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Old 07-06-2013, 01:43 AM   #31
Joykins
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ome have like 10 guys and one girl! This is a big red flag for me seeing I read mainly m/f romance. I tried the more spicier stuff but it's just not for me.
Anything with the word "master," "slave," "sub," or "dom" or "sir" prominently featured or some poor model tricked out in fetish gear. It takes a much better writer than most erotica writers are to make BDSM fiction work for me.

"Greek Tycoon", "Millionaire" "Billionaire", "Virgin Mistress", "Harlequin Presents." (I actually like other HQN lines but not the rich guy's pregnant virgin mistress kind). Also, no pirates for me unless the pirate is the heroine.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:55 AM   #32
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I also tend to steer clear of anything where the very first sentence in the blurb is to announce that the work has had a major revision due to reader feedback.

I'm just not sure I want to give the author a second chance when he/she has already, by admission, inflicted a big pile of poo onto readers. It's less likely to bother me if it's a footnote - but the very first sentence - in bold?

"Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:01 AM   #33
Blossom
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Anything with the word "master," "slave," "sub," or "dom" or "sir" prominently featured or some poor model tricked out in fetish gear. It takes a much better writer than most erotica writers are to make BDSM fiction work for me.

"Greek Tycoon", "Millionaire" "Billionaire", "Virgin Mistress", "Harlequin Presents." (I actually like other HQN lines but not the rich guy's pregnant virgin mistress kind). Also, no pirates for me unless the pirate is the heroine.
I'm not overly fond of Harlequin Presents either. I do like the other lines though as you know.

I normally pass over any poor person tied up on the cover. I still have 50 Shades flashbacks!

Pirates are my favorite historical romance hero! I buy all I can find.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:41 AM   #34
shanghaichica
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I'm not overly fond of Harlequin Presents either. I do like the other lines though as you know.

I normally pass over any poor person tied up on the cover. I still have 50 Shades flashbacks!

Pirates are my favorite historical romance hero! I buy all I can find.
So do I Now I have to skip any sex scenes in books otherwise I start to feel nauseous.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:28 AM   #35
usuallee
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Might be unpopular here, but honestly, self-published is a red flag for me. I do think that the major publishers are decent gatekeepers. That's not to say that I'm going to like every book by a major publisher, of course, but I do feel fairly confident that the writing won't be atrocious and the errors will be minimal. I would read a self-published book but generally only if I had a recommendation for it, either on here or IRL.

And to generalize even further, I can typically tell a self-published book from a major publisher just by looking at the cover. (yes, I do judge a book by its cover). If the cover is professional looking, I might assume it's a major publisher and spend more time looking at the rest of the product details.

eP
This, 100%. Any hint of "paranormal romance". Scant or no blurbs at all - then it's like, no one likes this?

Then again, some books, A Reliable Wife comes to mind, have blurbs from seemingly every media outlet in the English speaking world describing it in seductively positive terms - I bought it thinking I had a sure thing - that was one bad book, a pretentious, implausible bodice ripper rather than the promised Gothic literary thriller. You make a decision with the info you've got and hope for the best.

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Old 07-06-2013, 05:50 AM   #36
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This, 100%. Any hint of "paranormal romance". Scant or no blurbs at all - then it's like, no one likes this?
Then again, some books, A Reliable Wife comes to mind, have blurbs from seemingly every media outlet in the English speaking world describing it in seductively positive terms - I bought it thinking I had a sure thing - that was one bad book, a pretentious, implausible bodice ripper rather than the promised Gothic literary thriller. You make a decision with the info you've got and hope for the best.
That's been on my TBR list for a whole. Sounds like I should take it off.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:21 AM   #37
soulfuldog
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This.
I can't stand having to open a book up in Sigil to delete three pages of

"A rip roaring Indiana Jones meets Alien rollercoaster of a thrilling read"
- James Rollins/Patterson/Cussler/Child/Preston

(Insert 15 spaces)

"I hit the floor after the first page and couldn't get up"
-Eileen Dover
Exactly, even reading your post with examples has raised my blood pressure ever so slightly.....
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #38
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In mysteries/thrillers, if the blurb indicates that a serial killer has a particularly gruesome and/or oddball signature, I pass it by.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:53 AM   #39
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1. Spelling and grammatical errors.

