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What makes you buy a book?

 
Mark Herschberg
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What makes you buy the book? This is similar to, but still different from What do you look for in a technical book? .
What makes you consider a book?
- word of mouth (who in particular do you listen to?)
- JavaRanch banner
- comments by gurus
- flashy cover
- book reviews
- seeing what strikes your fancy as you browse in a book store
- other
How do you usually hear of books? What works well? What doesn't?
What makes you actually buy it?
What would influence your decision?
--Mark
 
Andres Gonzalez
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- word of mouth (who in particular do you listen to?)
A must. I particularly listen to people that I think are in my same level of expertise.
- JavaRanch banner
no
- comments by gurus
yes. but I tend to follow more the word of mouth, or my first answer.
- flashy cover
don't care.
- book reviews
Very important.
How do you usually hear of books?
Forums, newsletters, people at work.
What makes you actually buy it?
The need to improve my skills
What would influence your decision?
can't think of any. If I find any I'll post it
 
Jonathan Hendry
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Reasonable amounts of whitespace.
I hate tech books that are 8,000 pages long but only use 2" of each page
for textual content.
An online, up-to-date errata list is good, too. Especially if there were some indication of which printings or editions have those errata fixed.
 
Bert Bates
author
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The TOC, the index, both give me a sense of how usable the book will be.
Then I study one or two small topics in the middle of the book, to see if I can relate to how the author describes his topics.
 
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