Today’s (uhhh, actually, yesterday’s) Romancing the Blog entry was about author blogs influencing book-buying decisions. With me, it really boils down to this: If I refrained from reading books written by assholes or people whose opinions differ in any way from mine, I’d run out of books pretty damn quick; I think my list of authors would probably be pared down to, like, Eric Schlosser and Jennifer Crusie. Aside from that, I also find it fascinating to read books by people whose views are radically different from mine. A couple of years ago I tried reading Mein Kampf, for example, but I had to quit at page 150 because it was seriously sending me to sleep. I never knew anti-semitic vitriol could be so boring.
Blogs have introduced a lot of authors to me; recently I saw a PBW book written under the Lynn Viehl pseudonym (If Angels Burn) and I picked it up because I recognized the name through her blog. I certainly don’t agree with some of her opinions, but the premise of the book sounded interesting, and hey, if I gave Hitler a chance, I had to extend the same courtesy to PBW, no? (Note: in case it wasn’t obvious, that last remark was strictly in jest, and I’m inserting this clunky disclaimer only because I am completely opposed to using smilies in my blog posts.) The book flunked the 15-page in-store preview, though, and it’s the only reason I didn’t buy it. The other day I saw an Alison Kent book, and while I agree with her views (as presented on her blog, anyway) more than PBW’s and Alison’s on-line persona is much less abrasive, the same thing happened: 15-page preview didn’t grab me, so no go. Monica Jackson’s In My Dreams, on the other hand, passed the 15-page test. And now that I’ve finished the latest Emma Holly I checked out from the library, I’m going to start reading this one, Monica, so the review should be up soon. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
(Funnily enough, I found out about Monica not through her blog, but through LLB’s blog. Anyone else think that if these two meet that there will be a catastrophic explosion such as what happens when matter and anti-matter collide and spontaneously annihilate each other?)
Similarly, I’m interested in checking out other authors’ books whose blogs I read should I see them in the stores. If I see a Holly Lisle book I’ll give it a fair trial, even though I categorically disagree with her stance on abortion. I’ll give Kate Rothwell’s books a try too, ditto Lydia Joyce. Monica Jackson brought up Brenda Coulter in her blog entry about this issue, and though I definitely disagree with Coulter on some things, I’ll check out her books if I see them since I’m still determined to give Inspirationals a fair shot, though God knows when I’ll get around to that because Emma Holly is seriously starting to fuck up my TBR stacks.
That 15-page in-store trial, man. It’s really the final arbiter of what I buy, unless the book’s by an autobuy author. The blog thing? The authors’ entries may make for good rant fodder for this site, but I honestly don’t think it affects my purchasing habits other than the exposure to a huge variety of new-to-me authors.