Girls Write Out
Sunday, October 11, 2009

There's at least one thing that ties us all together--we love novels. Some of us write them, but all of us love the pull of an engaging story. As a writer who depends on book sales for that next contract, I'm curious about current buying trends. The internet, among other things, have changed things.

So I'm curious. How are readers getting their stories these days? I realize it's not cut and dry. Because I'm so picky, I get 25% from the library. This is how I discover authors I love. Once I find them, I happily buy their backlist, either at the bookstore or at

Before my Kindle broke (a moment of silence, please) I downloaded about 90% of my stories. I never, however, buy audio. I HATE listening to books on tape. But that's just me. I'm curious about you. Where and in what format do you purchase your stories?

Christian bookstore
Superstore (Walmart, etc)
Other Bookstore (Barnes and Noble, etc)
Online (Amazon, CBD, etc.)

Hard copy
Downloaded file

PS Colleen sent me this photo from a Lifeway Store in Tennessee. Endcaps are a wonderful thing!

Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:52 PM  
  Comments (18)
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At 9:48 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Mostly I purchase books from a Christian Bookstore using their online ordering system and I purchase them as a hard copy. Occaisionally I will purchase from other online sources, such as Amazon, but that's mostly for books that are now out of print. I have got a couple of audio books, and I enjoy it most when it's the author who reads it.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger adge said...

I get some of mine from the library and some I've won in blog giveaways. But mostly I get online from or Barnes and Noble or Amazon. And always hard copy. I used to go to the bookstore every now and then but not anymore.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I wish I got more of my books from the library, because it saves the money I don't want to spend right now. I usually get mine from a local Christian bookstore--my favorite is about an hour's drive away, which is pretty local for us. The fiction manager is great about handselling our books, and she knows the preferences of her customers. I also order a lot from Amazon or B&N.

I love audio books! It's the only way I can get Mel to read anything besides what I write, and a long drive is made much easier when there's a good novel to listen to.

At 10:23 PM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

Since I'm a freak and cannot stomach books from the library, I buy all of mine new. I sign up for all of the online book store newsletters, so I'm always hitting Borders, Barnes and Noble, or Christian Family Stores with a coupon. I use the B&N or Amazon websites to read reviews of books and/or new authors, and look for their suggestions of like books. I also pick up sale books based on their covers and then read the backs to see if I think the story sounds interesting. My DH has a kindle, but I'm a fan of feeling the paper and turning the pages when I read - so that means no books on audio either - I'd fall asleep and that wouldn't be a good thing while I'm driving. :)


At 7:57 AM, Blogger The Farmer's Wife said...

I'm an on-line purchaser, for specific titles, and when I'm in the mood for surprises, I go to our local (80 miles away) thrift store. There's a little community college there, and kids are always dumping their required reading classics. The children's books that get taken to the thrift store are glorious; many of the older titles I read as a child, and my kids aren't picky...a "new" book is wonderful, whether published in 1965 or 2009.

Our library has an overflow shelf, outside the door, where they get rid of duplicates and books that are deemed too old for circulation. (Can you imagine?) I buy 10 for 1.00.

I'm terrible with deadlines, so I don't check out as many books as I should from the library....true confession #148.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Barb said...

I will usually only buy the books of my favorite authors, as I do not have the funds to buy all the books I would like to. When I do buy books, it is usually via the internet and at a discount. I work in a library and check out most of the books I read. Although I do not listen to audiobooks, they are a popular option for library patrons, but not as popular as the hardcover and paperbacks.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Never2manybooks said...

I use the libray for some of my books but I find they do not stock many Christian authors. I order online from Christian Book Distributers (CBD) but mainly at Christmas and birthday for my hubby to give me as gifts. I borrow from friends-A LOT! But far and away I get most of my books from For 13.99 a month I get to borrow four paperback books at a time and mail them back when I am done. It is like Netflix for books! They have an extensive list of Christian authors. It is not as fast as Netflix on the turnovers but I am finding it well worth the funds. My husband gave me the membership as a Christmas gift. There is a cheaper membership at 8.99 for two books.

