Maybe it’s just because I’m a big cheap-o, but I am pretty selective about what I will and won’t buy for my Kindle. Granted, I still buy more books now than I ever have, but I got to wondering what the formula was for me moving on to the next book on the digital shelf, and I think I’ve got it figured out…

5. Your product description sucks.

I know as much as anyone how hard it is to talk about your own work and summarize what could very well be a decade’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears into a 2-paragraph blurb that will make me want to buy it, but you’re a frakking writer. Think outside the box or something. If your product description has all the punch of a 200-year-old sea turtle, I’m gonna move on. Oh, and if you describe your work as a Hitchcockian thriller, at least spell Hitchcockian right (yes, I actually saw that one). As a Hitchcock, this offends me greatly.

4. Your book cover sucks.

If your book cover looks like it was created in Microsoft Word, uses Papyrus font, or clip art (yes, I have seen clip art), you probably need my money so that you can hire a real designer, but I’m still not gonna give it to you. Also, if your book cover is a romance that explores no territory beyond rippled chest and heaving bodice or a thriller that doesn’t go beyond crime scene tape and a bloody knife, I’m pretty sure I already know everything I need to know. Pass.

3. Your price sucks.

I don’t care if your ebook price was set by the publisher, if it’s more than about $7, I’m not buyin’ it. If your ebook costs more than your paperback or even worse, your hardcover, then I’m really not buyin’ it. There’s absolutely no reason for an ebook to cost that much. If you’re big enough that your publisher is charging more than $8 for your ebook, I can probably get it at my library.

2. You told me to in your Twitter Auto-DM.

“Thanks for following me! I know you’re just gonna love my sci-fi fantasy adventure novel! Go buy it right this minute!” Um, no. Did it ever cross your mind that maybe I don’t particularly like sci-fi? Or fantasy? Or novels, even? I could be an attractive porn star who wants to be your “friend” for all you know. And guess what… I don’t know you. I don’t know jack about your writing style or if it would be my cup of tea. Why don’t you let me trade some tweets with you and let me decide for myself. If I like your snarky wit, I will buy your shit. But you auto-DM me, I’ll never give you or your work the time of day.

1. Your reviews suck.

Yep. Reviews matter. If I read in your review that your book is filled with point-of-view shifts, verb confusion, and spelling errors, I’m going to run in the other direction. If you manage to pull off a brilliantly interesting product description but 17 out of 20 people say your book is boring, I’m going to be inclined to believe them. On the other hand, I’m not going to be turned off by a couple of honest, but bad reviews. I understand that my book isn’t for everybody, so if a negative reviewers talks about painfully introspective and action-lacked your book is, I might just open up my wallet for you.

Take heed, authors. Oh, and thanks for following me! I just know you’ll love my book…