Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why I Won't Buy Your Book

While looking through some forums I found the following post from a fellow writer:

Hello Ready-Readers! This is Ready Writer, [name deleted], and I'd like to introduce my Christian Fiction novel titled, "[title deleted]." This is a must-read page turner you will NOT be able to put down. This book is 100% clean that will not only edify the Body of Christ, but will also minister to the lost and backslidden. Please check out my website: [URL deleted] or search for the title here on for reviews and testimonies. Thank you for looking.

Blessings to you all for a Happy and Healthy 2011!

I’ve removed the identifying information to protect the guilty, but thought it might be useful for us to consider this post and its inability to promote the book the writer intends to promote. The first problem appears first thing. “Hello Ready-Readers! This is Ready Writer!” Doesn’t that just make you want to puke? Whatever else this writer says, she has already turned us off by talking to us like we are children.

The next thing, “Christian Fiction novel,” is rather minor, but it is redundant. “Christian novel” will do.

“This is a must-read page turner you will NOT be able to put down.” Oh really? Just watch me. I won’t even pick it up in the first place. The phrase “page turner” is over used. It is the kind of phrase well known authors use for blurbs when they haven’t even read the book. Just saying a book is a page turner doesn’t make it so, especially when it is the author who is using the phrase. And NOT in all caps is just irritating.

“This book is 100% clean.” Isn’t that sort of implied by the word Christian? And I feel sorry for those authors out there whose books are only 95% clean.

“…will not only edify the Body of Christ, but will also minister to the lost and backslidden.” I suppose that makes this the Swiss Army knife of books. Why I might just buy a few hundred copies and pass them out at church and hand them out to my lost neighbors. Or not. I don’t know of anyone who buys a novel because it will “edify the Body of Christ” or because it will “minister to the lost and backslidden.” People buy novels because they have a good story. People want to escape into another world for a while, to image that they are seeing things that they don’t see and experience in normal life.

If that isn’t bad enough, the writer doesn’t even tell us what the book is about. We don’t reject the book because the author is promoting it on a forum but because the author has given us no reason to accept the book. We should assume that people’s answer is always no until we have provided them with sufficient reason to say yes to our book.

What do you look for an author to tell you when he/she is promoting a book?