What appeals in a book? Now that question is very different from what makes a book great. We never know whether a book is great until we’ve read it start to finish. But what makes a book appeal, that we know from the beginning because it is part of the reason we picked the book up to read in the first place.
For many of us, appeal starts with a great cover, but that is the obvious part and most likely not the sole reason to buy and read the book. After the cover, we read the blurb. But what’s in this blurb? A handsome and mysterious man, a damsel in distress, a villain out to stop the both of them? Sounds okay but not amazing.
But what if this mysterious man was an ex-Jordanian Intelligence agent who relocated to Rio De Janiero in an attempt to gain a fresh start after an explosion killed most of his unit.
(And of course nothing works out as planned) and he is caught in a cross fires after saving a Brazilian grad student who got in with the wrong crowd and now wants out…
It’s beginning to sound better and images similar to those in this post start to form in our mind. Now this book has appeal, but in order to reach this point the author needs to reach out to the readers and plant seeds which will begin to grow in our minds. If it is a romance, we usually need some sort of alpha-like male (there are exceptions) and an attractive female (I say attractive in the non-physical sense. Someone who we readers can relate to). In addition to this, we want a realistic, believable villain and many times, a location that makes it interesting.
Thrillers and suspense may require a lot of action while fantasy or sci-fi might propose something otherwordly.
These are a few of many ideas and we readers are all so different there is something out there to appease us all. Still, book sales have to count for something and best sellers aren’t made so easily. What about you all, what drives you to pick up a book and read it?