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Another end of series evaluation

Over on the Black Gate blog, Peadar O’ Guillin writes about the reason his series failed to find a readership. I figured since my own blog post about the failure of the Twenty Palaces series remains the most popular post on this site, you guys might be interested in his story, too.

One thing I’d add: that title isn’t doing the book any favors. The more involved I become in books, the more important titles seem.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
FWIW, on the Internet certainly, the general belief amongst professional bloggers is that the headline on an article governs about 70% of whether or not it gets readers.

Copywriters agree - indeed, John Caples quotes studies showing 50% to 75% of any advertisment's success (and we can probably class "book cover" or "placement in bookshop" under "advertisment" here) is dependent on the headline, and nothing else.
Dec. 1st, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
I knew the effect was significant, but I didn't realize it was so much.

I will say that I'm particularly aware of the fact that the subject headers on my posts are what appears on Twitter, so they have to be clear and intriguing.
Dec. 1st, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
HOW I wish Black Gate didn't insist in doing their blog in that eye-killing blue on black. Two seconds and my head pangs.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
I'm with you there. It's a really terrible system.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 11:03 am (UTC)
So from what I'm getting here, a lot of people were grossed out by his book because it had detailed descriptions of cannibalism? I thought this was going to be about something more cringe-worthy like incest or something. Heck, cannibalism just makes me want to pick up the book out of curiosity.

Besides, just because you end up cringing a little bit doesn't mean you need to dump the book altogether. You might miss out one some awesome stuff otherwise. I'm currently reading a novel that's made me feel grossed out quite a few times, but I'm still hanging in there because the universe is interesting.

Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
There were two lessons I learned in the 80's: Dancing is not nearly as awful as everyone told me it would be and that I never want to read gross shit again.

So much crappy 80's horror turned to the gross out for its effect that it soured me on the genre to this day, and I'm not the only one. Even really terrific books like PERDIDO STREET STATION get set aside because I don't care to be nauseated by me entertainments.

So yeah, it's a barrier for a lot of people.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
Also, his name is difficult. Under 'O' or under 'G'? Is this one of those tricky Irish names that is pronounced in some way utterly unrelated to its spelling? Will I sound silly trying to ask the bookshop assistant for the book? These are minor but genuine considerations.

I'd hesitate to read a book about cannibals too, on the assumption that this was horror of the disgusting kind.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
The mention of nano-whatevers suggest science fiction, but the word cannibalism looms large, doesn't it?

As for the name, he may have to change it now anyway, unfortunately for him.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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