Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Expectations- how do we live up to them?

The other day, I saw something in a review that REALLY bugged me.

Let me back up a bit.  I just released a new book, the first in a trilogy. The genre is contemporary romantic suspense. To me, that signifies that it's more of a contemporary romance, that the suspense elements are secondary. I also say that it's contemporary romance with suspense elements. Either way, both should be an indication of what kind of story it is. Maybe I'm wrong?

Anyway, I've been sending out review requests. And in those intro letters, I state that in the genre. Contemporary with suspense elements.

Okay. So I get a few takers, and then a few days later, come across a review from someone that states in her review she marked me down because overall she's not much of a contemporary reader. My book didn't meet her expectations because it's too much romance and not enough suspense.


I was flabbergasted. I don't even care about the rating as a whole. I know I won't appeal to everyone. But for someone to pick up the book when i have said everywhere exactly what the genre is only to get marked for it being exactly what it is...umm...Really I have no words.

And this isn't the first time it's happened, Nor will it be the last. I'm not the only one that gets this. Some get worse marks and nasty comments because of it. Yes, I know we put ourselves out there and these things will happen. I accept that. I understand that. But I'm a writer, and my way of expressing how I feel is to write, and this is something that's bothered me a long time now.

I'm first and foremost a reader. I can finish multiple books in a week. I run my own book blog. I'm fairly eclectic, and ever since reviewing have become more so. Are there genres I don't particularly care for? Yes. And for the fact that I could not give a fair review to a book in those genres I don't read much of, I don't select those for review. I admit, I'm not huge on hisotical. I'm not slamming them, I'm not judging them....I just realized they don't work for me. My own personal taste.  That's why I don't pick them up for review, because I couldn't be neutral enough in my review.

As for expectations. I've tried something. I go into a book feeling neutral. I don't do the "Expectations" thing, and going into a book with that, I find that I can enjoy a story more without thinking "I expected this, I didn't expect this"

An example...I've kind of burnt out of the vampires in paranormal romance. In many cases, they are all kind of the same. One might "Expect" the same of a genre/theme they're burnt out on. I've read two authors in the past few years that took a completely new spin on vampires. I read those books NOT giving an expectation of "This is going to be like all the others."  I went in to the reads with a clear mind.

Is this the way for everyone? Maybe not. I think real life has swayed me from having expectations, so  I approach many things with a laid back attitude. That's just because of things that I've encountered in my life, and I just use that same laid back approach in my reading.

I guess I just don't understand why someone would pick up a book in a genre they pretty much dislike and then 'expect" it to be what they want it to be.

But then again, no matter what, no matter how much we clearly state something, we aren't going to please everybody. It's how it is. I just felt like I needed to get out how I felt about it today.

Thanks for visiting and reading my rambles!


Lisa Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Beth said...

You answered your own question in the second paragraph. You haven't properly labeled your book. You'd be better served by marking it "contemporary romance suspense". Then the viewer/reviewer knows to expect "romance". If that's not their thing they'll pass it by. They way it's currently labeled viewers/reviews are expecting to read a non-romantic contemporary suspense story.