A Novel’s Journey from the TBR to the HEA

A novels journey from the To Be Read (TBR) pile to the Happily Ever After (HEA) ending starts where?

After studying Killer Openings with author Alexa BourneI purposed a question to myself: How did that To Be Read (TBR) book make it into my hands? Onto my bookshelf? In my mind filed under Happily Ever After (HEA)?

Several methods come to mind:

  • Author Recognition (pre-order or automatic purchase)
  • Genre Specific
  • Recommended Read
  • Author Support/Fellow Writer (Pay It Forward)
  • Gift (includes books received at writing conventions)

Generally, I receive most of my books in the above ways. But what about the others? I do purchase books strictly based on the cover and title, but why?

I believe the reader’s journey begins with the title.

Those first words lure the reader, if she dare reach out, to pick up the book, read the blurb, the first line, first paragraph, first page, etc. I love that little shiver that runs through me, a glint of excitement that, soon, I’ll delve into another’s world and mind. Connect to the characters. Root for them to overcome the obstacles leading to their goal.

So isn’t it true that a reader’s journey does truly being with the title?

In Bob Mayer’s book “The Novel Writer’s Toolkit” he suggests the following:

“Title should work one of two ways: It should entice the reader by giving a clear idea what the book is about, i.e., Clear and Present Danger signals the book is a thriller. Or be a juxtaposition of two words that don’t belong together and therefore intrigue: Lovely Bones.”

Color, especially the color red, may also play an important aspect in drawing a buyer’s attention to the book as suggested in Cover Designs Of The 10 Best-Selling Books Of All Time

Font seems to grab a reader’s attention as well as discussed in Five Great Fonts for Your Book Cover and Top Ten Typefaces Used By Book Design Winners

Is it no wonder I purchased Linda Howard’s novel Death Angel (white letters in a font similar to Trajan on a red background)?

So how do you choose the book you’ll read next? How does a book call to you? How does the book make it from your TBR pile to a HEA read? Please share.

Happy Reading,

Cyndi Faria

12 thoughts on “A Novel’s Journey from the TBR to the HEA

  1. I love covers. And I love colors on covers. Rich, vibrant colors; emerald green, ruby red, sapphire blue, golden yellow, plush purple. I read a lot of historical romances and I love a lush, rich gown on the woman. I want the cover to tell me what I’m going to get. Historical costumes or dangerous settings. Funny, quirky covers or serious suspenseful covers.

    • I agree that jewel tones are eye catching. This is an example of genre specific covers. The reader knows what to expect based on the cover, similar to Bob Mayer’s comments about titles matching genre. Thank you Jill!!!

  2. I used to love browsing bookshelves for anything in the Romance section that would catch my eye, but now I mostly put books on my “to read” shelf as a result of friends’ recommendations, new releases by tried-and-true favorite authors, or recommendations from Goodreads groups who read the same genres as I do. But I have to say that I still love those fun urban fantasy covers that promise lots of chemistry and adventure. For example, I stumbled across Karen Marie Moning’s *Fever* series becuase of the intriguing covers. What a wild ride that was! I love that series. 🙂

  3. Oh yeah – titles and covers grab me right away. That’s the number one reason I do NOT like my Kindle. You can’t see the cover and if you swipe around for it, it’s all black and white and 50 shades of grey (at least on my Kindle). I love books so I can see the beautiful covers and smell the paper and hold the pages in my hands.

    Next important is the back cover blurb. If I’m hooked after those 2 things, I’ll buy the book. I may not even open it to page 1.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • I so agree with you! Kindles great but I love my books. I’ll even down load, read, and after I’m finished, if the book is good, I will buy the book just to have. Thank goodness for POD! Thanks for stopping by! Cyndi 😀

  4. Oooh, thanks for the mention! I hope you’re liking the class.

    I once bought a book solely on the cover and it was not good. I didn’t even finish it. Since then, I’ve become very picky. I’m like you- I pick authors I already love, or books from the specific genre I’m interested in at the time of purchase. But for new-to-me authors I usually read a couple of pages.

    • Lexi, your Killer Openings class is excellent. If you’ll be teaching in the near future let me know so I can edit this post. Regarding new authors, I read my first historical by Grace Callaway titled Her Husband’s Harlot. She’s now an instant buy because of the first page. Thank you for posting! 😀

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