I’ve also begun to wonder if there’s a trend for unlikeable and unrelatable characters. I’ve discovered so many titles where my primary reaction is “why should I care?” About the characters or the story. Sometimes the writing can get me to The End, but it’s a tedious process ending in ultimate disappointment.
It’s easy to understand why readers return to their same favorite authors, anxiously awaiting their next book. It’s the hope of a guaranteed good book. The same for series. We return to them again and again because we’ve found comfort in the characters and the stories.
Sometimes I wish I wrote series like that, but my series are connected stand-alones. They have something in common, often the setting, and characters that are somehow connected to each other. But the similarity in the stories mostly ends there. Except I try to write good stories. I don’t want readers to be disappointed because I know how it feels to read disappointing books.
While some other authors have been getting rich off mediocre stories and series, I’ve been working on my craft with the goal of creating memorable books.
There are also authors operating on the strength of their name who appear to be phoning it in. Books I’m convinced must be self-published and/or poorly edited are actually the products of major publishing houses. Which tells you how much they care about decent editing.
As a self-published author I pay for editing. I pay for everything that goes in to getting my books to market. Because I care about what kind of product I’m offering. Sadly, not all authors and publishers can say the same.
My new marketing mantra is “Remarkable Romance for the Discerning Reader.”