Friday, September 3, 2010


Okay, I admit it, I’m a picky book buyer. However, if a book outside of my genre or taste is offered by a friend, I will try it out.

Let’s face it -there is pickiness even within the genre you read. For instance, I love horror, but I hate books about devil possessions and haunted houses. My horror has to be gory or I’ll put it down. I love science fiction, but I don’t like hard science fiction, where the author spends more time writing about how their devices are created rather than what the device does…and what about the characters? I want my romance novels to have a chaste virgin of a historical romance fall for a dashing rogue, sorry but it’s just something about that first love that is endearing to me.

Are you the same? Are you picky even down to the type of storyline you love?

Since I’m now on the other side of the book business, a writer and not just a reader I’ve become more open to trying out new stuff. You know what I found out about myself? That I like more genres than I realized. I found that memoirs can be just as exciting as a fiction movie, and chicklit is funny and captivating. Those were genre that I typically stayed away from. Also, that I like romances set in modern day, with some paranormal activity, heck even from the male point of view. My horrors don’t have to be all gore anymore, they can have a lot more suspense to build up to that one gross moment.

A writer has to have thick skin and finding readers to review your work is the start of toughing up that skin and realizing that everyone will not love your story.

When I started seeking out beta readers I’d just ask anyone that seemed remotely interested in beta reading for me to check out my book. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake. When a person tells you that they don’t read your genre and don’t particularly like it…move on. That is the beginning of navigating to readers who like the genre and can or are willing to truly read it with an open mind.

As a writer who seeks out book reviews for my books, I’ve also learned to do my research when seeking out reviewers. If you get someone to review your book that doesn’t like the genre you write, you take the risk of getting a bad review. Now bad reviews aren’t always bad, (hey, I picked up my first Harry Potter series because I read a rant and bad review about the books) but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. When looking for a book reviewer, read their policy and research what they’ve reviewed and the type of review they give for books similar to yours. If they note the bad, the good and the ugly of a book or only the ugly or just rip books apart like Edward Scissorhands. This is a very important step, because it can affect the sales numbers for your book, and your morale.


Since I’ve been writing and beta reading for other authors, I’ve gotten better at trying new things. Also, by putting my old habits in reading aside and trying something new. Reading mysteries was not always me favorite thing to do, but by reading them, I found ways to improve the complexity of my novels while adding intrigue. Be open to new things and when you read something that you normally wouldn’t have read, and you still don’t like it – remember, you may not like it simply because that story wasn’t compatible to you. Take the time to find the good things in it, and pick up yet another book that can broaden your span of taste.

Don't forget to drop into my PARTY BLOG, to find out more about my books and the freebie of the month!


Kaiser said...

Very interesting. I'm a very, very picky reader. My list of put-it-downs include (so far):

- Adultery (or even worse, slutty protagonists)
- Child heroes
- Unicorns (I think my reasons are a little Freudian here)
- No action, or 800 pages of explanation before two pages of action.
- Treating action scenes like coreography dances (and then he moved his sowrd upwards in a 40° angle with perpendicular thrust in a 7.8 difficulty move)

And the list goes on! To the extremes that I'm afraid that nothing short of Jim Butcher quality will keep me happy.

Maria Zannini said...

I read pretty widely, though I have to admit I'm not a big fan of horror.

It's because I read so widely that I got hooked on romance. When I saw how well developed the characters were as opposed to SF or mystery, I fell in love with the genre. Finally, stories about people and not just circumstances or settings.

Mardel said...

I noticed your book, The Pack, did have a lot of gadgets that you didn't take pages and pages to explain. I did kind of like that. Shamira and Valens had some very cool gadgets to work with.

I recently read a hardcore science fiction book that was so heavy into the science, even the characters were having long discussions of theories. If the story itself wasn't so interesting, and the rest of the book didn't have a great narrative, I would have stopped reading it. As it was, I did finish the book, enjoyed it, but could have done with less dialogue info dumps, or pages of theories. I wonder also, how many people bought the book and ended up NOT finishing it.

LM Preston said...

Thanks Mardel :-D Some people like those details, and it's funny because when we really think about the books we gravitate to we are sort of creatures of habit.

WritesMyLife said...

Yes, I am a picky reader but I'm hella picky with everything..from food to boys! If the cover doesn't read right I am more than likely NOT going to pick it up out of the many available within arms reach.

I agree, it is nice to venture out into the unknown, learning new things about oneself, because to be honest, there are times when I'm not in the mood to laugh or cry but to learn something insightful from Leonardo Da Vinci or expand pass my fascination with all things Frank Lloyd Wright (one of my two passions is Architecture).

I honestly will NEVER read or watch Harry Potter/that vampire movie ppl love..oh yeah, Twilight nor Lord of the Rings (I actually meant to sit down and watch the first or second movie but fell asleep during the first 10 mins)..I can't fool's not to my liking.

I guess it can be summed up as this so-called agents love to say, it's all about the hook! If you can get someone that was less likely to pick up your book from a genre they never tried before, you know the hook was a success or it just so happened to be on a must-read summer book list!


Kate the Book Buff said...

I literally love all genres of books, but I go through picky spurts. My husband says my reading habits are like unto a pregnant woman's eating habits. A pregnant woman might crave chocolate 24 7 for 2 weeks then get so sick of it she cant stand the thought of eating another snickers. I'll read only romance for a month then I won't want to pick it up again for months. Since becoming a book blogger I've had to force myself out of this habit, which is probably a good thing

Suzanne said...

I like first person realism fiction. I'm trying to read more fantasy but once I come across some kind of mythical creature that isn't relatable at all, I put it down.