“Have you read Audrey, Wait by Ms. Robin Benway?”
“Yes! It’s so good! You should read it. Trust me. It is so amazing.”
I have and you have heard that conversations many times no matter where we are– bookstores, libraries, book events, and many more. The thing about that conversation is it is not a convincing way of recommending books. That kind of recommendation would just enter the right ear and then would exit from the left ear. The only information the person you are talking to would get from that kind of conversation is you are a big fan of that author, that book, or both. Sometimes even saying the synopsis is not very convincing. Remember: even if the book is really amazing, if the synopsis sounds lame from you, the book would sound lame. And we don’t want that happening.
SO HOW CAN WE AVOID THAT?
HOW CAN WE VERY PERSUASIVE WHEN IT COMES TO OUR BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS?
It is actually very easy. I have been working in a bookstore for more than a year now. And not to pat myself in the back, but customers return and ask me again for more book recommendations. And to be honest, I also recommend books that I don’t even like that much. Here’s how I do it.
KNOW THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING TO
Yes, you are recommending something to your friend. You pretty much know him. You know what he likes and don’t like, so make sure to tap into those areas when recommending your favorite book. What is the book going to offer that will make him like it? If your friend likes music, mention that Audrey, Wait is a book that is full of music. He likes comedy? Tell him that the book is flooded with humor. If the book has nothing that you think he’ll like, tell him why you like it. Mention how you fall in love with the characters and the witty writing. Tell him how fast you read the book.
If a person is asking you for recommendations and you know nothing about him, ask what his favorite books are and look for some patterns. If he says he likes Divergent, Matched, and The Giver, it means he likes Dystopian novels. Go and recommend good dystopian titles. Again, do not fanboy or fangirl. Mention why the book is good.
If that person is a new reader and has no favorite books so far, ask what are his favorite TV shows, movies, and hobbies. Dig for any kind of information. If he says he likes The Fosters, A Walk to Remember, and cooking, a good book to recommend might be domestic fiction. Throw in some titles there. Tell him why Lola and The Boy Next Door by Ms. Stephanie Perkins has a similar appeal to The Fosters. Remember books are like people, there is always something similar between us and books.
WHAT IF THE BOOK THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING TO MIGHT LIKE A BOOK THAT YOU DON’T LIKE?
Sometimes, that happens, but remember: never recommend a book that you did not finish. It will just make you look like a total hater, if you finish a book and you don’t like it. It is still possible to recommend. Remember, what is not good for you might be good for others. I am not gonna mention a title for example, but to recommend a book you don’t like, tell how that person might like it. Remember how other people like that book. This book recommendation is not about you, it is about giving other person an opportunity to find a book that might change his life. Mentioning blurbs also help. If the person asks for your opinion, be honest, but tell him that you can see him liking it and that he might see the beauty of the book that you fail to see.
Recommending books is very easy once you separate fanboying/fangirling and great persuasion. Give it a shot. You might find yourself as someone whom people go to when they need good books to read.