Sunday, September 8, 2013

Time and Money-Saving Tips: Figuring Out if You’ll Like a Romance Novel Before You Reach Page Ten

Hello, Just Contemporary Romance Readers!

I'm Gabrielle Vigot, author of Daisy Miller: The Wild and Wanton Edition. I'm honored today to be guest blogging here today for the wonderful staff (Thanks, Maureen!) and readership of JustConRom!

Today I’m writing to help you fellow readers—I'm going to talk about how can you can save time and sift through the oodles and oodles of “Meh” romances and find the next great “Heck yeah!” novel without spending lots of time and money in the process. In the handy-dandy checklist below, I’ll be talking about the many unconscious questions we lovely ladies ask ourselves when deciding whether to spend our hard-earned cash on a particularly sexy novel. Answer them to find your next favorite book. And please comment below if you agree or have something to share!

Before purchasing, one has to decide whether the new novel will likely get and keep our interest, or leave us high and dry. We have to estimate the quality of the writing and strength of the characters. Aaaand we have to save money! Here’s how to do it all:

1. Are there good signs on the book’s webpage?

I just finished reading Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert. Why did I choose to read this one? First of all, I was hooked by the title. It posed a question that Katee answered. Why is the main character in the wrong bed? Sounds steamy! From just the well-written Amazon description, you can tell the author has a sense of humor and it’ll be a fun read. The sexy red cover, premise, and price also helped. I could also relate to the main character, an overworked semi-stuffy art-lover. :) 
2. Have you checked out the writing style for free, and were you drawn into the story?

When you’re on a budget, your choices are less limited than you may think. Amazon has a rotation of tons of free ebooks (just search “free”), and by following your favorite authors on Twitter or Facebook, you can get recommendations and keep track of when they are offering discounts, giveaways, and freebies. Which brings us to our next point: If you’re a fan of a certain author’s writing style, you’re likely a fan of many of their books. Head over to Google Books or download iTunes sample chapters (both free) before buying from a new author, and you’ll get a much better picture of whether you care for their characters and writing style. 

3. Have you gleaned any knowledge from the reviews?

Are the positive reviews of the book on Amazon or Goodreads descriptive of the storyline or characters? If not, you may want to move on to a book that gives you a better sense that it’s been read by actual people. The higher number of good reviews, the better sense you’ll get. Pro tip: You may find an undiscovered gem by writing your favorite author and asking for a copy of his/her next book for reviewing purposes.

4. Was it recommended to you?

Marketers know that personalized recommendations mean more satisfied customers. That is why companies like Amazon and Goodreads work so hard to develop and tweak their algorithms in order to recommend popular books you’ll like based on your past reads. The more you buy or review on those sites, the more specific and accurate their recommendations will be. It’s just like having a very smart book-angel on your shoulder preventing you from making bad purchasing decisions. Sometimes she’s too strict, but many times she’s right on the mark.

So good luck to you, dear readers, and happy romance-hunting—please visit the links below for more suggestions, or to learn more about my writing.


Gabrielle Vigot is the author of Daisy Miller: The Wild and Wanton Edition. The original novella is about an out-of-control young socialite in the 1800s, and Vigot's version is updated with all the sex and romantic drama of the contemporary romance. Purchasing links:


  1. This is spot on. Just one surprise for me: that reason #4 wasn't in #1 place. I'll always jump a recommendation to the top of my to-read pile, especially if it comes from a reader whose taste I know I share.

  2. Great post. If I've read the author before I'll generally pick her his or her next book. Food for thought on nailing the all important cover and blurb.

  3. I've been typing the names of authors I know I like into the Kindle store search bar. There are, usually, names of other authors that seem to be comparable that show up in the resulting list. I've found a few new to me authors that way.

    Plus, I check the Just sites each day to see who is stopping in... so far Maureen hasn't disappointed with her guests. :)

  4. Thanks for the feedback, guys. And Julie O, that's a pretty good tactic I hadn't thought about! I find authors' Facebook pages very helpful, too. Check out mine:


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