars to see my choice for this week.  If not, please read on!

The Friday Five Challenge is an interesting exercise for writers ~ it shows the little things that can put potential readers off that click-buy.  We click on a book because the cover appeals to us, but can be put off a purchase by the blurb, the price, or the reviews.

Anyone with a blog can join in ~ here's what you do:


1) Go to any online book supplier
2) Randomly choose a category
3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which instantly appeals
4) Read the book bio/description, and any other details
5) If there are reviews, check out a couple
6) Make an instant decision: would you BUY or PASS?

You can check out others' contributions on the #FridayFiveChallenge hashtag on Twitter, or see links at the end of this page.

My sister is soon to appear on a TV quiz show, and I was thinking of this when I went to Amazon for this week's selection.  I tried putting 'television star' into the search but just came up with page after page of Star Trek books, so I tried again with 'TV Talent Show', partly because one of my own books, Dream On, features one of these, and I wanted to see how early it would appear!  A few books before it, I came across the delightful cover of CURTAINS by Drew Thomas


Caught my eye immediately, I think it's lovely.  I like the title, too

99p for 272 pages!  99p often makes me wonder - does the author not rate himself much, or has he marked it down in price to make it sell, perhaps as a lure for the rest of his books?  The latter is highly understandable, in these days of a flooded market and the constant problem of visibility; I do it myself.

For some reason the author has not provided a blurb, but has put a long and laboured review in the 'product description'.  Here is about a quarter of it:

Danny is a performer on London’s cabaret circuit, but his hard work isn’t doing much for his status. When he meets Veronica, who promises to make him a star, he never guesses that this might be too good to be true. Rapidly falling in love with her – or so he thinks – soon his life revolves around doing her bidding. But Veronica is a more complex individual than Danny could ever have imagined - and her forcefulness will lead them both down an unimaginable path.
Drew Thomas is to be commended, not just for imagining this path but for showcasing it with a superb exposition. The tale is told from Danny’s perspective after he has achieved fame and even notoriety. It’s clear from the start that Danny is deeply disturbed, not just fundamentally with his alter ego 'Stella' making regular appearances to question his every move, but also with something sinister that has occurred in the recent past. 

Seems fairly interesting but I couldn't be bothered to do much more than skim the long chunks of description.

A 1* from someone who hadn't read it, to be ignored, and 8 x 5*.   I looked at 6 of them, and 3 of them were obviously from friends (ie, they had only reviewed this book, or this book and one other item).  I read in one that the proceeds were going to a charity.  Reading the author bio he's obviously got his fingers in quite a few pies, and quite successfully, too; I suspect he just hasn't bothered to promote this.

Would I BUY or PASS?
BUY ~ oddly enough!  I'll give it a go sometime, and have downloaded on Kindle Unlimited. I suspect it might be rather good; it was the author bio that made me give it the thumbs up, though, rather than the reviews or non-blurb.  He's obviously an accomplished writer, so I'll hopefully get round to this during my next big reading session, which will take place next month, I hope :)

Friday Five Challenge posts by others (click the blog name):
Irish-American New York chick lit for Rosie Amber
A undercover wizard on Between The Lines
Shelley Wilson is sorting out her money!  
Time travel I definitely want to read on Lost In A Book
A fabulous book of insults from Barb Taub


  1. This isn’t doing it for me, so I’d have to pass. I’ll be interested to see what you think when you get round to it.

    1. Yeah, it'd have been a total pass from me if it wasn't for Kindle Unlimited. I'm still in two minds about whether KU is a good thing or not!

  2. Not my cup of tea, but I agree that the cover is intriguing. It would be a PASS from me. (See, I'm saving money already!!) ;-)

    1. So often it depends on how much you've already got stacked up to read, as well, doesn't it, Shelley? I'd be interested to hear if you find the money book useful :)

  3. So we think the marketing side of life for this author is a challenge? Ok if you are raking in the money from elsewhere, but getting your selling points spot on is a must in this competitive world. A Pass from me I try to pretend I don't watch reality TV, but one or two sneak in.

    1. Ha ha! I really really don't watch it anymore (honest!!!), but I used to love Pop Idol, and find the whole 'making of a star' thing rather interesting. Your other comments sum up my thoughts exactly :)

  4. I got bored reading through the blurb/review so I'd be a no from me but had I nothing else to read and (haha!) nothing else to do then I'd probably be quite happy to read it.

  5. I know from experience that writing a blurb (I suck at it!) is much different than writing a book. But I think I'd still look for a few more unbiased positive reviews (or a recommendation from Terry after she's read it!) before it would be a buy for me.

    1. Yes, I can see what you mean. I agree re blurbs; horrible things, so hard to do, but every book needs SOMETHING, doesn't it?!

  6. Hmm, not enough to make me buy it, even for 99p. The cover doesn't really appeal to me and the blurb/review sounds a bit too psycho for my personal tastes, so I'd probably never get round to reading it. Even though it's cheap, it would be just another book on my Kindle, so with the best will in the world and all good wishes to the author, it's a pass.

    1. I suspect it might be so for me, too - if I get to it, I hope I am pleasantly surprised :)