For What It's Worth

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

tell me something tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: Are you more inclined/less inclined to read books that are compared to other popular books or authors.

LESSSSSSSSSSSSS. SO much less inclined!

The main reasons being that they rarely measure up favorably to a book I’ve loved & the comparisons aren’t usually accurate.

I wish publishers used more restraint while using this tactic to sell books. I get it…if Gone Girl becomes a break out hit and readers are clamoring for more – why not compare any unreliable narrator/twisty thriller to that title? I’m sure it works for the first one or two comparisons until those don’t measure up in quality and readers don’t trust that angle anymore.

I’m old school – I trust my blogger peeps. If something catches my eye outside of blogging (anything other than a review or rec on a blog/by a blogger), the first thing I do is check if anyone I know has read or reviewed the book and go from there. If no-one has then I head to the library to give it a go in case it doesn’t work out - unless I’m 99% sure it’s my reader catnip and give it a shot anyway.

As for those author blurbs – same thing. I don’t mean this in a bad way - but most authors have VERY different tastes than I do and are more accepting of things that irritate the shit out of me. Also, I don’t know them and their reading habits on a personal level so that means zilch to me.

I do have a few author Twitter friends that give honest book rec’s all the time in genres I love. The key word there being honest. I’ll one-click those because they are recommending the books out of true reader enthusiasm – just like us.

*Updated: I'm also adding one more related peeve (because it's my blog and I can do what I want lol).  Don't promote a book as  *never been done before - totally original*. I read a lot. You may have an interesting slant on a trope or characters that make it seem fresh but I promise it's ALL been done before.

Do book comparisons and author blurbs lure you to buy a book?

39 comments:

  1. Nope! I'm not going to NOT read something because of them, but they aren't the reason I actually do read books. Like you, I get most of my rec's from bloggers or just knowing that I'll probably love the book and that tends to work out for me. I wish publishers would stop with the comparisons because it's not fair to the author. People might read the book and love it on their own, but if they read it because it's "the next Gone Girl" or something and they liked Gone Girl better? That person might then like the book LESS than if they'd just read it without a comparison. Hopefully that makes sense...but yeah, that's my biggest complaint there. lol I don't mind author blurbs - I think they are nice, but I find them to be more for the author than me. haha

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Yes Lauren! Great point. It may sound exciting to a new author to be compared to say...John Green but it almost certainly sets the book up for failure because reader expectations get so high.

      I don't mind the author blurbs as much as they don't mean anything to me lol

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  2. I completely agree! The piece of entertainment (be it book, movie, or tv show) being compared never lives up to the hype of its predecessor. Which is truly unfortunate because the piece could stand on its own and be wonderful. I tend to see this more with retellings, because they don’t tell you how loosely the adaptation truly is. I listen to recommendations, but not a big fan of reviews (as they tend to scew my bias going into a book) and am trying to ignore the voices that say this is a retelling of, for fans of, etc. because it’s never really true. I’ve found that those voices just ruin what could be an original work when someone goes into a book already trying to compare it to something.

    This also works in a negative favor as well. I hated Gone Girl so I tended to avoid anything pegged as the next that, or fans of it, and probably missed out on a lot of good pieces of work. As I’ve grown, I’ve learn to be better about this, but one can never really turn it off.

    The only thing I truly trust is the synopsis on the back of the book itself or books by authors I’ve already read. I have to know myself as a reader before I trust others because books are such a subjective art.

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    1. That's another great point that I forgot about. If you didn't like the original book then that's not going to be helpful.

      I do like reviews but mostly by a core group of friends that I trust to be honest, not spoil anything and that know my tastes.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm so with you, and also hasn't it been three years? It's time to end the Gone Girl comparisons. Usually I'm more disappointed with the comparison.

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  4. I so agree. I am over the whole Gone Girl comparisons and Hunger Games and Twilight etc. I would hate to be an author and have a publisher slap this on my book, but I am sure they have no choice. It doesn’t make me want to read the book, in fact, it often makes me leery.

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    1. And then there are they requests from authors hating on those books saying there's are different. Not cool either.

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  5. It makes no difference to me if a book is compared to another. I just ignore that.

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    1. Same and if it's for something a pub is really pushing at me I'll avoid it entirely.

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  6. Haha! But omg yes you are so right, original *eyeroll* Sure, never seen anything like it *even bigger eyeroll* Good add!

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    1. A new twists perhaps but even then that's very rare - they just haven't read widely in the genre to see it.

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  7. I totally agree with you! 99% of the time those comparisons DO NOT work in my favor and I get mad at myself for falling for them. I never put any stock in those paid reviews either or the ones that come out in magazines or newspapers. I don't know them, I don't know if we have similar likes or not so I'd rather rely on the bloggers I know and talk to. They're much more reliable to me.

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    1. Thanks for bringing up the magazine reviews. I don't trust those either. They are NEVER negative and almost every time there's a really glowing review there's an ad for the book in the same issue. This is especially true with EW magazine.

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  8. I'm with you. Comparisons usually make me less inclined because they usually don't measure up. Now if a friend recommends it because they think it reads like another book or author, then I'm willing to give it a go. But sales blurbs, nah.

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    1. Yes! Friends comparing works because they understand the comparison - whereas I feel publishers take one tiny thread from a book and make broader comparisons.

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  9. I think the majority of us are saying less!!

