Thursday, March 24, 2011

Frustrating Reading

The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practised at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness. ~Holbrook Jackson

So lately, I've really been trying to support smaller presses and ePresses. But, I gotta tell you, I haven't been overly impressed (well, except for Carina Press -- everything I've read from them so far has been great!).

These are the things I've seen from other small presses who shall remain nameless:

* A short story that spent at least the first seven pages describing the town in which the heroine worked. I say "at least", because after seven pages I gave up and deleted the book off my Nook.

* A short, paranormal story that spent at least the first ten pages using odd, short vignettes to tell what might be going on (I say "might" because even the heroine thought she might be dreaming). They were about 300 words long, hopped around in time and were so confusing they frustrated me. And again, I say "at least" the first ten pages, because after ten I gave up and deleted it from my Nook.

* A short paranormal story wherein the heroine falls in love with the hero (who's a ghost, yet oddly corporeal in that he can do things like carry wood, cook meals and start a fire) before she even carries on a complete conversation with him. I'll be honest, when I saw the words, "She was in love." I shut the document and deleted it from my Nook. That wasn't the only issue, but I'd managed to put aside the rest to see if the story ever got better. It didn't, and the love thing was the straw that broke the camel's back.

* A short cozy mystery where the heroine sees a man -- one she proclaimed "a good friend" but who had apparently died five years earlier -- in a public venue. He sees her and runs off. She does nothing. Goes home. Goes to bed. Gets up the next morning and goes to work. The only thought pertaining to the fact that her "good friend" had come back from the dead was that it wasn't her business. Maybe it's me, but I found that so incredibly unrealistic that I ... yes... closed the document and deleted it from my Nook.

These were from four different publishers, two of whom I have good author friends published with. It makes me crazy, because I KNOW there are good stories from small presses out there, but to have to shovel through so much crap is both annoying and costly. I have one more story from a small press on my Nook to start. I found reviews on this one, though, from sites I respect including Dear Author, who gave it an A-. I have high hopes.

Who has stories from small presses they can recommend to me? I've been on a romantic suspense and parormal romance kick lately (but please no shifter stories where the H/H are "mates" and destined to be together... that trope drives me wonky).


You Are Old Fashioned

You are a quiet and peaceful person. You always think before you talk.

You are reserved about expressing your true self. You need to know someone a long time before you open up.

You are highly principled in your actions. You have an ethical code that you live by.

You are thought to be a perfectionist. You hold yourself to high standards.

HAHAHAHA... that's SO right, except for the "peaceful" part. All that from a door?



Dru said...

I haven't read too many books from small presses lately. I am downloading a lot of new-to-me authors e-books and the few that I've read have been good.

re quiz: I picked the same door and it is 75% accurate.

It's lightly snowing here - so far I saw an inch on the ground.

Have a good day.

Michele said...

Post it now!

You Are Outgoing
You have a large social circle, and you always have room for more friends. Friendship is important to you.
You are very sociable and talkative. You are quite the charmer.

You've never had a problem getting dates, which is a good thing. You like to have a partner.
You are an artistic and creative person. You embrace every change that life brings - you love excitement.

Well, I might be a tad creative and I do like some excitement but the rest? Ha! No where close.

No snow at ALL - flakes sure but nothing sticking. Love it!

Michele said...

oh wait, friendships are important? yeah, I missed that... I agree with that. .. Should have had more coffee before I read.

And I can't comment on the small epubs - I have enough trouble keeping up with the ones I know now. :-)

Angelina Rain said...

What were those small presses? Sometimes books can be overly detailed because that’s the author’s/editor’s writing style. I’ve read many Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, and Stephen King books that I couldn’t even finish because the details were just too much for my taste. I don’t think the publisher should be ruled out because of a few bad books or authors. Every publisher puts out crap occasionally. And one person’s trash is another one’s treasure. I recently read a book that was a mega bestseller at this one publisher’s house for the last year or so, and honestly I wasn’t impressed by it. Yet, they had a book that never got near their bestsellers list, but I absolutely adored it.

However, there are some small presses that should be avoided. Read over their submission guidelines before you buy the book. You’ll be surprised at the red flags you could find that will turn you off from that publisher. I’m stumbled across statements like these: Please submit a polished manuscript because we don’t provide editors, please provide your own cover art, please be ready to promote your own book as we don’t have a promotion budget, Our acceptance rate is very high (read between the lines, they accept everything), we are not a vanity publisher (yet they ask you to provide your own editor and cover art, publish your book through amazon’s self publish service, and take 70 percent of your royalties. To me, that’s a vanity publisher in sheep’s clothing). Another red flag I found that could indicate a bad publisher is when they don’t sell the books through their site. They tell you to buy their books through Amazon, but they don’t even link back. I noticed that’s a good indication they are pushing out trash. Also, if the publisher’s web address is, that’s a good indication they publish horrible writing. Oddly enough, most of these examples came from the same publishing house. I stumbled across them after I read one very horrible book with horrible editing and wanted to see who published it.

Brandy said...

You've described why I rarely buy an ebook from a small pub.. If I do purchase an ebook it's usually from a well known publishing house and/or author.

Hope you have a good day!

Tori Lennox said...

Oh my gosh, those stories would drive me nuts too.