I bet it happened to the most of us: we see a book blurbed by a favorite author and think it MUST be worth reading. We ask the author for their favorite reads of the year at a book signing and want to buy every single book mentioned. And maybe not most of us, but some: we stalk their goodreads shelves to see which books they rated 5 stars.
Just because a favorite author liked the book, is it rally worth reading though? Does it really fit our taste?
In general, my answer to that question would be a big no. In my opinion, liking someone’s book and their writing, doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy the same books as them. Even if I enjoy the same genre and type of books, it’s rare that I see an author whose books I adore, love the same books as me. When I take a closer look at just my top favorite authors, some of them don’t even read the same kind of books they write.
At the moment I have exactly two authors who I think have the same taste in books as me. It’s fun when you can actually ask your favorite author for book recommendations, when you can trust a book blurb by them. I see them more as an exception though and definitely not the norm, which makes me wonder why recommendations by other authors are such a big deal when we often can’t trust them anyway.
As I said before, I only actually trust two of my favorite authors with their book recommendations but there are some exceptions to that too. Sometimes I do want to read a book because a favorite author recommended it and made it seem like it’s the right book for me. That heavily depends on the kind of recommendation though.
Sometimes I wonder why author blurbs even exist. Do people really trust them? Does someone buy a book just because of another author’s blurb on the book? I’ve never done it before and that’s not even because I don’t trust them (which I don’t!) but has more to do with me not even noticing them most of the time. When I look at covers online, I never look at the small printed words (even something like “bestseller of…” often escapes me), so most of the time, I only notice author blurbs when I take a closer look when the book arrives at home. And then I’m mostly like “oh hey, author X liked this, that’s interesting.” but it doesn’t necessarily make me more excited about the book.
I couldn’t care less about author blurbs on covers and it’s definitely the last place I would look for book recommendations.
Probably my favorite kind of book recommendations by authors are those that are more personal and feel like the author really cares about the book. Hearing them fangirl over books during events and twitter is probably my favorite thing and definitely makes me excited about a book from time to time. This is also the only case where I might get interested in a book recommended by an author who usually doesn’t have the same kind of taste in books.
With authors I completely trust, it even went so far, that they talk about it on twitter and five minutes later I’ve made my order. I haven’t had any regrets yet.
I’m not going to lie, I used to go crazy about recommendations by favorite authors, wrote them all down, made lists to remember to get the books later. Over the years I realized that those are often books that I’m not REALLY interested in though. Most of them I only wanted to read because an author mentioned them. Nowadays I only trust those two favorite authors of who I know they have the same taste in books as me.
Do you trust book recommendations by your favorite author? Do you have a favorite author who has the same taste in books as you?
A big nope to question #1. It’s less that I don’t trust them, it’s just what you already mentioned: I just know that their tastes and mine differ. I don’t think I have anyone whose tasten matches mine 100%, and I don’t think I pay much attention to author recommendations in the first place. If I do stumble across some (or an author starts talking about other books during readings), the research begins but usually, they don’t end up too high on my wishlist.
Blurbs though. If you ever find an answer, please let me know because I really do not get blurbs. If anything, they get me less interested in a book if it’s an author I don’t like, or if it’s pitched as “for fans of X and Y”. Which is a pity because I already had books I thought were great and if I’d listened to my initial reaction to the blurb, I really would’ve missed out.
It’s interesting though how much authors promote each other (and in talks about diversity I often see white authors being told to promote POC authors) but then most people don’t even seem to care about what books authors promote.
Same here! I’ve pretty much lost interest in every single YA fantasy just because they all say “for fans of Sarah J Maas” XD
It should still help a little – most people (or at least most people you, or probably we, know, other demographics might react differently) may not care too much or not at all, but especially when names and titles get dropped more often, you can’t really help notice, can you? (Even in case where the author promo doesn’t interest me, it sometimes also happens that other sites mention that name/title as well and I do notice that more easily than titles I’ve never heard before.)
We should let the publishers know. xD Then again, I’m pretty sure many people see that as a reason to read that book, especially if they stick to reading offline … or just really enjoy authors that get blurbed like that. xD
Blurbs go unnoticed by me most of the time, too. I’m not even sure they’re always real. I can imagine the publisher coming up with some snazzy line and then asking the author (whose books they also publish) if it’s okay to put their name underneath it. I guess this might work with big names and readers who don’t read that many books and just browse the bookstore from time to time to end up with something from the bestseller’s list anyway.
