I am dawdling and cozy in bed with a mason jar of cafe au lait. It is blizzarding again. If I get brave and warm enough later I will take some pictures to post. The weather in Aspen, land of white snows and proud of it, can be mean with wicked long teeth and an infectious bite that spreads through your blood chilling to the marrow. As I am laying under several blankets trying to keep warm, I was looking on Amazon for Xmas gifts. I have the software for Kindle on my laptop and sometimes I wander through their free stuff and see what is there.
I was reading the reviews for a novella entitled The Wicked House of Rohan: http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-House-Rohan-ebook/dp/B003SX15L4/ref=sr_1_35?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1290606015&sr=1-35
One of the reviews said: “wow even free this was not so good” and went on to say: “I’ve probably read way to many romance novels over the years and have gotten used to most books having a plot buried somewhere between the first and last page. This book though decided that the plot was just a superflous detail not to be worried about and jumped from the start of a decent storyline straight to the I love yous as if the author was under a deadline or had someplace she had to be right at that exact minute. Implausible story that strains all notions of plot or tenets of romance.”
I guess the other books of this series that the author has written are pretty good and this prequel was done for publicity, but wow is that harsh.
This made me think about what else a book costs a reader. It costs time to read, thoughts to consider the ideas, and the opportunity either gained or lost for entertainment. Who has thrown a book across the room in disgust? I have. Pitched McCaffrey’s The White Dragon clear across the bedroom until it hit the door with a responding and satisfying thump. I used to like her writing and enjoyed most of the dragonriders of Pern books until I got to that one. It was so badly done in my opinion that I quit reading anything of hers other than her early short stories that are brilliant.
When we write everything that we write has to have some merit and offer something to the readers. I used to work in a bookstore and I have seen it happen too many times where a popular author who is selling like mad pumps out a few in their autumn or spring series that are not so good. They lose a chunk of their readership. And fans talk on forums, in the bookstore, etc. It may take a new author a while to build a following, but an established author can lose a following in a couple years pretty quick with a couple awful books that don’t give value to the reader. And even a book that is free can still be viewed as not worth it.