Have you ever set yourself up for an enjoyable read, perhaps in a hot bath with lots of bubbles, soft music in the background and a cold glass of wine,
or a cold winter’s night in front of a fire with dogs at your feet, maybe you’re settling in for a long flight, or on a balcony with a great view as your backdrop,
you start to really get into the book, you’re empathizing with your favourite character’s plight, you can feel the gentle breeze or hot sun or stinging cold, your finger is itching to turn the page and then WHOMP! something that bugs you jumps out and ruins the whole thing?
In the latest poll on my website, I asked readers about their biggest pet peeves when reading a book.
One response was the all-out winner, getting over 30% of the votes. But first, there were a lot of what turned out to be piddling pet peeves each coming in at less than 5% of the votes:
1. Book’s cover having nothing to do with the content.
2. Speling erors.
3. Figuring out the ending before the ending.
4. Genre blending – a book trying to be what it isn’t (romance novel pretending to be a thriller)
5. Jacket blurb giving away too many plot points.
The fifth one is the only one I was surprised by.. Then again, a recent news show I listened to suggested that in general, people don’t really get too upset about spoilers. I don’t know about that. YOU try telling someone who hasn’t read the books about what’s going to happen in the last Hunger Games movie. Call 9-1-1.
There were three responses that managed to get 8-10% of the votes.
1. The ending of a book being a cliffhanger. Humphf. Well, I’m guilty of that one! Yikes.
2. There is grammar errors.
3. Graphic sex scenes (except in erotic literature).
The only peeve that came even close to the all out winner, at 17.2% of the votes was….
I get this one. Characters in books, even in TV shows and movies, who aren’t well developed just seem to be a waste of time. It seems like the creator just didn’t bother to pay them much attention, which makes me, as a reader, not want to pay them much attention either.
At 31.03% of votes, the BIGGEST, MOST IRRITATING, FRUSTRATING, BANG-YOUR-HEAD-AGAINST-THE-WALL PET PEEVE IS:
That’s right – for all you authors reading this – if someone doesn’t like your book – you can always blame your editor!!!
I read an article the other day that talked about the changing role and importance of author websites. I remember when having a good website was teh #1 box to check off when planning to promote yourself and your books. The piece suggested that whereas websites are no longer considered the first and most important source of information about authors and books, most people still want to see them. If an author doesn’t have a website, its considered a bit of a red flag, that this person isn’t a ‘real’ author. Readers still use websites for the more static types of information like biographies, event listings and book listings and details. The article went on to suggest that today, less money should be spent on websites (whereas before a website was considered a big chunk of a promotions budget) and should be easily maintained and updatable. Although readers are still interested in the information that usually lives on websites, they are now used to more personal and real-time ties with authors through various other sources (predominately social media).
Is this true? Visit my poll that asks respondents to vote for the must-haves when connecting with an author, and lets see. Vote here: http://anthonybidulka.com/