A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Recommendation

I've commented many times on various sites and blogs in the past that the recommendations I consider the most and take the most to heart are those by fellow readers. Even readers who more or less create a professional review site are given less weight than my fellow "regular" folks whose reviews I read.

Why? Because I know that their loyalties to an author they love or a sub-genre are out of true joy and love and not motivated (usually) by anything else. So in my reasoning process I trust those reviews more and am much more likely to buy a book based on a review from the blogosphere than a magazine or professional review site.

The reason I'm bringing this up now is that like most ardent readers I'm on my share of author newsletter mailing lists. It bugs me a bit to get a newsletter from an author that is recommending a book to me. You know a book that just so happens to be by the same publisher as the author? This isn't a vague cover quote, although most of those, if I notice them, make me roll my eyes. This is an out and out recommendation to read a book often implying the endorsing author has read the book. After reading some of these recommendations I've realized (duh!) that the person recommending the book doesn't seem to have actually read the book and is only really requesting her fans 'buy' the book.

Does it aggravate you when a favorite author uses their newsletter/mailing list to recommend books to their fans that you know they never read? I wonder how much pressure is put on authors to do this? If I didn't see the several authors from the same imprint pushing the same book I wouldn't be so jaded. It's particularly annoying when the book that's being recommended you know isn't very good because you've already read it.

Fortunately this peeve is easily rectified by unsubscribing to the author's newsletter. Although my Nosy Nora self has fomo. *sigh* It's just not easy being a fan is it? ;-)

I've really got to get back to writing in the evening instead of in a hurry before work. I'm not reading back through this even once so I hope it wasn't too hard to understand what with my love of run-ons and all.



Blogger Wendy said...

I can usually spot the recommendations that aren't terribly genuine. Maybe it's the way my librarian brain is wired. For instance, I tend to get annoyed by how all the Publisher Who Shall Not Be Named authors constantly "blurb" each other. It just annoys me. It kinda comes off looking like a clique instead of a genuine recommendation. Just saying.

That said, I'm not above admitting I'm a hypocrite. I have been swayed by recommendations/cover quotes for mystery/suspense writers. Just not in romance. Not once. If I cared I'd put some thought into why - but ugh, my brain hurts.

8:34 AM PDT  
Blogger Giselle said...

I don't pay attention to author recs or "blurbs". They never sound real to me just like movie blurbs. If I had a nickel for every dud that was unputdownable or compulsively readable I'd be writing this from Hawaii. Like you I trust other readers opinions and recs. Even AAR reviews which used to influence my buying habits no longer carry much weight with me. My fellow bloggers, I find, are a much more discerning lot:)

9:43 AM PDT  
Blogger Dev said...

I'm more interested in what my fellow bloggers have to say than reading author recs. That being said, I'll still look into the books that the authors recommend, but more out of curiousity than anything ~ although I have wound up getting more books added to my tbr that what.

10:48 AM PDT  
Blogger nath said...

I think everyone prefers reader recommendations; they're more genuine. I never really follow recs by publishers or authors and I hate author quote ^^; it ruins the cover!

the problem unsuscribing of an author newsletter is that there's a reason why you subscribe in the first place, to get news! I guess it's a lesser evil to get fake recs than missing something important.

12:31 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, that blurbing thing bugs me too. Don't they at least know it's possible that readers might catch on?

Giselle, it's not that I pay attention so much as that I get the newsletters that I subscribed to for a particular author's news and updates and the that author uses it to send recs out. Bugs me!

Dev, me too! For all the years I've been reading I've never had a tbr mountain like I do now. I don't think before blogging I had more than say 20 books now, well probably 150.

Nath, you know you make a good point. Some of the quotes on the covers ruin them. Why, in the name of all that's holy would a publisher do that??

4:51 PM PDT  
Blogger Lori said...

I so agree! I go way more on the recs from my fellow readers/bloggers than I do from authors, publishers, or professional reviews. First off, I know who likes the same books I do, so if 'so and so' likes a book, I know I most likely will as well. That is what really helps me weed through the TBR list.

And as for the author quotes on the covers? They are for the newbies to that author, or the undecideds. They give cred to the book. It's all about the testimonial. The more 'distinguished' the testimonial, the bigger the perception that "this book must be great, if 'so and so' liked it! That's the publisher in me telling it from the publisher perspective, anyway...

4:15 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Lori, I'm much more likely to try a book from a new-to-me author or a new sub-genre based on a reader review than a quote or blurb another author will give the book. This is when I sometimes think long-time prolific readers are jaded...we're on to all the tricks publishers use to lure a reader in.

7:07 AM PDT  
Blogger Casee said...

I agree and disagree.

Suz Brockmann is a big pusher of authors Virginia Kantra and Catherine Mann. I'm sure they are good friends, but she's also read the books. That's when it's okay to me. Plus I really like both authors.

What you state about an author recommending an author they haven't read---that's just wrong. I don't really pay attention to author blurbs anymore.

9:21 AM PDT  

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