2. A blurb that begins with news of a price break.

3. The words "fae" or "paranormal romance."
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:22 AM   #40
patrickt
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I don't want to read about lawyers. I had to work with them. I don't want to read about government conspiracies. If the words paranormal, psychic, romance, or love interest I'll probably pass. If the blurb gives the impression it's a written visit from Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on my door I'll pass.

But, it gets worse. I worked with a man named Bruns who was horrible. Funny, but horrible. Today I saw a new book by a man named Bruns. What if he's related?

Unlike some, I don't have a totally negative opinion of self-published books. Pat Conroy started that way and at least if you're self-published you don't have a publisher requiring a "love angle" so they can attract female readers.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #41
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2. A blurb that begins with news of a price break.
Oh yeah! There's the one that kills me:

Quote:
Prom Time Free ParTay! For Two Days Only, <dates>, blah blah will be FREE! If you like blah blah you might also like these other FREE books: etc.....
Have you seen ones like that? They spring up from time to time and they start listing all these other books in the blurb of the book you're look at. What the....?!
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:13 AM   #42
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Oh yeah! There's the one that kills me:

Have you seen ones like that? They spring up from time to time and they start listing all these other books in the blurb of the book you're look at. What the....?!
Yes. I love the Free ParTay and the deals they provide, but I REALLY wish they'd not use the blurbs for cross-promoting the books involved. It's REALLY annoying. I have to tag them in calibre and then download the normal blurb after it's over and the blurbs are restored.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:18 AM   #43
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Self published. See comments by others above. I have a very, very low tolerance for proofing errors and zero tolerance for misused words.

Genre. Maybe this is just me, but I'm happy to read a book with romance, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, western, horror, supernatural, <insert anything here>...but if you're writing according to expectations/cliches of a given genre, and/or writing solely to make money (believe me, it shows), I want absolutely nothing to do with you. Fortunately, genre series crap, is (for the most part) easy to detect and avoid.

My judgement when reading fiction is based on (1) writing ability, (2) characters, and (3) plot. If (1) is missing, I'm generally gone by page 5. If a book doesn't have two out of three, I'm probably gone by page 50...though if (1) is really strong, I *may* continue on, though it'll probably wind up with a 2-3 star review.

Yeah, I'm probably a bit of a snob. But life is too short to waste time on bad books.

Sturgeon's Law says that 90% of everything is crap. The corollary is that the 90% is different for everyone (which allows me to sleep at night when reality TV is still on the air, and people continue to buy books from the James Patterson ghost writing factory). YMMV.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:49 AM   #44
HarryT
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Genre. Maybe this is just me, but I'm happy to read a book with romance, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, western, horror, supernatural, <insert anything here>...but if you're writing according to expectations/cliches of a given genre, and/or writing solely to make money (believe me, it shows), I want absolutely nothing to do with you. Fortunately, genre series crap, is (for the most part) easy to detect and avoid.
Hmmm. That seems a little harsh; there's absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with "writing solely to make money". And if you're writing to the expectations of your readers, that's actually pretty sensible.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #45
sadievan
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For me, blurbs are hugely important to successfully generating a sale/download. Most of the books I don't download (even if the book is free) are due to the content of the blurb. The reasons vary and I have certain sentences and key words that are my red flags.

For example, a book that uses a variation on "x is/was a typical teenage boy/girl". Nearly every time I read that sentence or something similar, I move on. I also tend to dodge anything that has "legal thriller" or "medical thriller" in the blurb mainly because I'm usually just not that interested in either of those areas. And I'm very unlikely to try anything that has a typo or grammar error in the blurb, the darkest of omens.

Tonight I encountered one that needs to be added to my list of red flags:

So, given that we've discussed before how difficult it is to wade through the Amazon/B&N/<insert retailer here> slush pile, I thought it might be interesting to share our red flags. What will immediately be a swing and a miss for you if it's present in a book's description/blurb?
I very seldom get a book if the blub does not actually tell me what the book is about. When they just have recommendations from others, such as, great book, you'll love this one, I couldn't put it down, etc. Nothing tells you what the book is actually about.

Carol

Edited to add: After reading some of the posts, I see I'm not alone in this. ;-)

Last edited by sadievan; 07-06-2013 at 12:08 PM.
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