Thursday, February 5, 2015


Some people may have read my recent review post on Kurt's Frontier about The Queen of the Tearling. It was a good book, but I am not going to rereview it in this post. I noticed that in the blurb, it was compared to Game of Thrones and Hunger Games. To be honest, I've never watched either of those shows, though I've heard enough about them that I know I would get addicted to them, at least for a time. Again, I am not going to talk about either show. (One more thread then I'll get to what I'm building up to. I promise.) As I use Goodreads to keep track of my TBR list, I went in last night to mark The Queen of the Tearling as read. I looked at a few of the reviews and noticed that several people took issue with the comparison to Game of Thrones and Hunger Games, up to and including giving the book a bad rating. Again, I am not going to talk about other peoples review criteria.

However, it got me thinking about people comparing their work to another work. Many reviewers have compared Price of Vengeance to Star Wars or Starship Troopers. I honestly never set out to rewrite either story. There were other tales that provided me with inspiration, true, but I like to think of Price of Vengeance as a distinct, unique work.

I can understand a reviewer, professional or casual, using another author's work as a point of reference but should the blurb really include such a comparison? I personally think that, from a marketing point of view, it would be a mistake. It indicates that either the author or publisher don't have faith in the uniqueness of their story. Maybe if you are including some reviews on the cover, it would be fine; but in your own description, I think it should be avoided.

You can read the full text of my review at Kurt's Frontier, but my feeling is that The Queen of the Tearling stood fine by itself and need no comparison. Checking the other reviews, I seems that people were set up for one thing by the comparison but received another and found themselves disappointed. In that regard, the comparison backfired.

1 comment:

  1. It's a two edged sword, but for marketing purposes (and SEO), it is beneficial to have big name comparisons. Still, I understand. You can set yourself up for ranting if your book doesn't match the suggested titles. People are funny though. If it wasn't a title they were taking issue with, they'd find something else. In the end, if the comparisons come from an outside source (other than the author or publisher), I say go with them. If not, approach with caution. You also have to remember, giving readers a point of reference can draw them in.