My Home of Books: Does Your Love of an Author, or Lack Thereof, Affect How You Feel About a Book?

September 30th, 2014 Kimberly Guest Post 43 Comments

30th Sep

Rita @ My Home of Books

Caffeinated is being taken over by other bloggers and today we have Rita from My Home of Books to share a discussion on authors and books. Grab a blueberry muffin and some hazelnut coffee and settle in. My Home of Books offers a very eclectic taste in book reviews.  I love Rita’s finds in the mystery and romantic suspense department. Be sure and checkout the blog! Thanks for being here today Rita….

Guest Post

Hi all! It’s Rita @ My Home of Books filling in for Kimba as she takes a much-needed break from posting. I’m glad to be able to help her out because this blog, The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, is one of my favorite go-to review blogs around the blogosphere. Kimba is also known as an extremely helpful person, who gives advice to new and struggling bloggers, and book recommendations to all. I told Kimba that I wanted to post today on the following topic:

Does your love (okay, warm fuzzies) for an author color your decision on whether you pick up that book, make you more lenient in your ratings on their subsequent books, or have you pick up a title in a genre is untried/disliked/not in your comfort zone?

My personal answer to this is a resounding yes! It might not always be fair, but for me there are certain things I like to check out before I read a totally new-to-me author. I look at their Goodreads page (if available), their Amazon author’s page (if available) and their own personal website (which should be available). I’m happy when their photo is attached because I enjoy making that personal connection to the person at the other end of my reading experience. If they post an informative or humorous blurb on those pages, even better! I even sometimes track down their social media and check their twitter, Facebook, whatever. Reading little quips from the author, stories about how they evolved into their writing career, or even them prattling about their gardens & kitties can make the person behind my books a richer experience. This may all sound hokey, but if you have so many choices to pick from, you have to have a system for choosing the right book for your own taste. Never mind that everyone and his cousin is reading “X”, if it doesn’t grab me then it’s not for me. Covers also play into my decision, but more on that another time 😉 The personalization of the author behind the unknown book is frequently a tool I use to determine my to-be-read list. Granted, this isn’t foolproof and I have read some author bios that sound meh, offer little personal info, and might not have a photo…but the books turned out to be very good for me. I want to concentrate on the positive, so no author-bashing here in your comments or mine.

Case in point for me, in which the authors sealed the deal ahead of reading:

Virgin RiverRobyn Carr: She has a sweet face with an open smile, has a friendly website with lots of information about herself, her books, and how she got started in the industry. I love how she shares on her site about being bedridden with a difficult pregnancy and friends brought her armloads of books to read to pass the time. She decided after that to pursue her newfound dream of writing. She admits to writing about strong women in tough situations and that gives me a clue as to how her plots will evolve. No simpering, male-dominated women in her series! Before even picking up a book I know that I have a good chance of enjoying it, then the crowning touch is all the rave reviews from bloggers that I depend on for recommendations. I’ve since realized that I do like her books based on two that I’ve read just this month.

Keep Quiet
Lisa Scottoline: A fave author for many year. She also has a happy, smiling face on her website, gives information for book clubs, contests, newsletters, events. I like that behind her suspenseful stand-alones, she also has a wicked sense of humor, and that is evident in some of her memoir books, and the fact that she and her grown daughter write a humorous column for the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper called Chick Wit, a “witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective”. She has served as President of the Mystery Writers of America (no small feat) and teaches a course on Justice and Fiction at her alma mater, University of Pennsylvania Law School–sounds like something I would want to attend!

Missing YouHarlan Coben: Here’s an example of finding an author totally on my own without any input from anyone, because I wasn’t yet blogging and my family and friends are not big on reading fiction, nor discussing it. I just was wandering around Amazon’s site, clicked on one of those “customers who bought this item also bought…” showing a book cover of his and read the blurb, then the reviews below. went to his website and read some of it, and decided to take a chance. First, the author photo. He’s not movie-star handsome, but he looks like the kind of guy you’d like to sit and have a coffee (or a beer) with and listen to his stories. He’s an “everyman” from his photo to his bio to the main characters in his stand-alones suspenses. He doesn’t live in Hollywood, New York, or Chicago; he lives in New Jersey still, for goodness sake! His wife is a pediatrician and they have a whole bunch of kids. On his twitter recently he posted a ‘humble brag” that he just got his flu shot at Walgreens and is watching NFL football on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. And also: “no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, writing still doesn’t feel like a job”. I love this guy!

