I do a lot of my reading while I’m exercising, and recently I’ve started dreading that time of day.
Not because I don’t want to exercise, but because I don’t want to read.
I’d love it if publishers could enforce a rule for a year. Ban these terms:
Billionaire. Navy SEAL. Bluestocking. MMA Fighter. Cowboy. Duke.
PLEASE! Let’s see what authors can do when their comfort zones are taken away!
I have a few dozen review books I can’t even bring myself to start, and I have a pretty good idea that I could write reviews for them without even reading the first page. Actually, I could save even more time and just copy and paste an old review for a different book. It would still be accurate.
When Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series got everyone excited, publishers decided that from then on they were only going to accept books that were exact copies of that series. I loved Bella Andre’s fire-fighter themed romantic suspense series, and was really looking forward to the final book. Only to discover it had become another VR-style small town romance.
I later found out Andre got dumped from her publisher because they didn’t want her suspense books, because – you know – People Only Want To Read Small Town Romances.
Then publishers started telling us all these ridiculous theories about why People Only Want To Read Small Town Romances. They blamed it on everything from the US economy to the war in Iraq.
I call BS on that. The reason Virgin River was popular was because Robyn Carr wrote great books. But you know what? I didn’t want to read everyone else trying to rewrite Virgin River!
Suzanne Brockmann revolutionised suspense when she wrote her Navy SEAL series in the late 90s and early 2000s. If you’re only going to read two or three SEAL books in your life, choose from The Defiant Hero, Over the Edge and Out of Control.
However, just because Brockmann wrote something brilliant doesn’t mean every single other hero in every single suspense or contemporary book from here on has to be a SEAL. I’ve just come across a series that’s about SEALs who go on a holiday cruise together, and there they all meet women and fall in love with them, and there’s some BDSM involved, and CAN ANYBODY TELL ME WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE MILITARY??
Not to mention the huge number of historical romances I’ve read in the last few years where authors have pretty much stolen scenes from Lisa Kleypas‘ books. They’ve quite literally written Kleypas’ scenes, but with just enough changes that it couldn’t be called plagiarism. No originality. Just “more of the same”.
I hate that publishers think that just because someone wrote a book that was good, for the rest of eternity ONLY that exact book can be written and published.
The romance industry has made SEALs into a joke. I go out of my way to NOT read about them anymore, even though military romance is a genre I used to love to pieces (and still do with a few authors). Seeing yet another series coming out that’s attempting to be Virgin River 2.0 makes me want to cry.
I can’t believe it, but at the moment I’m almost sick of reading. And that is entirely the fault of today’s publishers and editors.