I have never really cared for actual author’s recommendations either. I don’t know, I just don’t connect the taste in books with the writing of books even though they sound like they could be very similar for an author. Also, I often think authors are biased because the become friends. Just think of all the authors praising Cassandra Clare. Authors who’s work I appreciate and which is world’s apart from CC’s writing. They can’t REALLY think that highly of her work, can they?
Oh and now I want to know which 2 authors you trust so blindly? :)
I think I’ve seen something on blurbs before by really big names, saying something like that they don’t even read the book and just make up something that you could basically put on just any book. Definitely not always real! That’s why I look out for what authors talk about on Twitter. Like VE Schwab has a blurb on The Unhewn Throne books but before I saw that blurb, I already saw her talking about it on Twitter. So that one was definitely real :D
The two I trust are VE Schwab and Katrina Leno. And they both always talk about the books they currently love and there aren’t any author friendships involved.
I do tend to follow up the recommendations of some authors like Marie Lu, Alwyn Hamilton! They recommended so much hyped up books that actually live up to their hypes! So i really lob their recommendations! But I do follow the recommendations of bookstagrammers more! ?
I definitely listen to friends (bloggers + bookstagrammers) more too but I do love hearing from authors (I trust) too, especially because they often might know of books from their publisher (so same genre/field) that I hadn’t heard of.
After Captive Prince, no, I don’t necessarily trust recommendations by my favorite authors. I think it’s interesting to see what they’re reading, but I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to read a book just because an author I like loves it. Also, a lot of authors are friends, and that does influence their opinions about books, even if it’s unintentional.
Who’s the second author you trust?
LOL, just because of that one? You should read more of the other books Schwab recommends, there are so many good ones :P
(and I think with authors like Schwab, who just talk about their recent reads on twitter, you can tell it has nothing to do with author friendships)
Katrina Leno is the other!
I’ve read Daughter of the Forest! I can’t think of any others right now that she recommended. It’s just hard to get past someone thinking Captive Prince is not just acceptable but actually amazing. =/
Haha, that was my guess. :D
THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR!!!! Zebulon Finch, which kinda reminded me of The Monstrumologist, and The Unhewn Throne trilogy!
The Library at Mount Char is on my Kindle! I’m just waiting for Sebastian to buy the book, haha. I also have the first Unhewn Throne book on my Kindle. I didn’t realize either of those were recommendations from Schwab, though!
Ayla @ Books & Babbles
I don’t trust anyon’s recommendations if I’m honest! (Except maybe those who come from my best friend..) Simply because, when it comes to books, I’m quite difficult. I know what I like and what I really want to read, but if anyone ever recommends me anything, I’m like “I’ll check it out!” and leave it at that. (Although I do check out the ones that really spark my interest!)
I really don’t care about blurbs on books. I don’t see them when I look at covers online, and when I’m in the bookshop, I usually only buy what I really want to read (and what I’ve found online) so blurbs are actually quite useless. Also, I’m still quite new to book blogging and I haven’t read as much, so most of the time I don’t even know who the author is who blurbed the book I’m holding.
Haha, I’m actually not that different! I would never just get a book because someone says it’s good. I always read the summary and have to judge for myself. I did get books right away though, because someone recommended it and it sounded like something I would enjoy.
Blurbs really are useless.
Cait @ Paper Fury
I honestly haven’t even SEEN my favourite authors recommending many books. Nooo, wait, I see John Green recommending books a lot, but I have never once even been interested in the kind of stuff he reads.? Despite me loving his books. I think it’s interesting that a lot of authors don’t read what they write? But then I can’t talk because I do that too. haha. I read and obsess over fantasy (SURPRISE) but I write a lot of contemporary! Omg I’m so weird. ahem.
And I don’t pay attention to author blurbs either! I read a book blurbed by Laini Taylor and it was TERRIBLE and omg it makes me wonder sometimes whether authors did even like the book or if they’re just friends?! (I’m a suspicious soul…)
Well, I guess I also meant indirect recommendations, like Maggie’s list of books that inspired The Raven Cycle. Or Schwab always mentions her recent favorites on Twitter, so I just count those as recommendations “for me” XD
It’s so interesting that you (and other authors) do that! Like Patrick Ness writes these “fun” YAs and then mostly reads those adult award books I never even hear of.
Yeah, I don’t trust these blurbs either!