Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reading and ranting

Long before I considered writing as a career I was, and still am, an avid reader. I love books, I think most writers do. Every year there are thousands of titles released and still I struggle to find good books to read.

This week two titles hit the recycle bin. Both were books by an author I’d previously enjoyed--novels I opened enthusiastically. The first I read on for eighty odd pages before I began skimming. The story was marketed as a romantic suspense, the cover and blurbs all emphasized romance. The story itself? Not so I noticed. Perhaps it was a good story. It was well written, but it was a romantic suspense novel. And therefore I was not pleased.

Deliberately marketing the book as a romantic suspense, when it is in reality a thriller with a minor romantic element may work with some other reader. I can only speak about how I feel. I don’t like it.

If I buy a jar of crunchy peanut butter and arrive home to find I’ve been sold chocolate spread with a false label there is no way I’m digging into that jar with a happy smile, singing chocolate--yum! Not happening.

So if you want to write conspiracy thrillers fine and dandy I hear they’re doing well but let’s hope your publisher doesn’t market them as romantic suspense. Or that the rest of your fan base is more understanding and broadminded than I am.

I like a good thriller as much as the next armchair fanatic. However, I like my books to be as advertised. The only acceptable excuse is the debut novel in a new genre, there’s no good way to tell the browser what they’re getting without spoiling the concept.

There, rant all done. I feel much better.


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