Friday Five Challenge – Purple by Gary Hodgkinson

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge

Mug 1

Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

So here goes…

This week I chose Sci-fi

I went to Amazon Sci-fi books in kindle, it’s not a genre I regularly read so I wanted to see what appealed on a quick glance. or

This book cover caught my eye, I like purple, it had a computer which suggested Sci-fi to fit my remit.

The price od £2.04 appealed to me

Book Description:

Balancing on the cutting edge two scientists work to create the last word in artificial intelligence, but a new sentience is waking deep within its core, growing at an uncontrollable rate, and nobody was prepared for the consequences.

Really? I seriously hope the story reads better than that terrible clichéd blurb I just wrote.

Um – Did the author really write this for a bio?

Number of pages; 38

Reviews: Zero

Would I BUY or PASS?………….PASS


I loved the book cover it got me hooked, the price was ok, the number of pages had me thinking uh-oh short story, I’m feeling cooler about it now and looking back at the price for only 38 pages. The book bio killed it off completely, this was the author’s one chance to impress me enough to buy his book, he blew it.

Where do you think he went wrong?

I’ll be back next week with another Friday Five Challenge, do feel free to join in.

76 thoughts on “Friday Five Challenge – Purple by Gary Hodgkinson

  1. £2.04 for a short story???? The blurb is badly expressed, doesn’t mean an awful lot and had errors in it – a missing comma and a tense change. If you can manage two errors in a three line blurb it doesn’t bode well for the rest of it!!


  2. Pingback: I took the @rosieamber1 #FridayFiveChallenge and got… | Barb Taub

  3. No doubt the writer thinks the last sentence of the blurb is funny – IMO it just makes him look unprofessional and arrogant. If he recognises that the blurb is terrible, why doesn’t he change it? And ‘balancing on the cutting edge …’ sounds painful to me!. I looked inside – the writing is just as bad as in the blurb. The author has no clue about punctuation. Personally, I don’t like the cover, so wouldn’t have picked it anyway, but just shows that while the cover might draw people to a book, the rest has to stack up…


    • Thanks Rose, yes different readers pick up on their own likes and dislikes in a cover, for the initial “buy” possibility, then the rest needs to pull them in, like the price and the book bio.


  4. Great idea for a challenge and good fun too! That last line is not a good idea for a bio although I can sort of understand why he did it, trying to stand out I suppose. But it would put me off tbh.


    • Thanks Alison, humour of one person is not necessarily seen as funny by strangers, definitely one to be cautious of, each new potential reader is like meeting a stranger for the first time, or perhaps think of it as meeting a new date, the need for first impressions to be positive is high.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry, I didn’t read the last bit properly and didn’t see that sentence was part of the blurb – awful, trying to be funny and edgy and failing. Will take part next week!


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  7. Your post confirmed for me that I am not alone in how I choose a book. The cover is a deal breaker for me, if that passes, I look at the price, the blurb that tells me if the book would be of interest. Certain buz words in checking out an English mystery, for instance, must be there. A village, an endearing cast of suspects, an inspector that is promising. In publishing a new novel in April, I am hopeful my blurb is enough. I LOVE the cover, LOVE the title, but in a few lines did I have the right buz words so a reader says, “I am going to give this a try.” I LOVE your new Friday Challenge.


  8. Hi, Rosie – I took your challenge. Went to Amazon because that’s mostly where I go for book descriptions and reviews. Clicked Mysteries. Found The Bone Tree: A Novel (Penn Cage Book 5) by Greg Iles. Kindle price 9.99. It’s 804 pages, so that counts against it for me. Haven’t read many books that have much to say after 300 to 500 pages. The blurb sounds OK enough but would be too much to add in a comment. Reviews average 4.2. Final result – PASS – because it’s a series and I don’t know if it would be complete in itself; it’s LOONG; I haven’t read this author before so unsure I’d like his writing.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews


    • Thanks Diane, I do agree about a book length, the trend today is for faster reads which do mean slimming book content to keep the reader entertained. It is a hard task to cut words that have taken months and years to complete, but a book needs a chance at being competitive in today’s market.


  9. Great idea, Rosie. Haven’t had a chance to take the challenge myself, but it’s been really interesting to read your thoughts.


    • Thanks Wendy if you want to use my template and post on your own blog send me a message via the contact form above and I’ll e0mail you a copy, or just do the challenge and post your results in the comments box here.


  10. Really interesting idea and one that might prove expensive!
    I picked crime thriller as a genre – haven’t been there in a while. The book I chose jumped out – it’s so totally different ‘The Woman’ by David Bishop (£3.86 / 382 pages / 4.5 stars)
    The description, like the cover stands out for me and although it was a little convoluted – I let that go as it’s supposed to be a mystery…I only got that far and bought 🙂


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  22. I had to double check that there were only 38 pages.
    In this week’s emails I received one from Kindle Direct Publishing detailing that they were about to change the way in which #KINDLEUNLIMITED loans work. My novels are 114k long and, at present, anyone who ‘loans’ my book would have to read at least 10% before I receive a payment. Obviously some writers have cottoned on to the fact that writing shorter books nets them much faster payments because the reader crosses the 10% threshold sooner. Amazon is about to clamp down on this, and rightly, too. I certainly wouldn’t spend £2.04 0n so short a novel.


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