Just a few examples…if I had the time I could go on and on with more authors who appealed to me before their books were ever purchased or borrowed. There are so many others, mega-stars and less-known authors: Chris Bohjalian, Tess Gerritsen, Laurel-Rain Snow, Lisa Regan, Emily Croy Barker, Rachael English, John Grisham…I need to stop, but you can fill in the blanks with your own selections.

Which author can you think of who caught your eye before you ever read their book– with their photo, their fan base, their bio, and gave you confidence that their book would be right for you?

Enjoy your reading! Rita

About Rita and My Home of Books

My Home of Books

Be sure and explore Rita’s My Home of Books blog. Rita is a very social blogger, and reads a little of everything. Her favorite reads fall into the mysteries, police procedural, suspense thrillers, small-town romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction genres. She always has some great discussions, unique features and participates in a few weekly memes. Rita prefers to get her caffeine from tea whether it’s hot or cold. She spends time daily visiting and interacting with fellow book lovers and always adds to any discussion. Now go, go stalk her!


Be sure and leave some caffeinated love below and tell Rita Does Your Love of an Authorof, or Lack Thereof, Affect How You Feel About a Book?

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

43 Responses to “My Home of Books: Does Your Love of an Author, or Lack Thereof, Affect How You Feel About a Book?”

  1. Pat

    Thanks for your post Rita. I enjoyed your comments and appreciate the thoughtful information about how to select books to read (especially new to me authors). One author I’ve been noticing on blogs lately is Robyn Carr. I came across Harlen Coben through one of my book club selections and enjoyed his book Six Years. I wouldn’t have picked up his book on my own, but would now certainly read more by him.

  2. Mary

    I *love* to read about authors — where they write, how they plan out their books, little tidbits like that. It does help when I’m picking up new-to-me authors though, unless they’re just horrid to others online, it doesn’t really change my mind about reading their book. I do like the tenuous connection, though.

  3. Candace

    Yes and no. I admit I’m drawn in by the new books out there but if I know I love an author I HAVE to have their books and I’ll buy them. I LOVE Misty Provencher but sadly I still have like 3 of her books to read. I just can’t seem to find enough time! And if I love an AUTHOR but haven’t read their books, I usually WANT to read them, but me liking THEM usually doesn’t change things too much.

  4. Lark

    You asked: Does your love (okay, warm fuzzies) for an author color your decision on whether you pick up that book, make you more lenient in your ratings on their subsequent books…”

    Yes, it does. I have stuck with authors I loved, even after their writing went downhill a bit or became inconsistent – and been rewarded when the books or series picked up again. I’ve been a little lenient in rating a book by an author I love because so many of their other books are so good – though I’ll still point out that it didn’t meet my expectations. I’ve tried books I might not otherwise have read, because I met the author or got to hear him/her speak.

    I like how you connect with the author as a person through their photo, website, blog, tweets, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever taken those things into consideration when deciding whether to try a new author, but why not? I mean, I certainly look at the cover and blurb to get a sense of what to expect, and of course the website and such will tell you something about the author’s style and content, too. Something for me to think about in the future!

    I have usually based my love for an author strictly on my love for their books. . . though sometimes, I’ve enjoyed an author’s work while having reservations about the author as a person. Or vice versa – there are writers I admire as people but don’t think I would like their books because of the genre or content. Still, I do get extra fuzzies when I like both the author and their books.

  5. Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)

    Absolutely loving an author will likely make me pick up whatever new release of theirs is coming out..regardless of the topic. And – I’m ashamed to say it – but I think it probably does color my reviews a bit. For example, I love Chris Bohjalian and I really liked his latest (Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands), but not as much as his others and I think the fact that he wrote it made me like it more than I would have otherwise. Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to read a book without knowing who the author is? Like a blind taste test?

  6. Pooja

    I never thought of author photos influencing the books I pick up. I usually don’t read the author bio until AFTER I’ve read the book so I’m guessing it doesn’t really affect me. I do remember thinking John Green looked really approachable and gorgeous though :). That was of course way before he became such a big deal!

