Nadia Lee | NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary Romance » Blog Archive » Romance & SFF Readers Don’t Care About Cover Design or Good Writing?
Romance & SFF Readers Don’t Care About Cover Design or Good Writing?

From “The Amazon Effect” written by Steve Wasserman:

But as Amazon’s six other publishing imprints (Montlake Romance, AmazonCrossing, Thomas & Mercer, 47North, Amazon Encore, The Domino Project) have discovered, in certain genres (romance, science fiction and fantasy) formerly relegated to the moribund mass-market paperback, readers care not a whit about cover design or even good writing, and have no attachment at all to the book as object. Like addicts, they just want their fix at the lowest possible price, and Amazon is happy to be their online dealer.

As a romance writer, I find the comment offensive.

As a reader of romance, fantasy and SF, I find the assertion that I don’t care about cover or writing at all doubly offensive. What am I? A drug addict desperate for the cheapest dope I can find regardless of the quality?

I really hope it reflects the personal belief of Steve Wasserman, not other publishing professionals he’s interviewed for the article. Otherwise, publishing’s in trouble, not because of Amazon, but because they don’t respect their readers.

2 comments to “Romance & SFF Readers Don’t Care About Cover Design or Good Writing?”

  1. Stella (Ex Libris)
    · June 7th, 2012 at 11:23 pm · Link

    Nadia, as a reader (I wouldn’t even limit myself to only romance as I read many other genres from urban fantasy to thrillers and classic) I find the above statement very offensive as well. I find it patronizing and belittling the readers/writers of the mentioned genres, and completely untrue. I think all readers want to read a good story, just subjective tastes might vary on what they deem good writing. But even “when I need my fix” of romantic fiction if the book is not well written, the characterisation is too flat, the narrative bumpy, full of typos and grammatical errors (just to mention a few problems one might encounter) I don’t force myself to read it until the end. There are so amny great books why suffer through one that I doN’t enjoy. Horrible statement and I couldn’t disagree more! Oh and don’t even start me on the cover comment! Covers matter! We DO judge a book by its cover and when a blurb sounds interesting if I take a look at the cover and it repulses me I’ll skip the book. Covers are readers’ first impression of the book, and they DO matter, no matter what genre one reads.

  2. Nadia Lee
    · June 17th, 2012 at 4:42 pm · Link

    @Stella (Ex Libris): I agree. I used to not DNF, but these days I DNF books that I just can’t bother to finish. Life’s too short to waste on bad books, and there are so many great titles out there. I have hundreds of books I haven’t read on my Kindle, and I know I may never have enough time to read them all. My time’s too precious to waste on crappy writing or poorly edited dreck.

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