So recently I read TheStorySiren’s post on the ways authors can get her to read their books and this is sort of similar except I am not, at all, talking about review copies since I’m not that prominent of a book blogger (yet, hey, who knows? My eminence is just undiscovered, not nonexistent, hur).
Till recently, I, and my to read list, were easy where book choices are concerned. If it was YA, paranormal, well then, off it would go into my to read list. But – you knew there was a but coming, come on now – times are changing, my lovelies. As the market continues to get saturated by YA novels (everyone wants to get in on the action, or in this case, the profit), the Reader (it’s a noun because it is referring to me or did I mean it is capitalized, yeah whatever, you get the idea) needs to be more discerning. She, because of the limits on her free time, has no choice but to become more careful of the choices she makes with regards to the books she chooses to read in the future. (See how many times I used choice/choose in that sentence? I am boss.)
For one thing, I use the library a lot but I buy books too and I loathe buying books I end up hating. Money is money, kay? And I don’t have much of it so…
For another, my time is precious.
And these two criteria are shared by many other (if not all) readers. Now, following is a list that is personalized to me but my hangups and nitpicking might be shared by other people so if you are an author/bookseller who might have stumbled onto my blog by whatever fate, please do me a favor and read it.
In my opinion, this is one of the most important aspects of the book. I hate it when there is no synopsis available (and yes, there are books who have no synopsis, as weird as that may sound). How am I supposed to know whether I am interested in the story the book is telling if there’s no synopsis?
Or, if there is a synopsis, it is not reflective of anything new or innovative the book may be contributing to the genre. I am not lying, there are books out there whose synopses can be exchanged for another without any significant difference to the plot. Maybe it is because a lot of the books coming out nowadays are copies of each other – vampires/wolves/whatever, love triangle, teen girl, insta-love etc – but dude, you want me to read your book right? Make it sound like something new!
This is not the 17th century where “new and original” were dirty words (in literature, in Britain – context). We are modern people running after the newest “original” thrill. If I’m going to read your book, the synopsis has to be appealing.
And well written. For God’s sakes, check your spelling, your grammar, your sentence structure. No matter how pretty the cover is, I am not going to buy a book whose synopsis sounds like the story is the latest reincarnation of Twilight. No.
Blurbs and Comparisons
You know how in books there are little tags that say “the latest Hunger Games” or “Twilight for new readers*” – every time I see one of those, I roll my eyes. Comparisons do nothing but harm. At least to me. For one thing, there is already The Hunger Games (of which I am an avid fan) and proclamations about there being a “new” Hunger Games does nothing but make me scoff. We don’t need a new Hunger Games, we need something new. And, God forbid, the book doesn’t live up to the hype (of being like The Hunger Games because those are pretty big boots to fill) then there’s mockery involved.
The best bet? Leave it be.
I don’t know about you guys, but blurbs pay no role when I am making a decision about whether to read a book or not. Just because I like the book the author doing the blurb has written doesn’t mean our reading tastes are similar. So. Yeah. On the flip side, if I like author who has blurbed the book and I hate the novel, it’s going to make me wary of reading blurbing author’s books because now I’m all suspicious about what her new book is like, I will wonder how much she was influenced by the book I hate and if her works reflects the thoughts/tropes…you get the idea.
I’m not asking for much, am I? But really, the only important thing out of the three is the synopsis. One example of a good book with a terrible synopsis is The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman.