Some tips I wish publishers would follow! They're mainly inspired by specific books; I'm not suggesting any of them are common but they're all things that have irritated me over the last 12 - 18 months.
People are more than welcome to guess which books I'm talking about in the comments section, but I'm planning on keeping my lips sealed! Also, if you're doing that, can you be careful with guesses for number 5 so you're not giving away spoilers, which would be very easy to do.
What do you think? Do you agree with them, or are there other things that drive you crazy? For that matter, are some of the below totally unreasonable? Would love to hear from you!
1. Thou Shalt Mention If It’s Part Of A Series – I love reading series books. I particularly love them when I get to start at the first book, then read the second, and so on. I’m less keen on picking up something which looks like a standalone when you look at Amazon, and finding out it’s book two or three in a series.
2. Thou Shalt Even Mention If It’s A Spin-Off Series – I can actually see why publishers don’t always follow this one, but it irritates me to no end. It seems particularly prevalent amongst YA series which are spun off from adult books – I’d rather start with the adult series if this is the case, and would like some indication.
3. Thou Shalt Make It Reasonably Clear Which Order To Read In – There used to be a wonderful trend of books in a series having numbers on the spine like 1, 2, 3 and so on, giving a helpful hint to readers. It was a fabulous, if simple, idea, and the amount of series which don’t use it – or something similar – stuns me.
4. Thou Shalt Not Give Away More Than Two Thirds Of The Book – Preferably much, MUCH less. If I’m past the halfway point and still know things that are going to happen just from reading the back of the book, I’m starting to think I shouldn’t have bothered.
5. Thou Shalt Not Intentionally State Things That AREN’T Happening On The Back Of The Book – If you say on the back that the book’s MC is meeting XXX, they need to meet XXX. Simple.
6. Thou Shalt Not Pretend It’s A YA Book When It’s Not – Clue. If you have a 22-year-old MC who’s just left university, and no teenage characters in it, it’s not a YA book, no matter how hot the crossover market is at the moment.
7. Thou Shalt Have Some Sort Of Moral Standards – I can cope with bad guys ‘winning’, I can cope with bleak and harrowing, and so on. I find it difficult to read anything where there’s absolutely no redeeming qualities for any character, though.
8. Thou Shalt Not Cancel An Incredible Series – My ire over this one has been tempered by the fact that the said publishers later reversed their decision after a blog campaign. It should have been an obvious one to renew, though, surely!
9. Thou Shalt Not Release Several Awesome Books In The Same Month Every Other Publisher In The World Is Releasing Several Awesome Books – There are worse problems to have, but May is close to making my head explode!
10. Thou Shalt Carry On Releasing Great Fiction – Because, as much as I moaned in the first 8 points, I know that 95% of the publishers, 95% of the time, release incredible stuff and do a fantastic job. I love you all really!