develish1

Just a few random thoughts and pictures

An open letter..

AKA – Something I think authors REALLY need to know.

It’s quite simple really. Readers have preferences, and those authors who choose to ignore this, WILL lose sales as a result. Apparently though, some haven’t gotten the message yet….

What am I talking about? Perspective, and those authors who either don’t care enough about their readers to bother making it clear what their writing style is, or swap randomly between styles for no apparent reason, and don’t even realise it’s an issue at all.

It IS an issue, and if you want to keep selling your books, it’s one you need to be aware of.

To clarify; some readers will happily read any style, some prefer to only read things written in 3rd person, others prefer 1st person (or Own Voices as it’s become PC to call it lately).

With the current trend apparently leaning towards 1st person, particularly in the area of Contemporary Romance, though also in other Romance genres too, many authors are switching to 1st person without considering the impact on their readers, or bothering to tell them they’re making changes. However, if a reader prefers one particular style, it’s unlikely they’ll read the alternative. So if an author suddenly swaps styles with no warning, those readers will be pretty unhappy, especially if they’ve already bought a book they now don’t want, and they likely won’t bother with that author again.

This can not only result in bad reviews, which we all know can affect future sales, but also (in the case of Amazon UK buyers at least), a request for a refund.

As an example…..I recently got a three book series by an author I’d read and enjoyed in the past. Books 1 & 2 were 3rd person, and as much fun as previous books from the author. Book 3 was 1st person, with no warning, and no apparent reason for the switch in writing style. And I hated it. I couldn’t get into the story at all. I’m in the UK, so guess what I did? Asked for a refund. That author not only lost a sale, but I probably won’t consider buying any of her books again.

There’s also a growing instance of authors writing their description in one style, while the book itself is in another. This is not only annoying to those who who buy it and then discover it’s not what they wanted, but it can also cause readers to simply walk away without even considering buying it, because they think it’s in a style they don’t like.

Again, as an example; I completely ignored a book recently, even though it was exactly the type of story I would normally go for, because the description was written in 1st person. I presumed (as most would) that the book itself was in 1st person, and therefore not to my taste. By the time a friend pointed out to me that it was in fact written in 3rd person, it had gone up from it’s introductory price of 0.99 to 3.99, and priced itself right out of my budget. So again, a lost sale.

What can authors do?

Be clear in descriptions. For simplicity, write them in whatever style the book is written in. This way readers at least know what they’re likely to get.

Don’t switch perspectives half way through a series. This WILL annoy readers, no matter which perspective they prefer.

Most importantly, don’t jump on the “Own Voices” bandwagon just because it’s currently the trendy thing to do. Regular readers will not thank you, and in the long term you’re far more likely to end up with fewer readers, when the next fad takes off (and the few new readers you gained take off with it), because your core readers won’t have hung around waiting for you to return to form.

September 5, 2018 - Posted by | A Bit Of A Rant, Random Thoughts |

2 Comments

  1. Ha! I found you. Are cheating on your other blog? 😉 I just happened to see the link on Twitter today. (I don’t even know why I even keep my twitter TBH). I just remembered my own long ago abandoned blog. lol

    (This is Glory BTW ;P)

    1st person is so not my fav. I tolerate it -to a point- in YA. Hate it in adult books. But the worst offenders are the 1st person shifting POV where they are obligated to put the character’s name at the beginning of each chapter so you know who the heck is talking. *headdesk*

    Comment by scoutingmom | September 11, 2018

    • Hi Glory 🙂

      Nah, it’s just waaay easier to post on here from my phone, and then post links direct to Twitter and Tumblr, than to do it on Dw or Lj. I thought I’d cross posted it at those places too, but apparently I hadn’t, d’oh!

      Yeah, I’ve developed quite a hatred of those shifting person ones too, lol.

      Comment by develish1 | September 12, 2018


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