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  10. I run faaaarrrr away from comparisons. They rarely live up to my expectations, and honestly... I don't want a book to be compared to ANOTHER book. A book should be able to stand on its own merit without leaning on someone else's book. I understand the need for it when you are pitching a new story to an agent that needs an idea of what your story will be about, but not once the book is a book.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Quote: "I understand the need for it when you are pitching a new story to an agent that needs an idea of what your story will be about, but not once the book is a book."
      Sorry to butt in, but...AMEN TO THAT! And "once the book is a book" made me giggle.

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    2. I get the pitch part too. Especially if you are trying to piggy back on trends. "This is Gone Girl but with a GoT's twist" lol But after that, you're book should be different.

      I honestly think it sets up the poor author for failure -e specially with newbie authors who are still working out their style.

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  11. Quote: "As for those author blurbs – same thing. I don’t mean this in a bad way - but most authors have VERY different tastes than I do and are more accepting of things that irritate the shit out of me."
    Haha! Not to mention, most of those recs probably aren't even sincere in the first place, because the authors are mutual friends or their publishers asked them for mutual recommendations. Yes, I'm so cynical 😜.

    Quote: "I promise it's ALL been done before."
    That's something I struggle with when I review books that sound fresh to me, but may have somehow recycled an old idea (maybe without even knowing, or just because the author wanted to try a new spin on an established trope). I usually try to convey the message that the book sounds fresh TO ME, but maybe sometimes I'm a tad too assertive...Anyway - as I'm fond of saying, nothing gets born into a void. Comparisons are bad, but you're right - even the opposite might be harmful. JUST WRITE THE DARN BLURB AND LET US DECIDE LOL.

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    1. I do think that happens within a publishing house (blurbing for fellow authors without really knowing or liking the book) but tbh almost all the author blurbs that I've seen (within what books I read) are sincere. I know(-ish) the authors and they have been real fans of the book. Having said that - I don't care lol

      My bigger problem with that is that I think authors kind of let certain things go while reading fellow authors books (like love triangles, loose threads, open endings) that bother me but most authors love so I'm less inclined to listen to their rec's unless I know what they love/dislike in a book.

      As for originality: I get pitched a lot of "you've never read a vampire story like this!" or (usually from a male author writing YA) "Finally - a strong heroine you can root for!", or some romance setting that they think has been done yet - as if no one has written these things before.

      More likely, they are jumping into a new genre after reading approximately 3 books (usually Twilight - so they are now an expert on YA *rolls eyes*) from said genre and found them lacking. For all the grief we give YA & romance there is really great stuff out there! And almost every variation has been done.

      But...it can be a fresh take on it. I reviewed The Epic Crush of Genie Lo on Monday and that takes several YA tropes that have been done a million times but I thought he did a really great job of taking them in a slightly new direction.

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  12. Oh yeah. If an author or publisher compares a book to another author's I'm out. I hate that. If it's a blogger who is like oh you'll like X she's similar to Y... that I'm fine with.

    Ha on the original. So rare to find one that's totally unique. Happens but not very often.

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    1. I'll trust a blogger's opinion on it but not a pub/author (unless I know them).

      You can have a fresh twist or interesting writing style but the chance that you are completely original is slim to none.

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  13. Nah, I'm so tired of those comparisons.I don't pay them any attention. The only thing they do is annoy me. I'll only pick up a book if the cover & blurb catch my attention, a friend recommends it or the author is one I've read in the past. They need to stop doing this. Who can we complain to?!! You think'd they'd have a clue by now :)

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    1. I wonder about this. It must work in some way though right??? Or they wouldn't do it.

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    2. I think the one book every few months type of reader may be the type to fall for this so it does probably sell books.

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    3. I think there's a huge difference between blogger readers and casual readers. I guess they buy more since no one is listening to us lol

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  14. Ooh! Now there's a question.

    Put it this way I think I'm less likely to buy a book when its compared with an author I DON'T like than I am to buy a book that is being compared with an author I DO like.

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  15. I pretty much ignore comparisons like that, and author blurbs or recs don't really move me either- I assume authors are blurbing each other out of professional courtesy as much as out of genuine enthusiasm for the book, at least some of the time- call me cynical ha ha- so I don't pay attention. And like you said, just because THEY liked it doesn't mean I will! So yeah... blogger recs are my biggest source of new reads too.

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    1. We're such a jaded group lol As for authors, I tend to only listen to ones that talk about what they like and dislike about a book. I always need to have some way of knowing that they're being honest and a way to judge if it's something I would like.

      Generic platitudes of "beautiful prose" mean nothing to me.

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  16. Comparisons to other books or authors usually have a negative connotation for me, so that particular marketing ploy backfires big time. Sometimes the comparison is so far off, and I might have actually enjoyed the book, but mention it in the same breath as an author or book that I didn’t enjoy and I’m out.

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    1. I had n't thought of the comparisons to books I didn't enjoy when I wrote my post but a few of you mentioned that.

      I don't think I've ever had the book live up to the comparison of an author/book I liked so that's not something that would work on me.

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  17. Nope, nope, nope, big fat no! I have yet to read a book that lives up to its comparison tbh and I don't want to try another. I hate it when I get books and there's a huge sticker on the cover going FOR FANS OF THIS OTHER BOOK, I don't get why the marketing teams haven't realized yet that it's actually damaging to compare books, especially some that have divided the readers in the past. I get the idea behind it but in realiy, it doesn't work.

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    1. I agree. Except in very rare instances - it sets the book/author up for failure. Especially debut authors who still might be finding their footing.

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    1. It seems we all agree but they still do it lol

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