Sunday, January 12, 2014


Imagine this. A close friend, one who knows how much you love a good mystery, has told you about a recently released movie. "It's so suspenseful," she tells you, "and you'll never guess the ending. You have GOT to see it!" You decide to go and you're really looking forward to it.

But, while you're standing in line to buy your ticket, you hear a woman who is leaving the theater say to her companion, "I never would've guessed the wife did it."

How do you feel? Did the woman just ruin the movie for you? After all, figuring out whodunnit in a mystery is a big part of its allure. Will you still buy that ticket?

The same situation can apply to buying a book. You go to Amazon, type in the name of the book your friend recommended and you read a few of the reviews. How would you feel if one of the reviewers told you who the killer was? I've seen this happen a couple of times recently and, in my opinion, it's a big no-no!

Thankfully, most readers who review books know better than to spoil the ending for potential readers by giving away the end of a mystery novel and/or revealing the identity of the killer. But, evidently, like the woman in the theater, some people don't stop to think before they talk - or type.

Writers work very hard to produce and promote their novels. We want people to buy our books, not just for monetary reasons (only a few top authors make “that kind” of money), but because we wouldn’t have written the book in the first place if we didn’t feel that we had something important to share.

And, of course, we want readers to review our books because reviews draw attention to them. As with anything else in life, some people will love our book, some will like our book and some will not do either. We’re going to get a wide variety of reviews and we have to learn to take the negative with the positive.

I personally don't believe in writing negative reviews; if I don’t like a book, I don’t review it. That doesn't mean it's not a good book, just that it's not for me. But everyone has their own opinion and they should be allowed to express it, if they choose. However, no one should have the right to give away the ending of a book, thus ruining it for some readers and discouraging others from buying it.

As an author, has this ever happened to you? 
As a reader, would you still buy the book if you already knew the ending?