It’s amazing when you start paying attention, how many publishing and book-related things are straight-up annoying after awhile. Some of these are plot devices, some are publishing-related, but they all annoy me and need to stop, stop right now.
Delayed Ebook Releases
Okay, I get it. Publishers hold back the ebook releases so their books have a better shot at the bestseller lists. However, as a reader I don’t really care. If a book has a publish date of, say, June 1, I expect to be able to by either the paper book or digital version on that date. Don’t make me wait an extra week or two. This happened a lot with mass market paperbacks this summer and I cannot tell you how irriating it is when publishers (or anyone) make it hard for me to give them money. I can only speak for myself, but this doesn’t make me rush out and buy the paper book instead of the ebook—instead, it means I often forget to buy the ebook when it’s released the following week.
On the other hand, one of the things I’ve been most impressed with from publishers lately is Simon Pulse releasing several books simultaneously as hardcovers, paperbacks and ebooks—letting reader choose what works best for them is smart.
Using the author’s (always young) age as a marketing hook.
I’ve seen it over and over this year—20-24 year old authors (good for them) whose age is used by publishers as a primary descriptor in promotional materials. What I want to hear about when I read about a new book or a new-to-me author is what the book’s about, and perhaps a bit about the author’s personal experience with the subject matter, if it makes sense. And yet, it seems as if every round-up of debuts makes prominent mention of these precocious early 20-somethings’ ages in the first sentence. Take this recent piece in Publishers Weekly, which mentions the ages of nearly every author—but only if they’re unusually young, not if they’ve toiled at their craft until they’re 45 before getting a publishing deal. Maybe if I were in that age group, this messaging would resonate with me, but since I’m not, it’s just annoying and kind of feels icky as a marketing gimmick, since so many writers work for so many years before (if ever) publishing a book.
Social Media “Likes” or Tweets to Reveal Covers
Seriously, people. No. Just no. The first time I saw that, I thought it was kind of clever, though annoying. Now that I’ve seen it happen a few more times, I want to face-punch the person who wrote the application that facilitates the Twitter-bombing of links to generate a cover reveal. And I’m usually anti-violence. (I’ve already seen several bands do this too. Ugh.)
Almost Kissing Covers
Just kiss already, geez! Or better yet, how about some nicely-designed cover art that speaks to a broad audience?
Rape-Rescue as a Plot Device
This makes me uncomfortable on so many levels. Gabrielle and I chatted about this in the comments of my review of Slammed last week, and it bothers me every single time. It glorifies sexual violence, it sends a message that girls can’t rescue themselves. It’s just troubling. I’m not sure if it’s a trend, or if it’s been around for a long time and I’m just now noticing, but it cropped in a slew of books I read this summer, and I’m just weary from it.
Now, that’s not to say that it can’t work—it made complete sense in the plot of Easy, but that book also dealt in-depth with girls learning to take care of themselves and of the importance of reporting instances of sexual violence. It didn’t just, BAM!, happen to facilitate a rescue.
What publishing or book related trends are grating on you right now? Or is it just me that’s so nit-picky these days?