Friday, January 16, 2009

Overselling . . .

Marketers always oversell to some extent. Some of it is forgivable. But when it goes so far that it's mis-represents the product, it can be a problem because of the take-away disappointment felt by the customer.

As such, back cover copy on novels usually oversell to some degree. But when it promises lemonade and you get motor oil, well, that can be a problem.

I recently read a novel, which wasn't bad, by the way, that did this. The back cover promised something that was not in the novel. This left me sort of not liking the novel, which actually wasn't bad - it was just mis-represented. I felt a little cheated.

6 comments:

Nicole said...

Know exactly what you mean, Dayle. Don't even promise me something you can't deliver.

I can't remember which novel it was now but it was promoted like a suspense-filled mystery, and, man, was it ever not even close. What's up with that? Besides bad marketing . . .

Kay Day said...

I hardly ever read the blurbs. I look at the cover and I might glance at the first two lines of the blurb and that's it. Because of why you said, also because sometimes the blurbs spoil stuff.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Nicole, at a conference, the editor of Athol Dickson's River Rising described the book as a suspense novel. I was a little taken aback so I had to ask him if I heard him right. I did.

Kay, I'm the opposite. I read the entire cover and the acknowledgements. I also read reviews on-line before I buy. But you're right. They do sometimes give things away. When they mention the tornado that changes everything or a character's wife who dies and then you read the first few chapters and realize you will have to read until it happens.

Kay Day said...

I was confused that River Rising was considered a suspense, too.
I've read some of his earlier stuff and it definitely is suspense, but River Rising?
It's my favorite, though.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I guess it could be squeezed into the technical definition. BUT, the word "suspense" has a specific connotation with readers.

The unnamed book that I'm speaking of in the post promised suspense, but it wasn't a suspense novel.

Nicole said...

River Rising is case in point as far as the Christy Awards category which it won. In there with one of Robert Liparulo's ??? No way should those two books be even close in categorical qualification.

I barely read the blurbs. All I want to know is the basic gist of the story. Tell me too much, and I don't buy the book.