Saturday, August 31, 2013

The old bait and switch OR deliberately mislabeling a book's genre #amreading #amwriting

I truly mean no disrespect to Christians. We are all entitled to our beliefs and I respect yours. In fact if you've been reading my blog for awhile you will know that I recently interviewed Christian author Taylor Hohulin about his novel, Alpha, and the conflicts between religious beliefs and writing
fiction. I really respect his take on the situation.

That said, however, there is something wrong when you mislabel a book in hopes of converting nonbelievers to your religion.

There is a book (I shall not name the book or author in this post) that has been discussed quite a bit lately by some of my blogger friends. This book has been marketed as a paranormal/fantasy novel.

In reality it is Christian fiction - heavy on the "come to Jesus" indoctrination.

I have not read this book, and doubt the author would ever ask me to because my review policy clearly states I don't like Christian fiction. But two of my friends were asked to read it. They scored it relatively highly because it is apparently pretty well written, yet they were taken aback by the message and the misidentified genre.

They asked the author about it - about why she hadn't labeled it as Christian fiction. Her response was that if she had labeled it Christian fiction, it would be read by Christians.

Instead, by labeling it paranormal/fantasy she would reach the unconverted and hopefully convert them to Christianity.

What? Seriously - what?

My friends told her that what she was doing was wrong  - that readers of paranormal/fantasy books weren't looking for conversion.

She laughed at them. She cackled all the way to the church (and the bank).

Now, had I been the reader of her book, I would have scored it low and blasted it for the bait and switch move that it is, but my friends are nicer than I am, and they didn't.

Abites, how do you feel about reading a book that has it's genre deliberately mislabeled? Have you had any similar experiences? Would you rate it based on the writing? Or the deception?


  1. This would instantly piss me off and a bad review would be forthcoming also I am not weak minded and could not be swayed to believe anything just because it was snuck into a book. I could not be converted to be a serial killer because someone labeled a slasher book a mystery nor would I turn into a big romantic girl based on a chick lit book that was labeled horror or any other genre. Its absurd and as a reader offensive I like the books I like and someone messing with me like that would make me wanna smack someone.

    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels that way Jess. I have big problems with people who use manipulation and mind games. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. I would have given few stars, and written up a very negative review, because I dislike being preached at in books in general. I recently read a book that was marketed as dystopian YA, and there was a whole lot of cliche nonsense about how teenagers are stupid by nature, don't understand right from wrong, and they really should defer to adults. I'm years past my teenage-hood, but reading an author lecture her audience about their assumed morality just left a bad taste in my mouth. Having to DENY the core of your message is Christian because you know people don't agree, but you think they're too stupid to notice if you hide it properly is arrogant and disrespectful. This author obviously thinks very little of non-Christians, and if that's her intended audience, her audience is going to shrink pretty fast.

    1. I would have thought that would be the case, yet this book has received many 4 and 5 star reviews. Maybe most of the people who have reviewed it are Christian? I agree with you though. I too find it disrespectful, although there is a more appropriate (to how I feel) word that is on the tip of my tongue. Hmmm. Thanks for sharing your opinion Ally.