Publishers be warned and stop reading now. This blog is about how both publishers and, sometimes, authors do not trust the readers. Now I don’t want anyone to think this is directed at any one publisher or author. This is a conglomeration of things I have heard from authors and readers alike.
I have a very love/hate relationship with publishers. I think sometimes they don’t trust us as readers to be able to read multiple genres. Maybe I am strange and I am not talking about my mental issues, that is a blog for another time. I am talking about the fact that I will read just about anything, well except Stephen King. I love him. It's just his books scare the crap out of me. Anyway, I have no problem reading Patricia Cornwell one day then The History of Scotland the next. I can jump genres and never blink an eye. This is the sign of a reader who loves books. I really don’t care what the genre is as long as it is well written.
I know there are people out there who will only read one genre, but they are robbing the rest of us from some awesome books. I know of a couple of publishers that will only accept one genre from an author. So if you start writing male/female books, you are not allowed to write a male/male/female book.
I may be stupid, but I just don’t understand this. If I find an author that I love then, I will read any book they write. For example, I am a huge Sherrilyn Kenyon fan. I am not a big sci-fi fan but when she released her League Series, I bought them just to try them out and you know what, I loved them.
Publishers say that authors need to fit in this little box and they are not allowed to venture out of it. I want to call bullshit on that because how is an author supposed to grow as a writer if they are not allowed to expand their horizons. This makes no sense to me. If a character falls for another man and not a woman, how are you supposed to force them to be in a relationship with a woman? This is making the author either skip books or characters who would love their own books can’t have one. I think authors need the freedom to write what they want. If a reader doesn’t like the genre then they can skip the book. I know there are stupid people out there that aren’t smart enough to read the warning labels on the books. But why should their stupidity deny the rest of us the opportunity to have a great experience reading a book that we have wanted or sometimes begged for?
Now sometimes authors fall into the same trap as the publishers. They want to write a book and the characters are talking to them, but they are afraid to write them because of the hateful people out there. I know of a few who have told me that they want to write specific books, but they were unable to because either the publishers said no or that genre doesn’t make them money, and they have to write what people will buy. I understand this because we all have to make a living but in the end, it cheats both the author and the reader. Now I am not saying this is all the author or the publishers fault. I am saying the sometimes you have to trust your loyal readers to help you out by buying the books.
This also brings up the pen name issue as well. I know of a few authors that write under several names, and I may know them but others may not so they are missing books by their favorite authors. Pen names are confusing to a lot of readers. I know one author that has three names. One for each genre she writes. I understand this, and it doesn’t really bother me because I know them. But if there are other readers out there like me, they are missing a few books just because they don’t know that the author has multiple names. Again, this is cheating the reader and author alike because, sometimes, it is the publisher who will not allow the author to post that they have other names they write under as well. Does this all sound confusing because it is to most people.
Readers also have to shoulder some of the blame, as well. If you don’t like a genre then don’t buy the book. Wait till the author writes the books you love, but don’t drink the haterade and send the publisher/author hate mail. This does nothing but force them to censor what they write. Yep, I used the C word. Because in reality that is exactly what this is. Censorship by the publisher and sometimes the author themselves. You have to wonder what great books we have been cheated out of just because some reader has a stick up their butt and sends hate filled rants to publishers, authors and booksellers.
The moral of this blog is sometimes publishers and author need to have a little faith that readers don’t care what genre they read-as long as it is a well written book.