19 November 2010

Friday Ramblings: Things Romance Writers Do That Drive Me Crazy!

The other day, I received a review request from a publishing house. The publishing house wanted to know if I was interested in receiving a review copy of an author's latest release because the author specifically requested that I review their book. I was extremely flattered by the request, because if any of you guys have read any of my reviews (if you haven't, why not, I'm amazing if I do say so myself - LOL), you know that I suffer from a condition called diarrhea of the mouth. This condition makes it literally impossible for me to NOT inform you of what drove me bat sh-t crazy about a book. So I was flattered that this author specifically requested that I review her latest release. The blurb sounded interesting to me and I shot off an e-mail agreeing. After I sent the e-mail off, I went on to Goodreads to find out more about the author and what I found left a sour taste in my mouth and spawned . . . .

Things Romance Writers Do That Drives Me Crazy!

5. YOU ARE YOUR OWN GREATEST CHEERLEADER (NOT): I completely understand that no one will love you like you love yourself. But WTF. STOP GIVING YOUR OWN BOOKS 5 STAR REVIEWS. I am tired of going on review sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon and the like and seeing that you have given your own work 5 stars. That is so freaking tacky. Please, please, please stop. Also, while I am on that note, this applies to you too, publishers and editors. You always say that romanceland is a small community, but that goes to you too. We know who you are, so if we see you on Goodreads or Amazon and the like, giving books you published or edited five star reviews, that annoys us and makes us not want to buy your author's book and depending on the size of the publishing house and your position, anything from your publishing house.

And sort of on this note, romance authors. Going to your website and seeing that you are an Award winning author does not entice us to buy your books, especially if you are a newly published author. If you can't preface the Award winning author with the type of award it is, like New York Times Bestseller, USA Today, RITA Award Winning, don't do it. PLEASE. Sorry, we really don't care that you won a couple RWA Chapter Contests unless it's the RITA or GOLDEN Heart, because really, even I've won a couple of chapter contests, LOL.

4. I LOVE EVERYONE JUST THE WAY THEY ARE: Authors, don't bother rating the books you've read if you're going to give everything an A or B or 4 or 5 stars. I understand about wanting to show support for your friends, lovers, brothers, whatever, but it is just not believable. We are not stupid. We know you are doing it just so you can get your readers to buy your friend's books. That just annoys us and makes us hesitate over buying YOUR books in the future. I would admire you more if you gave a book you liked one, two, three stars and just didn't elaborate futher then if you went around giving EVERYTHING four and five stars. Stop making me cringe when I go onto author's pages and see the constant barrage of four and five star reviews. I'm sorry if I'm offending people, but we are totally onto you on that one.

3. IF YOU CAN'T DO IT RIGHT, DON'T DO IT AT ALL (SOCIAL NETWORKING 101): I'm a Twitter addict. And it drives me nuts when authors get on Twitter and only post links to good reviews of their books, what they posted on their blog, and the like. Of course, you should promote yourself and your brand, but not to the exclusion of all else. That is not the point of social networking. Authors, the majority of your tweets should not be about you tooting your own horn, or promoting yourself. While you don't have to tell everyone that your husband considers cleaning up wiping the counters down and putting dirty dishes in a sink full of soapy water, or you had to hold your daughter down last night to get her to brush her teeth, and your son kicks you out the bed when he sleeps with you because despite only being two he likes to stretch out horizontally across the bed and freaks out if your too close despite it being your freaking bed . . .. (Oops, on a tangent, see what fun things you can learn about me if you followed me on Twitter – LOL). Anyhoo, you don't have to be that open; however, you do have to show traces of your personality. Do you like jewelry, shoes, whatever? Talk about that. Take a picture with your phone of something you're contemplating buying that's not too personal. Are you on deadline? Tell us how many words you managed to write today. Or a snippet about a character your writing. Heck, some authors take pictures of their cats on their computers. Something. And, while I'm on the subject because this really annoys me . . . don't bash Twitter and say you don't like it or it's not worth doing just because you don't understand how to use it effectively. Once again, if you can't do it right, don't do it at all.

2. I LIKE TO GIVE A SHOUT OUT TOO ALL MY PEEPS. Come on, you know what this one is don't you? How many times have you opened up a romance novel only to learn that the heroine, or some other character loves romance novels and is conveniently reading either another of your books, or books by friends of yours. No, dear author just because your characters say they love the books is not going to make us want to run out and read the books as well. It makes us think badly of you and want to gourge our eyes out, or not buy your books. Sorry about that. That also goes for book blurbs, when we read them.

But, I do have to admit, I thought this blurb by Sherrilyn Kenyon aka Kinley McGregor was full of awesomeness and cracked the f up when I first saw it several years ago when the book came out.

1. IT IS BETTER TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT THAN OPEN IT AND REVEAL TO THE WORLD THAT YOU ARE BAT SH-T CRAZY! Do I really need to know about your sex life, your personal fights with other writers, editors, publishers. Do I really need to see a picture of you posted in your underwear, even if you do write erotica. Do I really need to see You Tube videos of you stimulating a sexual act. Not really. Please spare me.

So this is it. These are some of my pet peeves. Take a moment in the comment section and tell me some of yours! Can't wait to hear about them!

post signature

17 people posted their 2 cents:

Anonymous said...

I hate it when authors or others talk about politics. The US is deeply divided right now--it's 50-50. If you talk politics and are HATEFUL against the other side in your opinions you are offending 50% of your readers. Shut the f*ck up. Each side of the political arena has good points to make. The people on the other side of the political spectrum are not all morons! Come on people--if you can't be civil and respectful-leave it alone.

