What’s a book killer for me? Since everyone’s already touched on my first instincts--insipid character and contrived plots--I'm going to tell you about reader killers or why I quit reading some of my favorite authors at one time or another.
Just for the record, these were writers that I didn’t even have to see what the book was about before I purchased it, their name was simply enough.
These are all well-known, read widely, and presumably rich authors. I’ve debated whether I should mention their names or not. Should I? Shouldn’t I? It’s not like my average six-comment blog is going to put a crimp in their mega-selling careers. And it is just my opinion. But I’m deciding not to, because they are in no position to defend themselves or if they did, it could become a viral war. Although that is way to build up your blog’s presence.
So, the first author I quit is a suspense writer who publishes a couple books a year. I quit reading her because I figured out her formula. Who do you least suspect? I could read the first quarter of the book, ask myself the question, do a Harry and flip to the end to see if I was right. Nine times out of ten, I was. For me, the thrill was gone once I dissected the formula.
Ditto for the male author who writes death books disguised as romances. Why do male authors think someone has to die for it to be a romance? Apparently they didn’t get the HEA lesson we all got.
The second author is a best-selling juggernaut—he’s got books out in almost every genre—but speculation is that he doesn’t actually write them all. I quit reading him in the middle of his best-selling series because he jumped the shark. A reoccurring character came out of the office to become the Mastermind. I couldn’t buy it. And the author lost all credibility with me. I’m sure he’s using twenties as tissues to wipe his tears away at my frustrated desertion.
The final author I’m going to highlight has a popular character going into her eighteenth book, but the character never grows. She’s still making the same mistakes in book seventeen that she did in book one. Maybe I just outgrew her, but I find it frustrating to read about the same love-triangle and the core relationship going through the same growing pains without actually growing. And when asked on the Today show if the character would grow up and decide between the two men, this author said, “No. Why should she?”
At times, I can be quite the unforgiving reader. But, here’s the thing. Books can be spendy and they can be time-consuming, both things that are at times a deterrent in my life. Working fulltime, writing my own book, and paying bills, if I’m going to invest in a book, I want to read a book that deserves it.