Thursday, March 8, 2012

What a disappointment

As my two or three followers know, I'm a reader of romances, and I was thrilled to get the latest Nora Roberts book from the library. I dove into it, expecting the usual heart-warming story that I've come to expect from the best-selling romance writer in the world.

The book took place in a small town in Maryland, and was about the rehabbing of a historic inn. I finished the book, and yeah, the romance part was good, but I was a little bored by all the inn construction details. I wondered if the place she described was a real town, and Google told me, yes, it's a real town and there's a real inn with the exact same name as the inn in the story, and, oh surprise surprise! It's owned by NR and her family, who rehabbed it

I feel cheated. The whole book is really a 300-page marketing piece for her inn. And there are thousands of NR fans that will happily pay the $250-300 a night to stay there, just to say they did. And walk across the street to the bookstore in the story, which is an actual bookstore of the same name, owned by NR's husband. Oh yeah, and fans can't miss the pizza place from the book, which, OMG! is a real place of the same name, coincidentally owned by NR's son and daughter-in-law.

Authors shouldn't be allowed to get away with this kind of thing. Marketing your own books, no problem. But using your status as a bestselling author to promote the many family businesses is just WRONG. I'm just glad I got the book from the library and didn't put out my hard-earned money for it. NR's publisher ought to be ashamed. As should NR herself.

Okay, rant over.


  1. Yowch. Used to be a big fan of hers... but over the last several years her writing has really lost its appeal to me. This kind of bait and switch (go for a book, get a marketing brochure) though is literary prostitution. Pimp those businesses, Nora!

  2. What makes me the maddest is that a lot of her fans will be thrilled to go there and give her more money to stay in the inn.

    1. I have no doubt. I suppose if you're that adoring of a fan though... you won't be disappointed.

  3. Interesting. I'm on the JD Robb list and those fans are leaving by the drove.

  4. I still love the JD Robbs. I like how the characters have grown and changed over 30+ books.

  5. I didn't know this about her. That is sad. I guess she feels since she has this much influence, she might as well take advantage of it. It'll always attract the groupies.

  6. Sounds like she pretty much owns the town. But still, to use what's supposed to be escapist fiction as a thinly-disguised sales pitch is just WRONG... imho. :)