Over the last few months, and particularly today as I just finished a story that prompted this post, I’ve been noticing a change in my reading reactions to stories. There are small things that I’ll overlook (for the most part) in any story. I don’t nitpick in reviews about grammar or typos. I’m reviewing the story so I stick with that… unless it’s so blatant that it cannot be ignored.
But what drives me insane is when an author slips outside of the genre they’re writing that story in. And when the cover they’ve picked is totally at odds with the story. I’m sad to say that I’m finding this a lot in Kindle Worlds stories.
So today I finished a story where the main male character is albino. Yet on the cover, his lovely female love interest is a white-blonde, and he (the albino character) has light brown hair.
That seems like such a small thing, doesn’t it? And to many readers, perhaps it is. My first reaction to any book is visual, it’s the cover that will make me want to read the cover blurb about the story. I’ve always reacted that way – the cover will attract my attention then the description will either nail it for me or have me putting the book back on the shelf. So, for me, that cover matters, it tells me a lot about the story within those covers. And when the two don’t match — I’m left with the ugly taste of feeling cheated by a story.
If you are a Contemporary Romance author who has just published their first Cozy Mystery — please research what Cozy Mystery writing sounds like, what the rules are, what the lore is — because I will know. Believe me, I will know the differences and it will affect how I react to, review your story and whether I ever buy another book by you. It does matter to keep to the genre for those readers who know and love and expect certain things from a story set in their favorite genre.
Do I sound too harsh? Perhaps. Yet I’ll not apologize for my opinion on this. To me covers matter, genre lines matter, knowing the genre you’re writing in matters.