Tag: Reader Rant

Retro Post: Should an author push their personal beliefs in their books?

Posted April 19, 2017 by Casee in Discussions | 22 Comments

Today I’m bringing you a post from 2009. Suzanne Brockmann was a big voice in romance back then. She was a big voice for gay rights. She definitely brought her voice into her books.

This was originally posted on August 25, 2009.

If you read between the lines as you’re reading, you can see that some books do reflect the author’s personal belief(s) (i.e., Political, Spiritual, etc.). I think that’s natural. I’m not an author, but I would assume that writing is very personal. So I don’t think it’s wrong if it doesn’t really impact the reader. However, after reading Hot Pursuit, I have to put my reader foot down and say enough is enough. Not that she’s going to listen to moi.

I’ve met Suzanne Brockmann several times. I’ve listened to her speak. I lurrrrve her. I’ve read her Team 16 series from the beginning. I waited forevah for Sam & Alyssa’s book to come out. I was disappointed with it, but it didn’t stop me from continuing the series. I now get her hardcover’s from the library, but I still read them. Hot Pursuit didn’t make me decide to stop reading the series. It just annoyed the ever living hell out of me.

Suz’s readers should know that one thing she is extremely passionate about is gay rights. Her dedication to her son in Hot Target made me cry. Srsly. I was thrilled when she wrote Jules’ story in All Through the Night. If any of her characters deserved a happy ending, it was Jules. Occasionally her newsletters will inform readers of certain things that pertain to gay rights. To each her/his own, right?

I started noticing it several books back. If you pulled every passage having to do with what rights gay people do/don’t have out of all the books and put it together, that would be a book by itself. The point here isn’t whether or not I agree with her. The point is that all the facts and opinions she inserts really takes away from the story. Robin (Jules’ husband) was so glad he was married to Jules because if he wasn’t and Jules was hospitalized, he couldn’t see him because he wasn’t family. They live in Massachusetts because their marriage is recognized there. On and on about what they could/couldn’t do. And if that’s not bad enough, she also brought a new character into Team Sixteen. A gay SEAL. So now she’s going to be tackling the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that the military has. It’s not the character that I protest, it’s the reason she brought the character into the series.

After reading Hot Pursuit, I also have a good idea of her political beliefs. I’m reading a fictional story. If I wanted to read a political book, I would pick one up. So while I did like the book, I was thinking about this all the way through.

What do you think? Should authors push their “agenda” into their books? When is it going too far?

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Who Really Screwed Up, Amazon or Macmillan?

Posted February 1, 2010 by Holly in Discussions | 8 Comments

Earlier this year I blogged about Why I Buy From Amazon.com despite all the nastiness floating around about them and their business practices. What it comes down to for me is convenience. I’m willing to buy from Amazon because they offer me what I need at a reasonable price with no shipping charges. So even though they screw with reviewers and have system glitches and are a big bad evil corporation, I still buy from them. Because the bottom line for me is, well, me. To quote my post from earlier this year:

I don’t care that Amazon is “taking over the world”. What I care about is getting the books I love at a reasonable price in the least amount of time possible.

For those of you not in the know about the latest SNAFU, here’s a quick breakdown of what happened:

Amazon and Macmillan are having a disagreement about ebooks and pricing. Amazon wants to continue to offer new hardcover bestsellers at $9.99 but Macmillan doesn’t want Amazon to discount their books. Amazon refuses to budge, so Macmillan refuses to allow them Kindle rights. In a power play, Amazon then refuses to sell any Macmillan books. At all. If you looked over the last day or two, no Macmillan books – including Tor and St. Martin’s Press – have a buy link at Amazon, unless it was through a third-party seller.

This is where Amazon screwed up. By taking away my ability to buy, they’ve now alienated me, the consumer. I can no longer buy the books I want in a convenient, reasonably priced manner.

But isn’t Macmillan just as guilty? By trying to force me to pay so much for an ebook, aren’t they also alienating me? I’ve been lamenting their pricing on ebooks for some time now, as I just don’t understand it. Why would I want to pay $14.00 for an ebook when the print book is $7.99? And what exactly do they hope to accomplish by pricing ebooks the way they do? Are they really that opposed to ebooks? Isn’t that rather shortsighted of them?

Personally I don’t believe Amazon should have the right to dictate the pricing of books. The $9.99 bestsellers has been a point of contention with many and I’m not sure which side of the line I fall on. I will say it makes me nervous to see one company with that much power. But it makes me just as nervous that Macmillan refuses to see that readers want ebooks, and at a reduced price. I can’t hold an ebook, lend it to a friend, transfer it or – in the case of Kindle books – own the rights to it, so why would I want to pay twice the mass market paperback price for one?

So who really screwed up? It seems to me a good share of the blame needs to land on both parties.

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