Not Even For Free
Not even for free. Like many of you, I download plenty of free ebooks, and like many of you, if I like the book, I will buy more from the author.
Recently I followed a link to amazon, and hesitated...I liked the description of the heroine. The description of the hero was okay. The heroine's inner conflict was okay, and the outer conflict was acceptable.
But I didn't download it, and I had to consider why.
I think the blurb wasn't good enough, and/or it didn't give me enough that was different from a hundred other stories. I didn't know the author at all, and it wasn't in one of the genres I read heavily in (also considerations). My reading time is extremely limited so I must be picky.
Recently a publisher informed me that they were looking for THREE STANDARD HOOKS, in the story and especially the blurb, to pull readers in for "that sort of book I like."
For instance in Feral Magic I have:
Widow (war widow - actually fiancé, but close enough)
One of those could be enough for people who liked "that kind of story." For me, I like widow stories. I like marriage-of-convenience stories. I like shapeshifters. Other hooks that might work on me are telepathic animals, and sometimes ex-lovers reunited. :)
But there just wasn't enough in the pitch I was looking at, or enough different. Feral Magic also has a hero (royal which I used as a keyword), who is from another dimension (which I considered for a long time whether to put in the blurb or not, but I figured it might scare away more paranormal romance readers who don't know my work than grab them).
Bottom line is: You DO need those hooks, especially if you're self-publishing and I really know it, from experiences like the above.
May you enjoy all the worlds you visit today.