Friday, January 27, 2012

Who Influences You?

Kay and I often prefer watching movies on DVD, rather than at the movies. We're willing to wait for the buzz to die down and enjoy the entertainment in the comfort of our home. Besides, if we don't like the movie, I just eject the disk and we move on. It costs less than a box of popcorn, and when the movie's over, we're already home.

The problem we've encountered is the same one we would have if we were choosing to go to a movie house. Which movies should we see? There have been so many instances when critics have said a movie was "must see," yet I've known after fifteen minutes that my money has been wasted. On the other hand, we've absolutely loved some movies that critics roundly panned. Recommendations from friends and family? Same thing. The fact is that tastes differ.

Of course, this isn't just true of movies. It holds true of plays, music, books, clothes, and so many other things. We make choices based on our personal preferences, but those are influenced by others. And that brings me to the question of the day: who influences you in choosing a book? What makes you pick a book off the shelf at your favorite local bookstore and shell out your money for it at the cash register? If your tastes run to ebooks, what influences you to click that button that costs you anything from a small amount to a significant one to purchase the book? Do recommendations from others help, or do you prefer to make up your own mind?

Bring it on. I'd like to hear what you have to say on the subject. Thanks for participating.

Previews of coming attractions: Next week I'll have an interview with fellow author Mark Young, who has self-published two books, followed by a guest post in which Mark explains why he chose the self-publishing route.
The week after that, I'll review the latest book from New York Times best-selling author of medical suspense, Michael Palmer, and share an interview. Hope you'll come back for it all.


Erica Vetsch said...

The actors tend to influence me more and more these days. If a movie stars Tom Cruise or Nicholas Cage, I pass on it. I just don't like them.

Though to be honest, I don't see a lot of the newest movies. I love old films, and when push comes to shove, I'll opt for a John Wayne movie at home over a blockbuster at the Cinema 12.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

I'm influenced by pro reviews when it's time to choose a book. And by word of mouth, but there are only a few people from whom I can take word of mouth recommendations. Their taste has to be very similar to mine, and I have unusual tastes! Your upcoming interviews sound great. I'll be back and tweeting them.

Karen (Mabrey) Finster said...

To be honest, the first time I read one of your books was because your name is the same (almost) as my father's, it was a free download on my birthday, and the genre is right up my alley. The second one is because I thoroughly enjoyed the first.
I now read mostly ebooks because I can carry so many with me at the same time that I can pick and choose immediately depending on my current mood. In the same way, I look for books that pique my interest at that moment. If I read an author that is new to me and I enjoy their writing, I will look for more by that author.
Lastly, my mother's recommendations still hold up for me. If she liked something, most likely, I will as well. I guess some things never change.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, all, for your comments. Investment commercials say that "past performance is no guarantee of future returns," and the same holds true of actors and authors--but that, whether our own experience or the description by others--seems to be the determining factor for most of us.

Teressa Ryan said...

Hi Doc! I have noticed that what is taking place in the world around us plays in on what others will pick up to read, not always what they end up enjoying. I'm not a "jump on board" type person myself. I usually find myself turning to reading when I am searching for something, an answer, an escape or enlightenment etc. As for book recommendations I have often been offered those and the times I have taken them to heart I just knew they were what I was looking for.
Good question Doc: D