I’m never shocked (though certainly disappointed) by a negative review of one of my books. As the old saying goes, you can’t please all the people all the time. But I must admit that I am more than slightly surprised when people comment (or even post reviews) on one of my books that make me wonder if they even read it.
Case in point. One of my most recent releases, Last Chance for Justice, was a major departure from my usual fare–international intrigue, suspense, murder, persecution, human trafficking, etc. Last Chance for Justice is just a nice, easy summer read–a small-town story that’s part of a larger small town (Bloomfield) multi-author series. The book/series blurb is quite clear on that, and I was even more clear when a social network friend asked about getting a copy. I specifically told her what it was about and how is was different from what she was used to reading from me. She bought it anyway, and then complained about being disappointed at the slow pace, saying it “wasn’t what she expected” from an author known for more intense books.
May I say that’s more than slightly confusing for an author? I know that sort of thing goes with the territory, but it’s made me wonder if readers are more locked in to what they expect from a particular writer than with just reading a good story, regardless of genre. As an author who tends to cross genres (and even color outside the lines) on occasion, I’d love to hear from readers. Are you strongly genre-focused when looking for a book, more author-focused, or just looking for a good read, regardless of genre? Do you want your favorite authors to stay on point, staying within expected genres, or are you open to an occasional deviation?