Releasing a Dud...What Were They Thinking?

Monday, January 30, 2012

I have a confession to make; In my past life, I was I’m a romance junkie.

It’s no wonder I write in the same genre, but these days, I don’t read a lot of it. A couple of reads by Monica Jackson fired me to up to go for a triple. Unfortunately, I made a bad choice and my current read left me more puzzled than I know how to express.

I bought the book based on an intriguing blurb. What sold me was the fact that the heroine isn’t picture perfect and she has self-esteem issues. Anyway, from page two (Kindle size) I figured that I’d bought a dud. Some head-hopping is allowed in romance novels, but there can be too much of a good forbidden thing.

The sexual chemistry angle was immediate and unconvincing. A murder was committed, and while time had passed, the investigative capers were so far-fetched as to be ridiculous. The editing also left a lot to be desired.

Before I buy books on Amazon, I have a look at the reviews.  Caught up in my romance fever, this time I ignored the few one and two-star reviews. I also didn’t bother to read the sample I downloaded because the writer is established, with over twenty books to her name.

Big mistake.

Now, don’t think these books are with some small publisher. Most people who read romance novels would recognize the imprint if I named it. I find it very hard to believe that a book like this made it to print. Yes, some of us are talented and lucky enough to produce pot-boilers under contract. However, I wonder where pride comes in, especially when your name is on the front of the book. It’s even worse when a discerning reader buys the book and rates it a one-star read on Amazon. And I also wonder about the people who gave this book a five-star rating. Brain dead comes to mind as a description.

It’s out of some sense of misguided loyalty to the writer (whom I don’t know) that I’m not going to rate this book. I prefer not to waste the time it’s going to take to write out my thoughts in review format. Hard as it is for me to admit defeat, I don’t think I’m even going to continue reading it.

There’s something else I don’t get.

I can’t say that the writer put this book out as part of her backlist as it is still under the publisher’s imprint. Bearing that in mind, I wonder if the book was even edited by the publisher.

With both my publishers, I’ve had positive experiences. The one I was assigned at Wild Child Publishing is excellent! The only niggle I had with the other house was that they edited out my sex scene (as part of their policy). The problem I had was that it was spliced in such a way that it was disjointed, and done on their final edit, after I’d been though the book twice making changes for them.

If this novel-in-disguise I bought was self-published, I’d be more forgiving, but I just don’t understand how a major publisher could put this story between covers for public consumption. All the self-published books I’ve read so far are lots better.

After this experience, I’m now even more aware of all that needs to be done on my own road to self-publishing. Not that I wasn’t before, ’cause I’m a perfectionist.  I guess that’s why I’ve been making little progress with Distraction. Unless I have a product I can stand behind and feel proud to call my own, you won’t see it on the market. I have lots to think about by way of product branding and standards. 

Thank goodness I only spent $2.99 on this book I still can’t wrap my head around.  

Read anything like that lately?

I can’t help but wish you haven’t. 

P.S. I signed up for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Dunno if I'll get to the finish line, but I love a challenge. Go here to see what that's all about.