Yes, you, as in you the person sitting at their computer or tablet or even phone, reading this right now. What matters to you, as a reader of YA dystopian novels? As a new author, just learning about the exciting roller coaster we call publishing, I’m interested in what you think.

Take covers, for instance. Are there trends you’re weary of? What catches your eye? Have you ever bought a book because of the cover?

How much does it matter to you that the cover of later books in the series matches or goes along with the first cover? And blurbs, otherwise known as quotes, when you see them on the cover or the back cover, do they influence you? Have you ever chosen a book because of a quote from an author you admire?

Do you care if there is a short story set in the same world as the novel or would you just rather wait for the next novel? And, speaking of that, how long will you wait for a sequel to the first book in a series?

I want to know because I’d like to learn how readers feel. But I also want to discover what you’re interested in hearing about. How many of you are also writers, for example? Do you want to see more posts about the business of publishing or about the craft of writing? Or would you rather see more about YA science fiction books and films? Or be surprised? Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’m all…

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Artemis Grey said...

On the cover matter, I'm funny about covers. I believe mostly because of my background in art and my obsession with commercial art, which is, in essence exactly what your cover is. I understand that as an author, I will (whenever I get published) have little say in my own covers. But *if* I get a say, I will definitely have a few opinions. I love 'different' covers. But for me, the cover has to have something to do with the story. For example (and I'm not a Twilight fan, but I won't hate on it here, too badly...) one set of covers I still hate is the Twilight series. To me there, covers say nothing. It's like looking at an abstract Ethan Allen ad.

Covers I love, include all of Kristin Chasore's books, Elana Johnson's series, Blood Red Road, Under the Never Sky, the Birthmarked series. The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, and The Vampire Empire series The Bones of Faerie series, just to name a few.

I've picked up books because of their covers, but I buy them off the first page.

Blurbs... ah the elusive blurb... I'm cagey about blurbs because so often, I feel as though they don't end up representing the book well. I mean, they grab you maybe, but then the story turns out to have a very different feel and tone to it. I have bought books off of the blurb, but more often than not, I've been disappointed afterward. In contrast, there are books I've bought off reading the first page and LOVED but to this day I loathe the associated blurbs of those books.

I will buy a book because of a quote from an author I admire, but admittedly, it's always been authors I've met/talked or are friends with and want to support. This is because I've got something in common with those authors and when they say, 'Oh, I think you'd love *this* book.' I know I probably will.

As far as sequels go, usually an author gets my devotion because of how they write. For example I did not like how the Hunger Games series ended up going. But I'd buy and read a grocery list written by Suzanne Collins because it's her WRITING that I love, more than the stories she's telling. If I love the author's writing, I will love their stories, even if I hate them. Does that make sense?

Gabe (Ava Jae) said...

Hmm, lots of questions here.

I'm a little weird as far as covers go. If I absolutely love a cover, I'm more likely to try to get a hardcover/paperback version. If I'm not crazy about the cover, but the story and first few pages still look interesting, I'll probably buy the e-book version as I have a NOOK Simple Touch and everything is in grayscale anyway. Either way the more important aspect is the story itself.

If I'm collecting the paper versions of books, I much prefer the covers match in a series. I know it's not a big deal, but I've had the entire line of covers change half-way through a series and I found it a little annoying, but I continued to buy the books anyway (it's just a nit-picky thing).

If the choice was between the next book coming out sooner or a short story being released in between the two books, I'd easily choose the next book being released sooner. However, if the next book is going to be released on the same date regardless, then a short story release between the two is a bonus.

Finally, I'm a writer and I'd love to see posts about publishing and the craft of writing. :)

Melody Simpson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melody Simpson said...

On Covers:
I don't know how much input I can give here with trends since the books that I am buying right now all go to my Kindle (until I finish catching up on all of the physical books that I have) and rarely do I pay attention to and really look at the covers there. Hopefully this isn't a trend, but I really don't like the same images for different authors, i.e. You Have Seven Messages and These Girls. Different genres & audiences is no excuse. I am also really not a fan of the typical covers showing a boy and girl in love or showing the moment of attraction before actually getting to that point. If you're going to go that route, it's got to be creative. As for the big purchase, I will pick up a book because of the cover but I always read the first chapter or two before making a decision to buy.

As far as what catches my eye... Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked), Beth Revis (Across the Universe), Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer), and Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me) have beautiful covers. Starters is also phenomenal. I have yet to read the following but their covers are magnificent: Above (Leah Bobet), Wither (Lauren DeStefano), Imaginary Girls (Nova Ren Suma), Breathe (Sarah Crossan), & Cinder (Marissa Meyer). When it comes to series and matters a lot to me that covers of later books in a series flow with the first cover. At the very least, keep up with the (progression of the) tone. If the tone does not match the book, series or not, it is a head scratcher and disappointing.

On Blurbs:
I would like to say that blurbs don't influence me, but really, if I am on the fence about a book and I see that so and so has said good things, I give it another chance and keep reading before I make the ultimate decision to buy or not to buy. But I'm more influenced by certain few author recommendations on Twitter than blurbs by any author that I've read and liked on covers/back covers. There's more room on Twitter to share why exactly they love the book. I've actually bought books, having only read the synopsis (sometimes, not even that) and knowing nothing else about the books because a certain author on Twitter said to read them. I have yet to be steered wrong via Twitter but blurbs, it's weird, I'm not as immediate here with the buy.

On short stories:
- Sometimes, a short story seems really unnecessary. Other times, I am counting down until the release of the short story to tie me over until the next installment. It depends on where the book left off and where the short story takes off. Do I care about this world at this specific time and from the voice of this specific character? What exactly is this short story giving me that the next book isn't? I love getting pieces to the puzzle that aren't found anywhere else, except within the short story. But it has to really mean something. I also like what was said above about wanting the next book sooner rather than waiting for the next book just so the short story can release.

- As for how long I will wait for a sequel to the first book in a series... until the next one releases. If the wait is a year, a year and a half, the release of the sequel will still be on my mind. If the sequel comes out later than that, I'll just end up reading it whenever my mind decides to remind me, I'm scrolling through my Goodreads "To Read" list, or I see the author tweet about it. If the book has gutted me and given me a new heart like Delirium (Lauren Oliver) did, I would wait forever. That book is on my mind every single day. Pandemonium was not exactly everything that I wanted it to be but that doesn't dampen the impression that Delirium had on me and I am looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy, Requiem very much so.

Other Tidbits:
I am a writer and want to see an equal amount of posts about the business of publishing and about the craft of writing with a hint of posts about YA science fiction books and films.

Jaime Morrow said...

There has been much discussion about covers on YA books, but I have to say that most of them appeal to me. The only requirement that I have is that the covers in a series match. It drives me a little nuts when I buy a sequel in a series, and it has a totally different cover design than the one before. Even worse is when the size of the book changes. Urgh!

As for novellas/short stories that fall in between the events of a book and its sequel—I never read them. I wait for the next book.

I mostly just want a good story that doesn't feel too far-fetched. I don't tear a story apart complaining about whether or not it's dystopian enough to fall into that classification. I just want to enjoy what I read, and if it is part of a series, to be champing at the bit for the next book to come out. :)

VikLit said...

I have to say I am not swayed by covers, though a pretty one may of course catch my eye. I go entirely by the description of what the novel's about - is it a premise which grabs me? Is that enough for me to look up reviews or see if amazon has a kindle sample of the first chapter, for example?

I love a short story set in the same verse - Hana by Lauren Oliver being an excellent example here.

I am a writer, I would love posts about the craft of writing. As a lover of anything sci fi, I say yes please!