6 comments on “Bookish Buzzwords

  1. I guess for me, it depends on the genre. My Urban Fantasy buzzwords could be, gritty, magical and world building. However for romance it would be funny, sweet and sexy. Buzzwords are interesting aren’t they? Do you ever feel led astray? I do!

    • You’re quite right; they don’t work out like expected every time, that’s for sure! I’m definitely a lot more likely to pick something up based on buzzwords I like than I am based on comparisons to other books though (another popular technique used to try and lure us in). There are only so many times I can get excited when I hear a thriller being described as ‘the next Gone Girl’ or every fantasy story as being ‘for fans of Harry Potter’ 😛

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. This is a great topic. Mine are pretty similar to yours – I think I tend to go for anything that uses ‘dark,’ ‘atmospheric,’ ‘gothic,’ etc, and prose that’s described as ‘lyrical’ or ‘evocative.’ I also definitely get pulled in by mentions of Greek mythology. Also certain locations. Ireland and China always get me. There are also ones I always avoid: basically any mention of ‘heartwarming’ and its synonyms. I definitely veer toward the depressing in my fiction.

    re: comparing books to other books, I get so frustrated with this marketing technique, because as you said, it’s just the same books being cited over and over. Everything’s either the new Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, Harry Potter, Room, Hunger Games, etc. What’s frustrating is that it obviously works, because they keep doing it! ‘Gone Girl-esque’ should honestly be its own genre at this point.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one who actively veers away from happy, lighter fiction and opts for darker tales instead.

      And I’m so with you on ‘Gone Girl-esque’. The comparison has been done so many times that it just feels redundant to me now. I’d much rather publishers tried to tell me why a book or author was unique, innovative and exciting rather than the ways they felt the same to existing works… I’ve always found it odd, but like you said, they wouldn’t keep doing it if it didn’t lead to sales.

      • You are not alone! Honestly the most frequent recommendation I get is ‘this was really depressing, you’ll love it, Rachel.’

        And I agree completely, what’s the point of reading the same story over and over? It often backfires on the book, too, I’ve lost track of the number of reviews I’ve read that have said ‘this book claims to be the next Gone Girl, but it doesn’t live up.’ Well, no, the book isn’t claiming to be anything, and it’s not fair to hold it up to a standard that was imposed by a marketing team that’s just trying to sell copies however they can. The book is trying to be its own thing, and we should respect and work with that. I guess that’s where buzz words come in as a handy alternative – honestly this is something I’d never really given much thought to, but now that I’m thinking of what factors lead me to pick books up, it’s often the buzz words that get me more than the summaries.

        • I totally agree, and I think that’s exactly why buzzwords appeal to me more than publishers notes or comparisons. The former aim to tell us what a story is actually like, whilst the latter only really tell us who the publishers want to target in their marketing.

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