    • Rita

      I guess I didn’t get my point across clearly 🙂 because I didn’t try to say that we should only go by the author’s photo; I sometimes take into consideration the author’s personality so I may know the slant that they might take in their writing style. Anyway, thanks for the comment, and I agree about John Green!

  7. Lupdilup

    I’m always more lenient with author whose work I’ve loved in the past. I always give them the benefit of the doubt when I encounter books that are as not in the same level as the one ones I liked. But I have a limit, I don’t care how much I liked their work in the past if I continue to get books that I’m just not enjoying, I will fall out love just as easy.
    Great post! 🙂

    • Rita

      So true, yes. I will give an author whom I follow and enjoy a little leniency when it is a minor stumble for them, but if it becomes a trend, then I will part ways with them. Good point you made, and thank you.

  8. Stormi

    Great post! I have never thought about stalking an author before trying there books when they are new to me I usually just go on the I have tried a lot of new authors this year and it’s mostly been because I like the sound of their books and a few have been recommendations from bloggers I trust and know that we have a like mind when it comes to reading.

    • Rita

      I definitely go by word of mouth and blurbs too. This discussion is just about one way I use to find new to me authors that I want to try out. As a blogger we have to have all different ways of deciding which book to pick up, especially if we get it on sale or from the library when price isn’t much of an issue. Thanks!

    • Rita

      I have a handful of authors who write so well and seem so genuinely nice that I just have to go with a new book of theirs. What’s great is that it isn’t the same few for everyone, so we get a variety when reading book review blogs. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Tanja

    This is such an interesting post as I’m totally opposite. I never check anything about the author and even though sometimes we talk via email I never google their name to see pictures. Honestly even if I did I’d never go for their book just based on their info or picture. So yeah I’m actually surprised that many people check that out. LOL Amazing post, Rita! 🙂

    • Rita H DuffyGal

      When I read a book, I want to know the whole package deal about it, including my friends’ opinions, ratings, the blurb, the cover…but also the author’s background and personality. I think people misunderstood my post that I would go by a photo alone. Thanks for visiting to comment.

  10. Carmel

    I’m equally as guilty on being more lenient towards authors whose books I’ve loved in the past, and that’s doubly true whenever werewolves are involved. As soon as my favourite supe makes an appearance, I automatically bump my rating up by one star. Great post, Rita! It was a pleasure making your acquaintance today. 🙂

    • Rita

      Nice to meet you, Carmel. I see from your blog that you have a “thing” for werewolves 🙂 That’s great to know what you like and then go for it in books. Thanks for the comment.

  11. Liz

    Absolutely – without a doubt! If an author is behaving horribly, I DNF anything I might have had, I add them to my “list” and I won’t buy or review.

    • Rita H DuffyGal

      Thanks for the comment, Liz. I feel many of us are influenced by the authors of the books we enjoy– that should be even a stronger factor than the cover because the words are more important than the outside. 🙂

    • Rita H DuffyGal

      Well, I didn’t mean just the photo, but that combined with their bio, their blog posts, comments on Goodreads, etc. I agree with you on avoiding the ones who seem to be argumentative with bloggers. Thanks for the comment.

  12. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Loved this post, Rita…I, too, love to check out various aspects of the author before becoming a new fan. Sometimes when I’ve read and loved an author’s books, he/she begins to feel like an old friend.

    Thanks for the mention, BTW…

    • Rita H DuffyGal

      That’s how I feel also. I feel like I am making a friend and they are sharing a story with me. The authors that appear unapproachable can sometimes put me off, just as a poor cover can 🙂

    • Rita H DuffyGal

      Thank you, Angela, for reading my post and commenting. I intend to pick up more Robyn Carr in the future.

  13. Carrie

    Interesting topic. I can’t say that I’ve ever really hunted down the author bio and social media sites for his/her information before reading the book. I may have clicked on the GoodReads area, but not necessarily to read about the author, but more to see if the book is part of a series, how many would I have to buy and most importantly what other readers are rating the book. Mostly, I read the synopsis and decide from that if I want to read it… plus what it’s being generally rated by others. If it hits 3.8 stars and up, I’ll consider it more strongly. Having said that, I’ve also bought a book simply because the cover was gorgeous. That’s a 50/50 risk right there.

    After I’ve read the book and decided that I either liked or loved it and want to read more from that author… that’s when I do all my stalking. Plus I need the bio information for my author information for my reviews too.

