The Books I Bought

Some of you asked which books I bought. Well, here they are and the reasons I bought them.

The Convenient Groom stood out to me because of the cover. It's just awesome and immediately makes me wonder what this bride has up her...sleeve. LOL Then the title is intriguing as well. The clincher, however, is that I need to study the pacing and style of a single title contemporary romance, and there were only about two on the shelves. This won out.

Then I saw An Unexpected Pleasure for five dollars on my way to the register. The price and the author's name is what prompted me to buy this one. No other reason than it was a good deal and I knew I would probably like it because I've read a few of her books before.

Finally, the book I chose for pleasure, and pleasure alone, is Sinner by Sharon Carter Rogers. The cover and title immediately caught my eye. The blurb sounded great and when I saw that agent Steve Laube represented it, I thought, I want to read this book. I met Laube at a conference and he was a very nice person who took the time to give a newbie some great advice. I'm really, really looking forward to reading this one.

These are it, but if I'd been a little less tight with my wallet, I would've bought a ton more.
So, I've bought books for many reasons, but I've never bought a fifteen dollar book for "research". Have you spent that much to research a genre or comparable work?


The first one has the greatest cover I've ever seen! The picture and title works together so flawlessly. But what I find interesting is, the cover of Sinner makes me not want to pick it up. It doesn't look like something I'd enjoy. Isn't that wild?

I've never thought of it as "research," but I think I'm always studying and absorbing the novels I read in some way or another. I can't not, you know?
Anonymous said…
I like the first one's cover and the last one's. The colors in the last one are GORGEOUS.

So, now I see why you didn't answer me when I asked which books you bought. Sneaky pants. You were planning to blog about them.

Great idea, and well done!

And yeah, I've definitely spent that much on books for research, though usually they are non-fiction books. Still, I doubt you'll regret it. If nothing else, you'll have a pretty book for your shelves when all is said and done. :-)
Jessica Nelson said…
I know. After learning about writing, now I see stuff all the time in books. But, strangely, I don't have any contemporary romances except Tang's Asian-Lit and Love Inspireds (which are category) so I had to go buy a contemporary straight romance.
I guess the cover pulled me in 'cause I love a good thriller or suspense. :-) Guess you don't. LOL
Jessica Nelson said…
Hey Anita, I was just about to e-mail you. Hold on... I'm going to now. :-)
I figured people have for craft books but wondered about fiction itself. And actually, I've bought Love Inspireds to study, but not any more expensive books. Can you tell I'm still cringing. Sigh. My birthday and I was a cheapskate.
They all look like great reads. I hope you enjoy.

For research? No, I don't think so, I tend to use the library for that. However I've spent a load on Writing Craft books. I call them my study books. I spent enough on math text books while in university so I figure these craft ones are a definite requirement to me learning this writing gig.
Jessica Nelson said…
Craft books are extremely helpful. The library is great too. Mine is so small though, that I doubted they had any current christian contemporaries, unless it was Karen Kingsbury.
Kristen Painter said…
I think I've spent that much on a research book, but it was non-fiction, more of a resource than a genre comparison.
Jessica Nelson said…
Yeah, that's how people seem to spend. It's smart, 'cause you're that resource will last a long time, as opposed to fiction.
Anonymous said…
I've spent that much on writing craft books as well as a few history books pertaining to the time period my book is set in. There's actually one book I got from the library--a large and detailed book on traditional Japanese furniture--that I hope I can buy someday off Amazon (that's pretty much the only place I've been able to find it). Alas, it's quite expensive, so I may have to resort to renewing the book multiple times (I renewed it the maximum of five times last time, LOL).

I have used some of my novels for research, but that ended up happening after I bought the book solely on the story.
Hi Jess -

I love the first cover. It raises all kinds of story questions.

I agree with Dara. Research is usually a by-product of reading a book I enjoy. In fact, I can't seem to read any novel without examining the author's methodology.

Susan :)
Tana said…
They all look great. I want to read the first one it looks cute. I have a question on Courting Maggie (your book :) Is your goal to reach 55K words? Is that standard for a romance? I don't write romance so I have no clue. I was just wondering if you might be falling into novelette range. I'd love to hear more about it!
Jessica Nelson said…
Hey Dara,
Good luck buying the Japanese furniture book off Amazon. Maybe you can find an amazing deal? Did you check ebay? Anyways, it sounds pretty cool. I haven't really utilized the library the way I should. Good for you and how helpful is it that they carry that book? Enjoy. :-)
Jody Hedlund said…
The first of your books looks a lot like a Deeanne Gist book A Bride Most Begrudging (I think it was her debut). The cover sold me on her book too. It's funny how covers can copy-cat each other.

