The Guardian’s article written by a reader report writer – the person who reads books for evaluation by a publishing house – gave me a LOT to chew on.
1. I hadn’t realized but am not surprised that American places market well overseas but not in the reverse – people in Europe, as the article says, will read about divorce in northern Jersey, but people in America will not read about divorce in the Jersey Islands.
Well, except me, that is. I’d love to read about anything set in the Jersey Islands. Or more specifically, romance in any interesting locale, especially those that speak English but aren’t England or the US. Canada! Why aren’t there more romances set in Canada?
2. English is a dominant language that beats down other languages. It’s true. JaneDrew’s signature file made me giggle so hard I have to share it: English: A language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages, and rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary. HA! And not only is English a linguistic bully but it’s a cultural bully on the international book marketplace, too. Even I fall prey to it – I just said I wanted to read romances set in other locales besides London and the US where the language is English.
This isn’t because I have some bias against other languages; it’s merely that writing in English when the setting and everything around it are in another language becomes hard to present with any degree of accuracy without becoming annoying.
3. This is the part that really tickled my brain: report readers have an opportunity to potentially keep books off the shelves. Whoa. I had no idea. So who is Cassie Edwards’ report reader, or is she such a guaranteed sell that she doesn’t have one? Are there report readers for romance? How does that work? Are you one?