Blodeuedd said...

Wtf..Kenyon quote on her own book, sighs.

Oh and yes why give 5 star reviews on your own book, I will just think you are an ass

Karen said...

OMG - that Kenyon quote is the funniest thing EVER! I've dropped authors on Goodreads because they keep sending me recommendations for their own books or their friends books. They probably do really like them but I don't put a lot of weight in their picks if ...as you say everything is wonderful and 5 stars!

Lynette said...

I totally forgot about politics. I agree that it's not the place to discuss because the last thing you want to do is alienate potential readers.

While it used to drive me crazy the way she always had charecters reading her novels in her books, I actually thought the blurb was funny and tongue-in-cheek crack at the silliness of cover blurbs.

Ooo. I also dropped someone from goodreads for sending me stuff on their own books. I mean it was constant.

Mandi said...

Yes, yes, yes and yes!

In what universe is rating you OWN book 5 stars mean ANYTHING?!?? I don't understand this logic.

AND - you can tell when you have friends plump up the ratings too. Also - it is not cool to have your friends complain about a negative review. Just sayin'

I did giggle at the Kenyon blurb - I took that as more intentionally being silly than trying to fool us.

Nice post!

Fallon said...

Thank you for the laugh. Awesome post.

Barb said...

I agree....thank you for the post - best laugh of the day! I also don't like the youtube trailers. For a movie.....maybe but a book?? I don't mind you tube interviews....and I did laugh out loud at the cheesy Julia London one....but it's a book!!!

Anonymous said...

HAHA! The Kenyon blurb cracks me up!!!

Patti (Book Addict) said...

I laughed too hard at the Kenyon blurb! And yes, I hate 5 star self-reviews too. If only I could do that at my annual performance eval :)

Lynette said...

OOOO. I so forgot about having friends complain about negative reviews. I once reviewed a book by a small publisher and pointed out why it didn't work for me. I got a ton of comments from people saying that they thought that the book was great and they thought I was wrong for the review. It was so obvious that it was friends of the author. I so wanted to comment and say something but I let it go because I didn't want to feul the fires! LOL!

Thank you so much for the love. I really appreciate it. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Now you have me crusing You Tube trying to find the Julia London video you're talking about!

Yes. I had never read her Kinley McGregor's before that and when I saw it when it was first released, it actually made me pick up the book and read it! LOL!

Mandy said...

Hi there. I am a new follower...just discovered your blog and I love it. Great post! I tend to love historical romance, especially those with a hunky highlander carrying a large claymore! Have you read the Outlander series...it's my ultimate favourite!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lynette,

Love, love, love how you trash writers on your website. You go girl! You TELL because you know all about being a writer and how publishers are trying to pull a fast one. When you talk about authors posing in their underwear, you are so funny. Be a hater and love doing it. Who the hell are these people anyway, talking about their personal lives and posting stuff on the internet? Don’t they realize how much it’s gonna piss you off? They should stop doing that. If someone is lucky enough to be reviewed by you, they ought to be grateful. Keep doing what you do best. Keep ranting.

tori aka ggs_closet said...

LOL Great post Lynette. The friends attacking the reviewer because they didn't rate their friends book the way they felt it should be rating REALLY cheeses me off.

BlithelyBookish said...

I'm on the more generous side of rating books I read. I seem to enjoy most of them. That said, if I had to rate my own writing, I'd give myself a generous 2.

I've also had authors friend me on Goodreads, then bombard my inbox with links to their blogs, and recommend their own books, etc. Just because I want to see their shelves and chat about books, doesn't mean they're my #1 favorite author and I want to live, eat and breathe them.

So there, Lynette! I ranted, too. Whatcha gonna do about it? Give me a 1 star rantview? ;)

Great post!

Yvonne said...

Your posts are always super funny and so totally true!

I think the authors that actually have good work, have a successful fan base and don't have to drop hints about all the awards that they have won, give themselves five star reviews, or need their friends to talk their books up. If the book is good, it will speak for it's self and the blog world will blow it up.

The underwear and other TMI deals-LOL! I know exactly what you're talking about. Some things are just TMI!

Lynette said...

Sorry. I've been off the loop most of the weekend and am just catching up on the comments!

Thanks for the love. I hope I don't bore you. I read the up to the Fiery Cross before I lost interest in the series. But the first couple books were great to me.

Thanks for the support. I don't mean to trash anyone and I apologize if it came out that way. I was just trying to do a tongue and cheek look things that go on and how we as readers look at them. I hope no one thinks I'm trashing them! LOL! Glad you like the post!

I totally should've mentioned it, because like I said it happened to me but it totally slipped my mind when I was writing this post.

@blithley bookish
Okay, I so need to learn how to spell blithley LOL. I pause every time! The goodreads thing drives me crazy too! You're too funny! Love ya, though!

You're great as always. And have managed to articulate what I was thinking in a way better than I ever could've! Thanks for the shout out and the support!

Twimom227 said...

And this is why I tweet with you and follow your blog! You tell it like it is and I love it! I may not always agree with it, but I respect your opinions and love what you have to say!

With that - I agree with this post whole-heartedly!

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"Do you see, Solange, that you are the only woman in my world? The one woman who can choose life or death for me. You are the center of my world and you always will be. When I tell you that your pleasure is mine, I mean that literally"— Christine Feehan

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