Deceiving the Reader is Bad

Putting on my reader scarf for this post. Just forewarning.

Deceiving a reader is good in suspense or mystery novels. Not with reprints.

I ran across a few books this month that looked intriguing. Beautiful covers (yep, I fell for it), an author I hadn’t read before and I was excited when I sat down to read them.

And was immensely disappointed.

Found out it was a republished novel from the author’s backlist. And not just from 5 or 6 years ago. From 1989.

If it was a relatable story with vivid characters, it wouldn’t have bugged me. But this was clearly an outdated story, with un-relatable characters, completely unrealistic plot and an old writing style.

All the author did was recreate the cover and slap a new copyright on it.

This is deceitful in my opinion. Nowhere on the book or the website did this state it was a reprint. I had to find out on Goodreads afterwards (shame on me for not doing my research before I bought it) that this was a 23-year-old book.

And because I’m that kind of reader and feel deceived, I’m not buying any more of that author’s books. And have sworn off that publishing imprint entirely.

I understand an author trying to send out their backlist again… on e-pubs. With proper identification of it as such. But only if it’s relevant to this time and not outdated. An old plot or characters =  huge turnoff. It’s like picking up a ‘contemporary romance’ where the hero uses a typewriter or a massive brick-like mobile phone.

Come on. They should have at least revised the manuscript before sending it in. And shame on that editor for letting it get through without a necessary re-haul. And backlist stories shouldn’t go into reprints. Physical books. At least not series or category romances. Stick to e-pubs.

The deceit feels worse since I bought a physical book, one that takes up space on a real shelf. (Not mine- I’ll toss this sucker away). The author lost a reader for anything they do in the future because of this sneaky trick. Was it worth it?

Well, chalk this up to a lesson learned on my part. Be more careful to research before I buy. And it’s a practice I won’t participate in if I’m ever published.

One response to “Deceiving the Reader is Bad

  1. I completely understand! Of course my pet-peave is with fantasy novels.. 80% of the time, I’m fairly certain I’ve heard the story before (oh wait… I HAVE!) Today’s printed lit lacks originality =/

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