Hello all! Today’s post features a discussion about a topic Malka is very passionate about. However, since we plan on making discussions a big part of this blog, we decided to participate in the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge run by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight. This post is the first of many rants, raves, and debates about any topic that strikes our fancy. Enjoy!
Okay. Here’s the deal. I love books. I know. Shocker. I write on a book blog and I somehow like books. But I needed to preface this post with that because I’m about to start complaining lots about books that have let me down. In fact, this whole post is centered on the marketing that either wowed me or ruined an otherwise wonderful book. Here we go.
When I use the term marketing, I’m referring to the cover design, the typography, the synopsis, all of it. For me to read a book at least one of those things need to be appealing to me. Either that or the the hype has to be catching my interest for me to consider reading the book. So a pretty cover, an intriguing synopsis, those go a long way.
I’ve even had cases where the cover art was the true draw for the book. (Looking at you Everything, Everything) It’s not that I wouldn’t have picked up those books if the cover had been different. Or maybe I wouldn’t have, who knows. But when I think of why I picked up the book, it’s the cover and not the summary that stand out to me. Many books catch my interest, but for me to buy or actively search out a book there needs to be really successful marketing going on. And even if it’s just for me to read a book, stuff has to be done right.
Wonderful. Sounds so nice. What can be the downside to what seems like a harmless cover or synopsis? Well I’m glad you asked. The downside is when the marketing doesn’t deliver. This can be as simple as a pretty book not becoming your new favorite (how rude!) So now you have this pretty book you bought, that you can’t get rid of because did you see that cover?? But you just didn’t like it.
Then there are the downright deceptive marketing schemes. These are the ones that are baffling and disappointing. I mean, the cover had a girl in a dress on the cover, so why does it state she hates dresses because they interfere with her ability to kill people successfully? Or why does the synopsis say this is a mystery when the only mystery is who the main character will end up with. And speaking of downright annoying synopsis, WHY DOES HALF THE SYNOPSIS SPOIL THE ENTIRE BOOK! I have read SEVERAL 300 page books where I’m on page 200 and something that was mentioned in the synopsis still didn’t occur. THAT IS A SPOILER! If It doesn’t happen in the first 5 chapters/60 pages you’re treading on very thin ice when you mention it in the synopsis.
This issue really frustrates me because my expectations can become so twisted that I end up not liking a book through no fault of the book itself, but purely because of bad marketing. And to me that’s just sad.
So let’s hear it. Do you feel the same way? Have other pet peeves related to this topic? We’d love to rant and commiserate with you.
14 thoughts on “Bookish Mismarketing”
Always judge a book by its cover, is what I’m getting from this article. And I completely agree. Pretty covers get me every time, and it does get me super frustrated when something on the cover doesn’t appear in the book. BUT, it’s so awesome when stuff on the cover do correlate with the book, because then I can refer back to the cover while reading and go, “Oh, so that’s what that is!”
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ahh yes, I totally relate! And as someone who’s both a book blogger and an author…I’ve had a few grey-hair-inducing marketing things happening.😂Including an inaccurate draft of a blurb for my book which I quickly panicked about and got them to rewrite! So while a lot of these are frustrating, now that I’m on the publishing-side too, I know it’s rarely the authors’ faults, but things do get messy and mixed up (not always, but sometimes!) behind the scenes. and aghhh I SO feel betrayed when a blurb spoils the book or a cover doesn’t really match! Like I’m a sucker for those gorgeous dress covers, but unless the character actually wears one…why is it happening?!😂
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That sounds so stressful! I’m glad everything worked out in the end!
And YES!!! I hate spoilers with a PASSION and it feels like the ULTIMATE betrayal when the blurb is the spoiler.
I’ve gotta be honest though, I make exceptions for some covers that are so beautiful, I don’t even care what super-thin connection was made to tie the unrelated cover to the content of the book. I’m shallow like that.
I always feel blurbs are written by someone who hasn’t read the book but is summarizing the words of a person who actually has
I totally hear that. I sometimes wonder what exactly goes on in the publishing process…..
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Among the bookish mismarketing you mentioned I hated the last one most of all. It is just plain knowledge that it is plain rude to spoil the book and the people working on the blurb are publishing people so they should know better but gah apparently not because I have encountered blurbs who spoiled the entire plot for me.
Exactly! That’s what makes it so frustrating! From friends, family, and social media, spoilers are usually an accident, but it feels more deliberate when it comes from the publisher.
I agree with all your points here, but the one I hate the most is the spoilers in the blurb one! I just don’t understand how publishers don’t realise that if something doesn’t happen within the first few chapters, then it’s basically a spoiler and you probably shouldn’t mention it! The blurb should just set up the book’s premise, as far as I’m concerned and that’s all.
Great post! 🙂
Yup! It baffles me when publishers do that because part of marketing should be leaving some parts of the book a surprise. And thank you so much!
Nice discussion! If cover has a girl in a dress, & she says “she hates dresses because they interfere with her ability to kill people successfully”
it ensures that people who are familiar with the killer-character-type would never pick up said book and cry over the utter failure and lack of skill when it comes to the actual killing 😀
Also I try only to read the first half of descriptions, the rest is either spoiler or misleading. And I never read blurbs of sequels.
Thank you! And yes exactly! That’s exactly the point I was trying to make!
And that’s a really smart policy. I try to stick away from sequel blurbs, but in general I have a really hard time not spoiling myself.
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It really frustrates me when the synopsis spoils a book. WHY do they do that? Ugh!
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I know! I’ve started reading books without reading the synopsis first to avoid spoiling (like if someone says a book is good I’ll read it), but that just results in me being mostly confused for the beginning of the book 😂.