The Autobuy Question

Been pondering over the above question posed by Cranky Reader and taken up by Kristie a few days back. They both wondered when and what makes an author an autobuy. 

That started quite a conversation going with contributions from Daniela, Millenia Black, Rosario , Amanda, Samantha, CindyS, P.Devi and Tara Marie. The general consensus is that consistency in quality, intelligent and strong characters, plot delivery and humour are some of the key criteria that’ll help them decide if an author becomes autobuy. It also seems that the average number of good books vis-a-vis bad eggs it takes to add the author to or drop her from the list is around three books.


I had wanted to add on to the comments, but decided instead to post them here because it’ll take up quite a bit of comment space as I have more questions!!


Here goes:
What about the romance factor? Does that outweigh a tight plot and great pacing? And is the way sex is handled important to you too? Would you remain loyal even though the steamy scenes and romantic tension is clumsily handled, despite a superior plot and previous track record? Do you get turned off by overly explicit descriptions? And how important is a ‘happily ever after’ ending to you?

I’m a great sucker for romance, so if there are many heart melting moments, strong heroines and heroes with a HER ending, I can overlook clumsily handled steamy scenes and sleep-inducing story pace. If the description if too explicit, I’ll skip those parts. I may even forgive the author for the predictable plot and boring twists (e.g. big-MIS) so long as the interaction between the star-crossed lovers produces enough romantic tension to tantalise and keep me turning the pages to see if they’ll do what I think they’re going to do. I mean, these are the main reasons why I read romances. What about you?

I’m also in the habit of following a series if I like the debut instalment, even if some of the books in the series turn out to be duds. I’m also very likely to read the spin-offs, case in point being the Lady Whistledown anthologies by Julia Quinn. I was so enamoured of the Bridgertons — I know, I know, some of you may not think too highly of the plots of some of instalments, but hey, they are a very like-able family — that I went on to read the spin-offs too.

What happens when an autobuy crosses genre? Would you give her a chance too, and try reading the books? And if she returns to writing your favourite kind of romance, would you give her another chance? I know there are some who are disinclined to put a former autobuy author back on the list once they’ve dropped them. So, here’s another question: would you give her a try if friends you trust and who share similar tastes recommend this drop-out’s latest sensation to you?

I won’t write her off completely without trying her new genre books. If she’s proven her staying power after three great books, I’ll keep reading. I may put a drop-out back on the list based on recommendations, but will play it cautious by lending or renting first.

So … who are my autobuys?

Besides Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn and Gaelen Foley, whom some of you mentioned, I would add Madeline Hunter, Jane Feather, Eloisa James, Christina Dodd and Elizabeth Thornton.

Like Kristie, there are also some authors I keep or track whom I don’t consider autobuys. Roberta Gellis, Sophie Kinsella, J K Rowling and Jean M Auel are some, the last two because I’m following a series.

Would be interesting to see the kind of answers these additional questions turn up … 🙂



6 thoughts on “The Autobuy Question

  1. Hi! Found you via Kristie(J). You pose excellent questions. Like CindyS, though, I think I’ll answer on myown blog rather than leave a huge post here.

  2. ag says:

    Thanks, Kristie. I see that you rate romance above sex too.

    It’ll be interesting for me to see how sci-fi/fantasy fans feel about the fantastical thrill factor vs plotting/ pacing. That’s the other genre I enjoy.

    I nearly fell asleep halfway through Tolkien due to the pacing, but have no trouble at all with MZB and Melanie Rawn. Now, I’m just trying to catch up on the Harry Potter series.

    Glad you came by, CindyS!

    redwyne, that makes two of us who haven’t read The Devil in Winter.

  3. Out of your list:
    Lisa Kleypas, Gaelen Foley, and Madeline Hunter I would autobuy.

    Jane Feather is hit or miss with me. Eloisa James, I might give up on depending on this next book. Never read Christina Dodd and Elizabeth Thornton just didn’t click with me.

    hee I should save this and maybe I would then really have an autobuy list!

  4. You have inspired a blog because I would be too embarassed to leave an obnoxiously long comment my first time here.

    I tell you, I have to get out more!!

    PS I love your template 😉

  5. Good questions!! They make me think – I like that and I’ll probably be back to answer more but if we are talking autobuy authors, then the romance is THE most important part and the author, in order to be an autobuy, already has that down. It outweighs plotting & pacing. Otherwise I would read a lot more outside of romance because they have them too – but I stick mainly with romance. As too clunky sex scenes, they can be disappointing but won’t affect the status. A good example of that is the last two Gracie books. I didn’t find the sex scenes in those two handled well at all, yet I very much enjoyed the books and I’m looking forward to the next two sisters tales – because the romance aspect was so well done.

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