metteharrison (metteharrison) wrote,

How to Turn Professional Book People Off Reading Your Book

1. Start with a comparison to Harry Potter, Twilight, or The Hunger Games. (If you want to do a comparison, try something a little less well-known and that has slightly less ambitious stats.)

2. Constantly talk about yourself and your own books on panels or in every venue in which you have a chance to “push” your own agenda. Seriously, the most annoying writers in the world are the ones whose only purpose in life is to talk about themselves and their own books.

3. Give a play by play of your entire novel. “And then this happened. And then they did this. And then this. And then they had to really think and they did this …” (I have already turned off my brain.)

4. Complain about how there aren’t any “good books” in the field. Really? Is that likely? Or perhaps you are not looking very hard.

5. Express nostalgia for the “good, old days” when books were so much better (thus proving you have not read anything new in the last 20 years).

6. Talk about how your book is based on fanfic, D&D or other role-playing game. It might be true, but I wouldn’t play this up. It should be good enough to stand on its own without that background information.

7. Complain that you couldn’t break in to NY publishing because you didn’t know anyone. Complaining probably never makes you look good as a writer, but this one is something that makes you sound like you expect something for nothing.

8. Mock potential readers. Why should anyone read you if you’re disdainful of them? And mostly, good writing comes from a place of love, not a place of hate.

9. Reveal sexism while simultaneously pitching to female readers. See above.

10. Tell every detail of world-building and cool magic in your book up front. This is so boring. You think it’s interesting, but it’s not. It may be interesting in your book. I really hope it is for the characters, but stripped from that narrative context, it is yawningly dull!

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