What Makes You Give Authors a Second Chance? (Baby, Come Back!)

This week I reviewed Thayer King’s WINNING DAWN. I read her debut novel, FRIENDS, last year and gave that a C, so I was pleasantly surprised by how very munch I liked WINNING DAWN, going so far as to give it a solid B+. This got me to to thinking about how I decide whether or not to give authors a second chance.

Well, first of all, if I’m able to get through an author’s entire book, that means she has enough storytelling skills to hold my interest. I spend at least a couple of hours each week reading samples, and you’d be surprised how many books I don’t read or switch off a few chapters in rather than stick it out to an end. The reason I’ll never give an author a one-star review is that I only review books I’ve read in full, and if I’ve read it in full, that means that it can’t be a total fail on all levels.

I also like to give authors a second chance if the novel that I didn’t particularly love or didn’t finish ¬†was a first. Sometimes authors continue to make the same mistakes over and over throughout their career, but often newer authors surprise me by showing great growth from book to book. I love to see an author getting better with each book, and if the description and sample are good, I’ll give that author a second chance — even if I didn’t love or couldn’t finish reading her first book.

At the same time, I’m less inclined to give an author a second read if she has more than ten novels under her belt. There seems to come a point with a few authors where they’re not interested in improving their craft, just making more money. You can sometimes feel their boredom coming off the page. This is a problem that pops up with traditional, e-published, and self-published authors alike, and I can’t bear to watch an author continue to go downhill like that.

However, the number one thing that makes me give an author a second chance is if she takes a big risk and does something completely different. For example, if a contemporary romance novelist decides to tackle paranormal or menage a trois or anything that’s not like her other novels that came before. I get that it’s important to serve your fanbase, but I love when I author shakes herself out of a rut by trying something different. For example, I recently download Zena Wynn’s THE QUESTION, even though she’s known for paranormal. I loved the sample and I could feel her enthusiasm for writing in a different genre.

But let me kick this question back to you. How do decide whether or not to give an author whose book you didn’t love a second chance?

Oh, and if you haven’t given my book, THE OWNER OF HIS HEART, a chance yet, please consider downloading it at Amazon.com.