I also download some in Kindle format to my I pod touch. It is great for car rides(when I am not the driver) and for middle of the night insomnia attacks. The I Pod touch is backlit so I don't even have to get out of bed or turn on a light.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use the library occasionally, but they do not carry a lot of Christian fiction so I end up buying some at Books-a-Million or Barnes & Noble. My mom and I pass books back and forth too.

I never buy or check out audio books. I'm not an auditory learner so I tend to get very distracted if listening to something.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey! I get most of my books from a Christian bookstore or Amazon. It kind of depends on where I am and if I can get over to the store (and what my wallet can handle)!

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Deena said...

Truthfully, if it wasn't for blogging book reviews, I'd be out of reading material in a heartbeat. But when I DO purchase, it's generally at a Christian bookstore. Rarely do I use the library...due dates aren't my thing these days:-)

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Very interesting! I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with library returns! Even in middle school, I remember getting called to the office for unreturned books.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Christine said...

I am generally reading a book and listening to a different book on my ipod at all times. The audio I listen to while I'm driving.

The books I read are mostly library books, with some occasional purchases from amazon. Less seldom, I make a bookstore purchase.

Great question! I love reading these responses. :)

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Judy Gann said...

I'm a librarian and select Christian fiction for my public library system. If your library doesn't carry Christian fiction, give the staff a list of suggested authors or recommend titles for purchase. We pay attention to patrons' requests. :-)

More libraries are carrying Christian fiction than ever before. Novelists, remember to include public libraries in your marketing plans.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

AMAZON - I'm a junkie. I used to use the library a lot to discover new authors. Now, i typically buy their latest book and then if I don't like it, I pass it on :) because I have so many friends that read someone ends up loving it! :) If I like it, then I buy their other books and then my husband builds another bookshelf :)

At 8:18 PM, Blogger quietspirit said...

I have a friend who finds books at rummage sales. She also has a friend who gives her books. She passes some on to me.

I have won some on blog give-a-ways.

I used to work in a library. While I was there. I made use of it's

I also shop the local Christian Family Store, when I can. I usually check out there bargain tables.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Carla said...

I no longer have a preferred method (well, free since I'm tightening the budget). I borrow audio books from the library all the time - I listen to them at work. Sure, I listen to the same track over and over sometimes because I have to rewind, I still get so much from it. I rarely buy audio books though, I have to admit. I never know if I'll like the narrator so I hate to spend that much money and not like that.

I do borrow some books from the library (I agree with wondering where those books have been...but in a bookstore you have the same issue because people can pick them up and go anywhere in the store, sit down and read at the cafe, etc., so I got over that - and use clorox wipes). When I buy books, it really depends - sometimes it's at the Christian bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Target or Walmart. It really depends where I am and what I'm looking for. I exchange with my sisters, friends and coworkers too.

For our library - I go on and do a system wide search when I'm looking for authors - gives me a much better selection than just my local library.

At 3:03 AM, Blogger Cheri said...

I have gotten my books from the library in years. For the last 12 years, I have bought Christian books from favorite authors as soon as they 'hit' they shelf. God has blessed me and I pass them on to others when I am done.

Lately, I am not able to get out due to an injury. My lifeline to books I may have missed or new authors to try has been Amazon or I can get brand new books for less than $5. Even with shipping it is less than buying them at the Christian store -- IF they still have books in a series I haven't read.

If I was able to get out, out city library in SA TX (main branch) has a wonderful collection of Christian novels. However, it wouldn't have that 'new' smell LOL!


At 9:06 PM, Blogger Kristi Cox said...

Hey, sis ! I still buy your books in the store. Can't say I purchase anyone elses yet. I either borrow or go to the library for all other authors. A little favortism, I suppose. Mom picked us both a copy of Seaside Letters at Books a Million a couple of weeks ago. I've been saving it for our Gatlinburg trip this weekend. Can't wait to get started! Luv ya, See you all Thanksgiving.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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