I always tell my husband that I HAVE to buy books in order to keep up on the current market!
"Another new book, honey?"
"Yep. Just working."
Jessica Nelson said…
I examine methodology too, but don't read much plain cont. romance. Isn't that cover awesome? I just loved it. :-)
Hope you're having a great day!
Jessica Nelson said…
Hi T. Anne,
No, 55000 words is not standard for a single title romance. I'm aiming for category though (like Harlequin) so those are shorter books. Love Inspired (the inspirational imprint of harlequin) wants a word count of 55-60K.
I believe novellas fall beneath 50000 words, but I'm not sure.
What's the word count range on literary fiction?
Jessica Nelson said…
LOL on what you told your hubby! That's brilliant! :-)
I have the book A Bride Most Begrudging and yes, both the title and the cover are what prompted me to pick it off the shelf at Walmart. It was actually the first book I ever bought from walmart, so there you go. A great title and good cover go a long way in piquing interest.
However, I bought her other books based on the quality of the story, so covers are only good for getting the book picked up. :-)

OH my gosh!!! I just looked, and you're right! The covers are practically identical, except the wedding dresses are different. Hmmm. How weird is that?
Love the covers of these books. I'm a sucker for grabbing up a book with an unusual cover and title.

Don't read romances much. Looking for one that has action, intrigue and not one that I know from the beginning that it will end "happily ever after" or is mushy! Waiting for your recommendations.
Tana said…
I think that's so exciting, I can't wait to read your romances! I read a few last year on vacation and it was a lot of fun.
Literary fiction word counts range from 75- over 100K mine are in the 80-100 range. (Hopefully someday they'll get published, its a lot of words laying slack on a page with no appreciation or unappreciation for that matter)

My Chick lit runs around 80K
Jennifer Shirk said…
Let us know how they are when you've finished them!
Jessica Nelson said…
Hey Donna,
My recommendations might not be stuff you like then. :-) I'm all about the HEA, though I don't care for mushy. I really like romantic suspense.
Intrigue is fun too.
Jessica Nelson said…
Hi T. Anne,
YOu know I'm not published, right? LOL It could be a very, very long time before you get to read one.
I hope your manuscripts get published too. Since you've had interest from agents in the past, there's probably a good chance you'll get snapped up again. :-)
Jessica Nelson said…
Okay, Jennifer. I'm hoping I'll like them. :-)
Angie Ledbetter said…
Shows again the importance of our future book covers. My To-Read list is getting longer and longer!
Kevin said…
I would definitely read the first one you chose; it looks intriging.
I love romance with some mystery thrown in, or mystery with a little romance is even better.

Oh my, I just spent $50 on books for comparisons to my "Secret Life of A Preacher's Wife" proposal. I looked at the library and two bookstores, and could not find ONE SINGLE BOOK that was even in the same category, so I had to go online and buy these.

I hated to spend that much money, but I'm sure I'll learn from them.

My favorite is a novel called "Desperate Pastors' Wives" by Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell. Cute, well-written, and fairly acuurate. It is the first in a series.

Happy reading! Jen
Jessica Nelson said…
Angie, that's happening to me too! I can't keep up *groaning*
Jessica Nelson said…
Yay, your proposal just might fill a niche! :-)
That series sounds really cute. I met Ginger at a conference before. She's an editor for a magazine, I think, but I didn't know she'd written fiction.
Terri Tiffany said…
Yep--I've spent money on some good research books and they are worth it. Buying books is my favorite gift!! Enjoy!
Terri Tiffany said…
Yep--I've spent money on some good research books and they are worth it. Buying books is my favorite gift!! Enjoy!
Hi Jess -

Love the new blog skin! Or has it been around awhile and I'm just slow noticing??? LOL. Anyway, it's beautiful.

Susan :)
Jessica Nelson said…
Hi Susan,
No, it's completely new. Thank you! I still can't decide whether the green goes or not. But thank you for the compliment. :-)
Debra E. Marvin said…
Jessica, love the new blogsite look!! Great borders.

as for covers -- overall I think the artwork of today's books is so much better than say 10 yrs ago.

I'm still not sure I want to "see" the h/h. I prefer to use my imagination.

I have an artist friend who is going to do a mock up for my WIP per my ideas. If nothing else I can take it with me to a conference and keep it hanging on my office wall for inspiration.
Jessica Nelson said…
Thanks Debra. :-)
That's so nice of your friend! I confess to having not thought of my cover, but it could be a definite inspiration to have it nearby.
Thanks for stopping by.
Karen Hossink said…
So you chose the SINNER for pleasure? Girl, we need to talk! LOL
Jessie Oliveros said…
I usually buy my books "for research" (NOT pleasure of course) off of Amazon. It's hard to find a new book for more than fifteen dollars. And if you spend at least 25$ the shipping is free. I sound like an ad. I promise, they are not paying me.
Jessica Nelson said…
LOL Terri! It's my favorite gift too.
Jessica Nelson said…
Karen, that is a bit ironic, right? *snicker*
Jessica Nelson said…
Hey Jessie,
Of course you'd never buy for pleasure! It's all write offs. :-)
No, I'm glad you mentioned the amazon thing 'cause I just bought a book and the shipping cost more than the book. Grrr. Now I know to buy in bulk.
Jessie Oliveros said…
You just have to remember to buy FROM Amazon to get the free shipping. I made the mistake the first time of buying from individual vendors. They were cheaper by a buck or two, but then I had to pay exorbitant shipping fees, AND a few of the books were not on time. Just FYI, but you are probably one of those people that read things carefully and don't make such mistakes.
Jessica Nelson said…
Well, actually, I do read things carefully but in this case I have no clue what you mean.
Except when I buy I log in to Amazon first, so that means I'm buying from them, right?

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