Warning: This will be a whiny post.
1. Putting stickers on covers that don’t easily peel off. This is a minor annoyance to most of the world who enjoys the text between the covers much more than anything else. However, to the devoted book dragon, we know that this is a smear on the art that is the cover of the book. Artists put time and effort and money into making the covers. So the least the stores can do is put on stickers that won’t wreck the art. (Yes, I mean that.)
2. Making sequels a different size than the original. Again, to the general public, this isn’t a big deal. They’ll determine that there was a reason at the printing press why this decision was made, and leave it at that. They may even simply turn the book on its spine (gasp!! the horror!!) to make sure it fits onto their shelf. But, for book dragons, doing this is just asking to make us cry. (Listen up, publishers…)
3. Comparing new titles to older, unrelated publications. “…for fans of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner!” “…the next Harry Potter…” “…if you loved The Lunar Chronicles…” We’ve all seen these claims. It’s nauseating. Sorry, folks, but it is anymore.
4. Changing covers based on the country of printing. Whyyyy?? Especially when I don’t like the covers printed in my own country?!
5. Summaries on the jacket/back cover that don’t actually describe that story. Haven’t we all finished reading a book and thought, “Well, that wasn’t quite what I expected”? And we do have to wonder what was going on when whoever at the publisher wrote that blurb. Maybe they confused that title with another they’d just completed proofreading?
6. Summaries that give too much away. If I intend to read through the whole story in order to find out what happens at the end, then I don’t need the inside cover spilling the beans before I’ve even hit page 1.
7. When bookshelves aren’t adjustable. You know how those bookcases are sold in kits, where you can assemble them yourself and determine how high each shelf should be? This is brilliant and perfect, because not all books are the same size. Any company that makes non-adjustable bookcases need book dragons to storm their HR department with a list of
demands, er, design improvements.
8. When book merch is unaffordable. I am not sorry for the fact that I simply can’t afford tote bags with quotes, or mugs with character silhouettes. Would I like to own some of these things? Oh, yes. But unless stores drop their prices to something less than my grocery budget for the month, I will remain without.
9. The pricing of books. This is why I get so many new releases from the library. Since spare money is so hard to come by in my life, the thought of wasting it on a title I might not like really sticks in my craw. Aren’t we supposed to be encouraging literacy and learning — and yet, I regularly pass by the new hardcovers in Walmart for $25 and $30. These messages do not jam.
10. American-izing the Queen’s English. When a story is written by a British, Australian, Canadian or South African author, and they write it in their native dialect, leave it that way when you export it to other nations, publishers. Quit encouraging American readers to think that the whole world speaks the way you do. It’s not promoting education or tolerance, and it’s infuriating. (Sorry, but not sorry, there it is.)
Congratulations on making it to the end of the whine! Less mardy next time, I promise!