Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Do books still get judged by their cover?

That’s a slightly misleading question, but I do like to use a well known phrase in a title occasionally.


I’ve been trying to promote my novel in a variety of ways, last week I did a book signing at my local book shop and I’ve written a few guest blog posts for other writers and bloggers.


Book signing at Pritchards Bookshop, Crosby. Book signing at Pritchards Bookshop, Crosby.


But what I really want is reviews. I’ve given away a fair amount of free ebooks in competitions in the hope of getting a review out of it and I’ve sent press releases to local press, all with no bite from the journalists.


This week I was turned down for a review, which on the one hand I appreciated the response, but was disappointed all the same, mainly because I was given two reasons: aside from having a to be read list longer than both arms the reviewer said that I write in a genre she’s not very familiar with and she wouldn’t want to give it a bad review just because it wasn’t her thing.


And that upset me a little because I realise that the Xcite Books logo screams erotica, and I appreciate that erotica isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I couldn’t help feeling like I was being judged for writing, basically, porn and that it’s not worth reviewing.


Because those of you have that read Inspired by Night, will know that, although it does have a fair share of sex scenes, it’s about as similar to porn as True Blood. There’s probably more sex in an episode of Game of Thrones. My story has a realistic amount of sex in it, for the tale it is telling.


The irony with my novel, is that fans of Xcite books, may in fact be disappointed by the lack of sex!


I’m not a fan of erotica, which surprises a lot of my fellow Xcite authors, I don’t have any intentions of writing any more because I didn’t really plan to write adult romance in the first place, I just told a story and that’s what unfolded.


One of the reviews I’ve had so far said:


The book has some hot and raunchy scenes in it, from cybersex to the real thing, so if you are looking for pure gushy romance, look elsewhere, this mixes up the two really well. It’s not pure erotica, it’s not pure romance, it’s a sexy romp of sorts! Anyway, it’s really good.


There are some really funny moments in the book that made me laugh out loud too and it makes the book really down to earth, tangible and real. I think a lot of ladies will like this book.


Another said:


It was a refreshing change from the usual hot, sexy, rich, male CEO wooing the female. I laughed and cried reading this book.


So the reviews seem to focus on the parts of the novel that I have been promoting myself: fun, nerdy and romantic. The sex scenes are just there because, sex is a normal part of life, everyone’s doing it so why wouldn’t my characters?


I can’t help feeling that reviewers, journalists and anyone else that I’m trying to promote my book to, won’t see past the publisher and even read the jacket blurb.


Yet there are countless books just like mine, blending romance with sex, being published by major publishing houses and no one gives it a second thought.


Seriously? In 2014. Are we really still judging books by their cover?



Do books still get judged by their cover?