Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Autobuy

Cranky Reader asked what turned out to be an interesting question. I started rambling an answer and then thought I delve deeper into her question. She was asking about new autobuy authors and I started wondering when and what makes an author an autobuy. I’ve read a few readers say that after the release of Passion, Lisa Valdez is an autobuy. I’ve heard the same thing about JR Ward and Dark Lover. I read and loved both of these books but I’m not putting the author on my “auto buy” list yet. Oh I will definitely buy their next books, but I don’t want to declare them autobuys based on one book. There’s a couple of reasons for that. When I take an author off my autobuy list, I’m usually pretty annoyed with their writing. It means they have written a number of books in a row I just didn’t like. And isn't that putting pretty high expectations on a new author? And what if their first book that was really good was just a fluke - kind of like a one hit wonder? And once an author is off – it’s pretty damned hard to get me to try another one by her again. Some of my former autobuys that I don’t really want to read anymore include Mary Balogh (sorry Rosario), Suzanne Brockman, Julia Quinn and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Those are just a few – but they are all big names that are still going strong – just not for me anymore.
So – how many books does it take to make the author an autobuy for me?

I don’t know.

I think three, but then that number is blown by Tara Janzen. She’s an autobuy after two. Maybe that’s because her two - for me - were both exceptional reads and/or I’m taking into consideration that I loved River of Eden when she was Glenna MacReynolds.
Then I have authors that I buy all of their books, but I don’t call them autobuys. Rachel Gibson is a good example that falls into this group. I have disliked enough of her books that I don’t consider her an autobuy, but I’ve liked/loved enough that I keep trying her.
I don’t know – it’s a cloudy area as to what and how many make an author an autobuy for this reader.
So how about anyone else? What makes an author an autobuy for you? And how many does it take? And once an autobuy is off your list, can they make it back on again?
I’m curious.

‘til later


romancelover said...

Hey, Kristie!

Definitely CONSISTENCY! An author has to deliver the same butterfly feelings in my stomach with each book delivered. I love Lisa Kleypas because her characters (especially her heroes) manage to lure me in and keep me enthralled! Her heroes give me such butterflies! I don't know...Quinn used to have this effect on me also...lately...not so much! Autobuys give me humor, intelligent characters and situations that are not overtly unrealistic. The heroines are not dimwitted twits; they strong, don't live off one misunderstanding after the next and actually communicate with their hero. How refreshing! Autobuys for me: Kleypas, Quinn(I can't help it...I always have THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME in mind), Carlyle and Balogh...Heath is an autobuy also (although her works aren't as great as they used to be).

- Daniela

Millenia Black said...

Excellent question!

I have several autobuys - Sidney Sheldon, Sandra Brown, Belva Plain, Jackie Collins, Philippa Gregory, Judith Henry Wall....not sure if I'm forgetting somebody.

For me, authors become autobuys when up to two of their books makes an unforgettable impression on me in one way or another. Couldn't put the book down. And heard it calling me whenever I did. :)

Rosario said...

I agree with everything you say, but I do have an exception, Adele Ashworth. I liked My Darling Caroline very much. Then she had one I disliked (Stolen Charms, if I'm getting the title right). But then there was Winter Garden, which blew me away, and that one alone put her on my autobuy list. Now, even after a bunch of lackluster books, she's still on my autobuy. I'll keep buying her books, whatever I hear about them, just because if she could write WG there's a chance she can do it again.

Bookwormom said...

Let's see. Autobuy for me means I pick it up without reading the back or the first chapter or doing any kind of research. In order to become an autobuy, an author has to impress with me consistant high quality.

Not that I necessarily keep them, but that they're all roundly characterized & tightly plotted. Often that means a minimum of three books unless I'm totally blown away by the first two (rare, but it has happened).

However, once you're off the list, you're off for good. Rare are the times I give second chances. Never has an author returned to autobuy status once she's fallen off the list.

Autobuy authors- Shana Abe, Anne Stuart (historicals only), Karen Monk, Adrienne Basso, Julia Quinn (not the anthologies), Gaelen Foley. I'm sure I've forgotten one or two but I"m tired.

Samantha said...

I'd have to go with 2 books. My autobuy list is pretty freaking small though. Unless we go by series by an author. For instance Janet Evanovich. I love her Stephanie Plum books and buy them automatically, but I hate her regular romance books so don't buy them. Does that make her a partial autobuy or is it called a series autobuy?
Once an author gets taken off of my autobuy list I still check out what their next book is about to see what the plot is. If it really interests me then i may pick it up in paperback or rent from the library. So, i guess its not all that hard from them to get readmitted on my autobuy list.

CindyS said...

Yikes! This could cause a run away post but then, when haven't I run off at the mouth.

For the examples you gave. I will buy JR Ward's next book without looking at the back or reading any review. Same with Valdez so I do say they are auto-buy. I have only been burned once and that was Lauren Bach (?). Her first book was a keeper and I automatically bought her second book which I graded an F. I haven't been able to look at a book with her name since.

So the only way JR Ward and Valdez can fall off now is to blow it big time - childish rants, highschool antics, anachronistic language etc. Not saying it can't happen but I cross my fingers that it won't.

Maybe saying auto-buy is like saying my now favourite author. Like in music. When I was a teen it was Aerosmith all the way. I still love Aerosmith but I can love other music too but The Killers have only had one album so who's to say they will be my favourite next year.

I think I am making a muck out of this but I get what you are saying.

The problem I have is giving up on an author who has written many keepers. Linda Howard - although I have told myself to stop buying her HC I can't seem to help myself. I have told myself I won't buy Brockmann now but we'll see if I can keep to that. So far I have not bought MJD's The Royal Pain because I was not thrilled with the first Royal book. I'll buy another Betsy but I'm gun shy on her other books.

So I guess it depends on the control I am able to weild over my impulse buying ;)

CindyS - great question!

P.Devi said...

I see your point, Kristie. I guess in retrospect, I know an author was an autobuy if it takes about three bad books in a row for me to drop her versus one bad one.

Tara Marie said...

My autobuy logic may be convoluted but here goes:

1. If I consistantly enjoy an author's books, I buy them new--i.e. Linda Howard. These are the books I buy without reading the blurb.

2. If I enjoyed a new to me author's book, their next book will be an autobuy, but if that one doesn't live up to the first, they become a UBS find for a while--i.e. Vicky Taylor

3. If the book is part of a series I've been following I'll buy it new, even if I didn't love the last in the series--i.e. Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn.

I give up on an autobuy from the 1st catagory after 3 duds--i.e. Jayne Ann Krentz, Johanna Lindsay.

Did it make any sense??

Kristie (J) said...

I think mine is a combination of all of everyone else's. Tara yours makes sense and I think I'm a lot like you. It just seems odd *grin* that I have authors I automatically buy, but I don't consider them autobuys - makes no sense whatsoever.

ag said...

Hey ladies,

Had wanted to add on to the comments, but decided instead to post them here because it'll take up quite a bit of comment space as I have more questions!

What about romance factor? Sex scenes? Would be interesting to see the kind of answers these additional questions turn up ... :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »