Friday, February 11, 2011

Books and Burritos

There is a Mexican restaurant here that boasts the best burritos in town (pretty sure you have one of these wherever you live too). My husband agrees with their claim. He talked about this place for weeks and finally it worked out for us to go together. I won’t say I was excited about the burritos, but I was glad to give them a try based on his experience and, let’s face it, who doesn’t hope to find the best they’ve ever had somewhere? The best is a pretty big order, of course, but hey, if I was about to discover burrito nirvana, I was okay with that.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Not only was it not burrito nirvana—it was more like burrito-ghetto.

I couldn’t believe my husband had raved about them. “What do you like about these?” I asked. “Everything”. He was shocked I didn’t like them. So, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be having these burritos again. However, I wasn’t completely opposed to coming back to the restaurant. I’d just try something else. The enchiladas, the tacos—there were lots of choices.

We haven’t been back yet, but this past week got me thinking—how many tries would I give this place? If the fajitas are bad would I go back for tostadas? If they’re bad would I try the tacos?

Books got me thinking about these burritos this week. Not just any books, but my books. I was given a chance for a free giveaway for the Kindle and nook of my first Bradford book, Just Right. This was a great opportunity. It gets the book into new hands (obviously those downloading likely don’t already have it) and gets my name out there with new readers.

However, as with anything, there are pros and cons. The pros—great reviews, reader e-mails, new sales for the next two books, new followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook. Dare I say I have some new fans? So there I was coasting along thinking this is the best thing to ever happen to me and then suddenly—bam!—a bad burrito. A two star review on Amazon. A reader who *gasp* didn’t like my book.

So yeah, okay, I pouted a little. I re-read all the *nice* things people had said. I reassured myself that she was just crazy, or drunk, or someone who clearly had no taste whatsoever.

Then I realized— she and her review aren’t the bad burrito in this scenario. My book is.

I don’t mean that I think my book is bad or equal to the bad burritos my husband loves but—it’s not going to be for everyone. I won’t be everyone’s favorite author (I know, it was a shock to me too). And you know what else? It’s okay. Though I don’t care for those burritos, my husband loves them and will go back again and again.

Of course, I hope this woman doesn’t look at this “burrito” as a reason to not try my other offerings. Maybe I’ll write a chimichanga that will really do it for her.

And maybe not. Maybe she’ll never come back. Or maybe the chimi won’t be her taste either. And that’s okay too. ‘Cuz there’s a great burger joint down the street that would love to be her favorite place.

So here’s what I’ve learned from all of this:
1. My long-held belief that enchiladas are superior to burritos has been proven true once again.
2. I’m still glad I had the chance to do the free give-away
3. I will never *like* two star reviews (and will likely always pout after getting one)
4. Even Big Name Authors (even Nora! Shhh!) get two star reviews
5. I’m a needy enough person that I looked to see if Big Name Authors have two star reviews too

Incidentally, yes you can still get Just Right for FREE at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for another few days.

Oh and I'm thrilled that it stayed in the top ten for over a week and that there are 8 five-star reviews and only 1 two-star. But if any of you would like to stop over there and say something nice I would mind ;)

So, how many chances do you give a new-to-you author? Or a mexican restaurant for that matter?


Meg Benjamin said...

I think it depends on my reaction to the author. If it's just "ho-hum this is sort of dull" I might try another book just to see if it picks up. But if it's, "good lord, I don't even want to finish this thing," then no, I probably won't. But there are authors I've come back to for a second try who have turned out to be pretty good. And, may I say, kudos on your attitude. I'm still grinding my teeth over some of my reviews!

PG Forte said...

Another great analogy! The bad burrito--love it. It's so true, too.

I don't really have an answer for how many chances I'd give an author whose book I didn't like. It really depends on so many factors--mostly having to do with what I didn't like about the book, or why I picked it up in the first place.

I've read multiple books by authors whose writing style I can't stand. It's kind of like watching a train wreck, I guess. Sometimes I just can't help myself.

Mexican restaurants though, that's a different story. I'm much more picky about them!

delitealex said...

There isn't a set amount of chances I'd give. There was a vampire series that everyone raved about (I was so into vamp stories then) I was so excited to try but couldn't get into it. I tried again later still couldn't get into it never finished it. Later they came out with a shifter series (at that time I was less into vamps and loving the shifters)I could read it but wasn't interested in going further.

All that to say it depends I guess if they wrote another series about the fae (or angel etc) I'd probably would try it.

I've had a bad experience with a burrito that put me off of them I still love Mexican food but burritos not so much.

Kinsey Holley said...

Burritos are the only Mexican food I don't like....

If I like an author's writing style, but the subject or plot or genre's just not doing it for me, I'll give the author another shot in another genre or story. If it's the actual writing that I don't like, then I'm usually one and done.

tiaclare said...

Don't worry about the two star reviews. I will have to change my "user name" on Amazon before reviewing, can't have my pastor spying on me. Ha ha.

My husband is an ER doctor, and while I hope things won't get that wild in his ER, I can totally understand why the characters would want to act out. You gave a good characterization of both Ben and Jessica. It was actually inspiring to read that they cared so much about the patients. Perhaps that was unrealistic, but unrealistically good.

Most doctors and soldiers I know compartmentalize. But one wonders what happens when the compartments burst. I'm writing my first novel on a Biblical character so obviously I cannot include the explicit hot stuff like you. But... I can understand compartmentalization and going all the way to the edge or off.

Chris Noelle said...

Well, no worries.... I just finished it, and I have to say, it's one of my favorites! Although a few more naughty scenes for these too wouldn't t hurt, I loved the waiting game. I also so appreciated the character build-up, and the moral tones throughout. Some of my friends beg me for authors that aren't too raunchy, and now I can share one! Thanks Erin!