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HF Poll

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Carine
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 675
Joined: September 2008
Currently reading: Jonkvrouw - Jean-Claude Van Ryckeghem
Interest in HF: I love history
Favourite HF book: Can't pin that down to only 1 :-)
Preferred HF: Medieval, Tudor and Ancient Egyptian
Location: Ghent, Belgium
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Post by Carine » Tue February 10th, 2009, 10:35 am

I've voted too. What would attract me most is the promise of an intriguing plot. I don't care whether it's about well known characters in history or not.

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sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue February 10th, 2009, 10:44 am

I didn't vote as all of the options given (and more) are factors that go into my decision and I couldn't choose one over the others!

leehow
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Location: birmingham,england

Post by leehow » Tue February 10th, 2009, 12:48 pm

i voted in the interest in the era/setting

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Tue February 10th, 2009, 1:53 pm

I see a difference between what makes me look at a book vs what persuades me to ultimately buy it. I usually do a bit of research once I become aware of an author or title. My interest in the era/setting would be the first thing to put it on my radar; upon further examination, intriguing plot (foremost) and recommendations by other readers (secondary) might prompt me to go ahead and buy it. A good story is more important to me than coverage of marquee characters.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Tue February 10th, 2009, 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LoisAnn
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Location: Marlow, Oklahoma

Post by LoisAnn » Tue February 10th, 2009, 2:02 pm

[quote=""Alaric""] ... always do some advanced research before buying. If I can't find a favourable review either here or amazon.com then chances are I won't buy it but if the reviews are good and it interests me, of course I will, irregardless of how many times the author has been published or if I have read them before.[/quote]

No point me repeating the sentiment when Alaric said it so well! Ditto these comments for me.

I will add, however, that I actually enjoy new authors - as long as I have at least some assurance that I won't be wasting my time.
I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. ~ Charles de Secondat

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Julianne Douglas
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Location: Northern California

Post by Julianne Douglas » Tue February 10th, 2009, 3:03 pm

Thank you all so much for voting and for your insightful comments! As the voting stands now, setting and plot FAR outweigh presence of marquee characters. I'd love to bundle up these responses and send them to the powers that be in the publishing industry, for I keep hearing over and over that hf won't sell unless it features well-known, recognizable characters. I feel they're turning hf into celebrity worship, following the trend in modern society to idolize individuals who usually don't deserve it. Granted, I'm biased by my experience, but I'm so happy to see that actual readers of hf are interested in something more, be it the setting and/or plot.

I realize all the choices in the poll are impossible to separate when making an actual decision, but I was trying to get a feel for what element initially draws a potential reader into considering a book. I know I like to read everything I can set in Renaissance Europe, so I think for me setting is the initial hook; I wondered whether others went for plot or character. That's the reason I artificially separated these elements.

Thanks for participating! Please keep the discussion going--it is so insightful (and encouraging!) I'll write up the poll results next week on the blog.
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

chuck
Bibliophile
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Joined: August 2008
Location: Ciinaminson NJ

Post by chuck » Tue February 10th, 2009, 3:47 pm

The era is important to me and I like the characters to come from the ranks or just be "regular folks" that are interwoven in the important events of the story....In other words their perspective on the story or the historical event or personages.....A different slant on a oft told tale works for me.....

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michellemoran
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Post by michellemoran » Tue February 10th, 2009, 4:13 pm

I'd love to bundle up these responses and send them to the powers that be in the publishing industry, for I keep hearing over and over that hf won't sell unless it features well-known, recognizable characters. I feel they're turning hf into celebrity worship, following the trend in modern society to idolize individuals who usually don't deserve it.
Great analysis, Julianne. And very, very true, I think. I showed your poll to several editors (who loved your blog, btw!) and they all agreed that they preferred marquee names. Yet readers clearly care more about the setting. They're tired of Tudor fiction, and many people (imo) are yearning for different places and times. Who knows, maybe your poll will change their minds!
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Carla
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Post by Carla » Tue February 10th, 2009, 5:41 pm

I've voted. The setting or era will probably draw my attention first. Then I'd usually look at the historical note (if there is one) and dip into a few pages to get some sort of feel for the type of story before deciding.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5736
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "The Light within Us" by Charlotte Betts
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Tue February 10th, 2009, 6:06 pm

I've just voted; I went for plot although it was a close-run thing between that and the setting. Good luck with the poll.

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