We’ve all started a book and wound up ditching it at some later point. Here are my top 5 reasons for ditching a book.
1. Lack of editing
I’m okay with a few typos here and there. We all make mistakes. But I read a lot of kindle samples and immediately mark a book down on the “nope” list if it’s got too many problems with sentence structure or redundancy or telling or… it goes on. Basically, if you aren’t going the traditional publishing route, I think you need at least 3 sets of other eyes raking over what you’ve done. And you need to make sure they’re helpful. People who gush over your book and have no critique, aren’t doing you any favors in the editing process.
2. I don’t even like you anymore
I’m a sucker for compelling characters. Give me a terrible book with a character I’m invested in and I can get over a lot of issues. Give me a book with an amazing plot but characters that I don’t care about or that I slowly start to dislike… and I’m not going to finish said book. (This is why I’ll likely never read books 6 and 7 of A Song of Ice and Fire – if they are ever published – I just don’t care about what happens to anyone anymore.)
3. I’ve read this before…
There’s something to be said for tropes and how nice it is to have set parameters for a narrative. I’m not talking about books that are similar… I’m talking about books that are pretty blatant copies. I don’t want to read a knock-off of a story I’ve already read, you’re not going to do it better by copying.
4. You’re cheating your reader
What is with this new “trend” (apparently big in the Self-publishing Romance area) of making a trilogy from a single book? I’ll admit that I don’t always look at the page count when I snag stuff for my kindle. I read the blurb and the sample and make my decision there. But if I get to the end of the book and its actually the 1/3rd mark, it doesn’t compel me to buy the next one, it pisses me off and puts you in the category of untrustworthy authors.
5. You’re playing into stereotypes or are just plain gross
I don’t need to read a book that strives to enforce societal ideals that are antiquated and harmful. I don’t need to read a book where non-consensual sex is glorified. I don’t need to read a book where close-minded phobic protagonists are glorified for their stunted viewpoints. If I wanted to do that, I’d pick up a piece of “classic” literature with those themes, because clearly, I’d be living in the past.
What about you? What makes you stop reading?