Thursday, January 30, 2014

On My Mind (1)

On My Mind is a new feature here at To Each Their Own Reviews. Every other Thursday, I'm blogging my opinion about something book-related.

This week: Re-releases!

I'm sure this has been going on for ages, but I've become particularly conscious in the last year of the habit of re-releasing an author's early work with updated covers.

Now, I can understand if you move to a new publisher - or if you've self-published and are picked up by a publisher and the situation is such that you can put out your book with more marketing and support behind it. Then, it makes sense to re-release something. And I have no problems at all if it's something released recently - say in the last decade or so - and especially if it's clear that this isn't the first time in print.

That all said, I've noticed this trend in romance books in particular: I pick up a book thinking it's a new or recent release from an author - I'm looking at you, Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz - then settle in with it a few days later only to discover that the writing is not as good as I would expect from them or that the romance is so very... 1980s/early 1990s. You can tell. Romances written then feature alpha males and women who cower or else are forced into submission by their circumstances. This shouldn't be confused with the current BDSM trend, there's just... a big difference here.

And don't get me wrong, I read a ton of, for example, Johanna Lindsey, who was writing wonderfully popular things during this period of time. Looking back, the stories I do remember had the male in a superior position and the woman boxed in by rules and his greater strength and so on, though exceptions were usually made because the guy always was in love, somewhere deep down inside.

Anyways, while I'll revisit some of the books I have the fondest memories of, in no way do I want to embark on new journeys with this type of book. Plus, because these are from the very start of these authors' careers, the writing tends to be not as good as anything currently being written by them. 

Ultimately, I find it frustrating to think I'm getting a new story, and instead be reading something that is simply not.

What's your take on re-releases, particularly from early careers?

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