It’s been a busy weekend, and I didn’t have time to draft the post I wanted for today, so instead let’s talk about prejudice. I’m not talking racial, religious, or sexual prejudice but reader prejudice.

Have you ever thought about your prejudices as a reader? I certainly have. While some cliches don’t bother me, I don’t like happily ever afters, cheerful/feisty heroines, or—heaven help me—bad boys. You know the guys I mean, the nasty ones with the soft centers just ripe for redemption by the plucky heroine?

But that’s me. For other readers, a spunky protagonist, a bad boy ready for the saving, and a plot that comes wrapped-up in a tidy bow constitutes the perfect story.

Snide&PrejA negative review from me, based on the prejudices above, could be just the impetus needed to get Lisa, who loves a traditional romance, to run out and buy the book. This is just one of the ways a thoughtful, honest review can sell a novel, but that was last week’s topic. Let’s get back to prejudice.

When I used to write reviews, I gave each book five stars at the outset, taking away for anything I found lacking or weak. Series books, however, (with the exception of book one) started out with only three stars. Should the plot transcended the series formula and the protagonist have a true character arc, the book might creep from three to four. Five stars would be rare indeed. I can think of only one mid-series book that I’ve ever given five stars.

So, is it fair to handicap series books by starting them out at three stars? I think so, as long as the reviewer—in this case me—states his or her prejudices up front.

What about you?
Have you ever thought about your reader prejudices?
We all have them.

What are yours?

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