I posted this over at my daily blog, but since it's mainly about reading, I should post it here too. :)
When did we become such a society of non-risk takers? Even worse, when did we stop allowing ourselves the pleasure of being surprised by our entertainment? When did it become de rigeurto know everything about a book, movie, TV show before reading or watching it? And I'm not talking about spoilers, folks.
Just look at the fervour with which people tried to suss out the details of the latest Star Trek movie. The world was going to end if we didn't know which villain Benedict Cumberbatch was going to be portraying. And really, did the knowing make the pain of the let down of that movie any easier? And really, if you're reading spoilers etc.. about Scandal, then you're missing a HUGE treat when you watch the week's episode.
I read a lot. I follow a lot of reader blogs and author blogs. I use Twitter a lot to follow these folks too, because they're interesting and funny people for the most part. I have come to realise that these days, part of marketing a book is to put half of it out there, all over the internet, in sample chapters or previews or teasers. There's also a big deal about cover reveals (more on that later) and authors are interviewing all over about books that aren't even going to be out for months! I mean seriously! There is one series I read that the 4th book is just going to be out this week and the authors are interviewing about the following book! And this is the norm these days, not the exception.
Don't people want to be surprised any more? I don't want to know about what I'm going to be reading, that's no fun! I don't want to lay down $$ for something I already know all about. I do my best to avoid all these things, I don't read the interviews, I don't read reviews that come out before the book is available to the general public, I don't read reviews of books I know I want to purchase until after I've read the book! And as for tweeting those little snippets of your book that was published months ago, the same snippets over and over and over again? Well, I won't be buying that book. Sorry, you've turned me off any interest I may have had.
There's just too much pre-release information out there in my opinion. The surprise is gone. The delight of discovering what your favourite author has done with your favourite character while you eagerly turn page after page long after you should have been asleep, is gone. The anticipation of what you're going to see up on the big screen that will make you gasp or cry or laugh is gone. It's all so damned SAFE these days. I suppose it's a result of the internet age and ebooks and the rise of indie, small and self publishing, but, call me old-fashioned, I don't like it.
And as for covers! Let me tell you. A favourite book that I (and many others) term as a psycho-sexual thriller, that has SO much deep and violent shit in it... should NOT have a damned cover that looks like it's a new Harry Potter book!