Show! Don’t Tell.

All writers know the mantra. As writers we must show our readers, get them to step into our main character’s shoes and walk a mile to feel what they feel, to see what they see. To become them.

So let’s look at this from the point of view of marketing our books. 📚

My pet hate has always been when someone tells me, I Must! There is no must about it. I like choices. Give me the option. If someone tells me I must see this film, I must buy this book you’ve already put a barrier between me and the product.

Reading is down to personal taste. My motto has always been You might like this if you like gothic, romance or historical novels. By adding the word might you’re leaving the choice to the reader. By using the words you will like, you’re setting them up for a disappointment. What if they buy your book because you told them, they will like it and they don’t?

As writers we know the power of words, so think carefully when selecting words to market your books. Give your readers the opportunity to make the choice for themselves. I would rather know my readers selected to read my novel because the story caught their imagination than having me force my opinions on them with, You Will Like It…. or Else!

My apologies to any writers or authors who uses this selling tactic. It’s just my pet hate. 🤷‍♀️

This ad is all Tell. How does the author know this. It’s fine to say each story has a twist. I love a story with an air of the unexpected. These are the sort of stories I write. The one thing I don’t do is tell my readers they won’t see it coming. No matter how great I think my twisted tale might be, I haven’t read every book printed so who’s to say it hasn’t been done before. My reader is the only person who can tell me if they didn’t see it coming.

How many books have you read where you’ve guessed what was going to happen next? How many have caught you out?

Just my view point, 😏my pet hate 🤨

What do you think? Do you like being told, or prefer to make your own choice? Please leave a comment in the box below, if you would like to, of course 😊

4 thoughts on “Show! Don’t Tell.

Add yours

  1. Good question, Paula. I don’t like it when reviewers tell me, “You MUST read this book!” But a blurb on the cover, a description in an ad . . . I just brush off the “must” as advertising. It neither convinces me nor dissuades me, and I know in the end I’ll make up my own mind based on the genre and the book excerpt. (I love the “look inside” feature on Amazon. I use it all the time.)

    I feel the same way about “You’ll want to read” and “You won’t see the twist coming” and so forth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you. We all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to what we read. I actually don’t like being told that I must read a particular book. Have done that in the past and have been disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone. I remember the so called scary movie Blair Witch. A must not be missed’ 🤷‍♀️Sorry but I found it laughable. The same as the book The haunting of the hill house by Shirley Jackson. Not scary to me 🤷‍♀️ It’s down to personal taste


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