    • Rita H DuffyGal

      Makes sense what you say. But I usually click on Goodreads or Amazon to see the blurb, other reviews, etc and the author’s page is right there, so I check it out. It gives me a clue many times as to the personality of the author and that does shine through during the writing process. Thanks for the comment.

      • Carrie

        It’s funny… you’ve totally got me doing this now. LOL I just noticed yesterday when I was skimming for a book I remembered this post and went to her blurb and read it before reading the synopsis. haha

        • Rita

          It couldn’t hurt, and it may help you decide whether to read further!

  14. kindlemom1

    I love this topic because I would like to think I am fair in all my reviews and ratings but…I don’t know. I may be a bit biased once in a while but I do hope I am still fair. I DO know that I will pick up a book by a loved author without hesitation even if the reviews have been so so because I am just loyal like that.

    • Rita

      So true! Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned rating, since we are all honest, but you have to admit that the impulse that makes you pick up a fave author means you have built a connection to the author also, not just the titles.

      Isn’t that why we like to attend book signings and read author’s websites? We might even consider an author like a rock star? I think some people might agree with what I’m trying to discuss but are having a hard time understanding my point. Thanks for commenting!

  15. Rosa

    I’m a huge fan of a few authors. Besides those special ones, I must confess I don’t pay much attention to the author itself. Great post!

    • Rita

      I must be in the minority here, lol! I like to feel a connection to the person behind the story, as if they were sitting there telling me a story. This sort of applies to audiobooks. If you check out the narrator and like their facial expressions and voice it might color your enjoyment of the book. I’m just using other examples besides audios, since I don’t listen to books at the moment. Thanks for commenting!

  16. Nick

    It definitely influences whether I pick up a book and although in the past it used to influence my rating, it no longer does. I try to be as honest as possible in my reviews and ratings.
    Great post!

    • Rita

      I’m glad you can understand what I’m trying to say 🙂 It’s certainly not my only way of choosing an author, but if you love an author you will tend to make them go-to buys, or you will be more likely to try them out if they give you a good feeling about them before sampling their work. Thanks!

  17. Katherine

    Hmm… I’m not sure I’ve paid much attention to authors outside just the books – especially not in pre-bloging days. However, if I did hear a negative story about an author that probably would affect my opinion. I think if I heard of an author being rude or hostile to a reviewer I probably would avoid their books. Interesting topic and not one I’ve really thought about before!

    • Rita

      I am thinking more in the positive- an author appeals to me, so I think their new-to-me book will appeal to me. An example: you go to a really beautiful restaurant with subtle lighting, a pianist in the corner and smiling, laughing patrons. Wouldn’t this perhaps color your perception of your enjoyment of your evening eating out? I certainly don’t do this all the time, but it’s another tool in my “blogger box”. Thanks for your commenting.

  18. braine

    Putting a face to a name is a good idea. I used to do that but I came to realize that I am a horrible fangirl!

    • Rita

      Sometimes I use this method to find a new author, but more often the author “finds me”, meaning I am doing my daily scanning of book sites and see the photo, bio, website posts, and think wow, I think I can enjoy their book based on my enjoyment of them. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s like making a new friend.

  19. Melliane

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book because of a photo of the author. It’s not something I look at, I’m more a cover lover I confess. I can read a book just only for that.

    • Rita

      I love covers too! That can unfortunately make or break a decision to pick up a new title, as shallow as it may sound. I didn’t mean only the author’s photo, I guess I was saying that the total package of the author’s photo, bio, social media, etc can give off good vibes to me, sort of like when you are making a stranger a new friend of yours. Thanks for visiting.

  20. Kathryn

    Nice to read your post over here. I agree Kimba does a very special job in the blogging world and it’s great to see you supporting her.

    Yes for me the way I feel about an author is important – or especially there writing. Like you I love Robyn Carr, and many others I can think of. I first became aware of many authors through Susan Elizabeth Phillips readers website that she often contributed to. I feel very positive about her books and bought the last one in hardback. Now the readers are on Facebook, but I don’t quite like that format so much. However blogging has filled the void, although I will always be thankful to those readers.

    I think now that authors interact on social media is great and I appreciate it when I get a message back. However first and foremost I need to love their writing!

    • Rita

      Thanks for commenting! I need to go check out Susan Elizabeth Phillips soon! I love to discover new authors!