In the writing industry, the experts say that the first five pages are important to grab the reader’s attention. I agree with the statement, but I believe that there are other factors as well. Last month I judged a contest for published books. I was pretty excited to judge the contest, but I wasn’t thrilled seeing the books as I opened the box. The books didn’t have covers that intrigued me, and a couple of them didn’t have a blurb to entice me to the story.
When I buy a book to read, I’ll scan the shelves or website and stop at a cover that intrigues me. I’m big on first impressions, and I like it if the cover can portray a mood or emotion. Next, I’ll look at the back blurb. If it’s interesting enough then I’ll continue. I won’t base my decision just on the blurb, knowing how the blurb is one of the hardest pieces to write for a book. And last, I’ll open the book and start reading the first page. If the writing gets me to turn the page, I’ll buy the book. If not, I’ll pass on the book and look for another one.
I never thought too much about how I purchased a book until seeing those books from the contest that I had to read. If I had seen these books in the store, I would’ve passed them by. The bad news is that I would have missed reading some good stories. In fact, one book was so good that I can’t wait to buy her other books.
The lesson I learned is how important first impressions are when writing and creating a book. You always hear the experts say it, but I never experienced it until now. Will I be more careful when purchasing a book? You bet. I will pick up a few books here and there to see if the first pages will grab my attention. Will I continue to buy a book based on cover, blurb, and first page? You bet. First impressions get me hooked.