I talk too much, I know. Blog entries are supposed to be short, sweet, Tweetable...
Anyway: I can't stop obsessing about the possible (not definite) disconnect between what editors think readers want and what readers do want. I think I know, but how many of my decisions are really based on that criterion, and how many of them are based on what *I* like and what I think others should like?
So, I would like to use this week's post to ask readers of all stripes to answer this question for me: What do you like to read? Which types of plot, which sub-genres, which authors, and why? If you also include details of what you do not like, I am sure that would be enlightening, too.
I'm forever arguing to anyone who'll listen that we have to do a better job of listening to readers. The challenge for me is that I can't quite separate the strands of readers from writers. So many of the most prolific Internet commentators about mystery/crime fiction are also writers (either published or aspiring). How much overlap is there between what writers want to read and what non-writing readers want to read? It's a Venn diagram, to be sure; but where do the similarities end and the differences begin?
So, please feel free to hit the "Comment" below and give your answer. I'd love to get a lot of responses to this question, so please feel free to Tweet, Retweet, Facebook, etc. In your answer, please tell me a little about yourself - are you a writer, librarian, voracious or occasional reader, industry professional, etc.? I can't guarantee these comments will cause me to change my acquisitions philosophy drastically, but they will certainly inform it.
ON ANOTHER NOTE: A while back, I wrote what turned out to be a popular post titled "For God's Sake, Buy Your Friends' Books," in which I vented about the all-too-common situation in which published writers' friends and relatives don't buy or read their books.
This week I had an interesting response to that posting. Someone wrote (I paraphrase): "Well, the reason I don't buy friends' books is - What if I don't like the book? How do I finesse that?"
My friend, the answer is simple: Buy it. If you don't like it, lie.