My contribution to Rosie Amber's weekly Friday Five Challenge!
It's an interesting exercise for writers ~ it shows the little things that can put potential readers off that click-buy!
Anyone with a blog can join in ~ here's what you do:
IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….
1) Go to any online book supplier
2) Randomly choose a category
3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which instantly appeals
4) Read the book bio/description, and any other details
5) If there are reviews, check out a couple
6) Make an instant decision: would you BUY or PASS?
You can check out others' contributions on the #FridayFiveChallenge (click to see them!) hashtag on Twitter
This week, I put the words 'Chicago Romance' (a random choice!) into the Amazon search. The cover that attracted my eye was COULSON'S WIFE by Anna J MacIntyre (click title for link)
The cover attracted me in a kind of tongue in cheek way ~ it looks like a 1980s blockbuster (even down to the hair) and is more than a little cheesy, but I used to love those books in the late 1970s and 1980s: Lace, Kane and Abel, Jackie Collins' Chances, etc etc. I thought if it was well written it might be worth the odd bit of bath-time escapism (yes, I'm brave: I dare to read my Kindle in the bath!).
The beginning of the Coulson Empire, 1918: Mary Ellen’s father didn’t trade her for a house–exactly. Marrying the wealthy and handsome Randall Coulson is not something Mary Ellen wants to do, but being the obedient daughter she agrees to the marriage.
Randall Coulson wants Mary Ellen for one reason–to give him sons. He has no desire to form a bond of love or friendship with his young bride. His own heart is already taken.
A bittersweet story of love, lies and family secrets, taking place during a turbulent period of American history, when the perception of women and their role in society changed in one woman’s lifetime.
It's the first in a series of 5, and states that all books are stand alone - blurb is well written, brief and to the point, and interests me: American history and family intrigue - all good so far!
It's free! What's not to like? I didn't actually notice it was free until I clicked on it, by the way.
An average of 4.1* over 31 ratings. Several say that it has not been proofread properly, even down to characters' names changing. One of the most intelligently written reviews is 1*, and says that the plot is a bit thin, the characters one dimensional, etc. I looked at the profiles of 10 out of 16 reviewers who'd given it 5*. They were a little odd - in all cases but one it was the only book or one of just two books they'd reviewed, or the only book amongst a selection of reviews for other products. (One person had actually reviewed 176 books on 11 December 2014, given them all 5* and described them as either 'interesting' or 'good story' - bizarre!). Too many of the other reviews were less than complimentary.
*I just looked again and it had another 5* review saying just 'brillent'. The reviewer has posted about 50 other books today, all of which are also 'brillent'. Curiouser and curiouser...*
Would I buy or pass? Title, cover, blurb, price ~ all good until the reviews, but having read them I wouldn't even bother to download for nothing, I'm afraid. It's a shame, but I have to give this one a PASS.