What Turns Readers Off?

By: Marie Force

I was talking to an author friend recently and an interesting topic came up. What makes a reader turn against an author they once loved and stop buying their books? I wasn’t sure what the answer was so I figured I’d bring it to the hive mind in one of my author groups! I asked them, What turns you off an author you once loved? **NO NAMES please if you are talking about specific authors.**

As you will see below, their answers were many and varied. A few themes came up repeatedly:

  • An author gets overly political in public spaces where readers are or in their books by espousing a certain political agenda
  • An author’s voice, tone, genre or storytelling changes dramatically
  • An author becomes too predictable
  • An author fails to finish ongoing storylines before starting something new or has long delays between books
  • An author fails to properly edit their books for grammar, typos, continuity, etc.
  • An author stops caring about his or her readers
  • An author gets popular and raises their prices significantly

These were just a few of the more prominent themes you’ll see in the complete listing below of the replies from more than 300 readers. I chimed in a few times in defense of authors who’d love to be writing the stories their readers want, if only the muse would cooperate. I reminded them that creativity isn’t something that can be turned on and off or directed where we most want it to be. We had some great discussions about that aspect of this business.

I pointed out, for instance, that sometimes the audio narrator we most want for a certain book or series isn’t available when we need them, forcing us to choose between waiting for that narrator or having an audiobook available on release day. I found it interesting that one reader used a series of mine as an example of something she hated in audio but loved in ebook format, proving that the narrators make or break the experience for each individual listener.

I learned that readers’ tastes change and as much as they love a genre today, tomorrow they can’t get into it, which has them leaving behind authors they once loved.

We’ll all see something of ourselves or our writing in these comments but try not to take them too personally. Not all books/series/authors are for all readers, and this feedback is reflective of that reality. I edited out comments that I felt would easily identify an author or a series or a book. If I missed anything on that front, I apologize in advance. The oversight is certainly not intentional. I’ve also lightly edited some comments for typos or clarity. Otherwise, this is the list of comments received, in the order in which they appeared.

  • Maybe they get really political…and by that I mean degrade people who have different political ideas. I have seen that.
  • The only author I’ve walked away from, and I was a serious addict, became very political in her books and although she claims to champion all women, her Twitter posts started taking digs against women who were of a different political party. I respect differing opinions but don’t want politics shoved down my throat in a book I read for enjoyment. I also can’t respect someone who claims to love all women regardless of color, religion, etc. etc. but not political views. Smacks of total hypocrisy to me…
  • The only time I’ve shut an author off was if I’ve felt like it was the same story with different names. Which is a big deal because a lot of time I can reread a book and forget stuff. 
  • One author I got where I could predict her endings…quit reading her…
  • When you suddenly get banned from reviewing on Amazon and the author you have read and reviewed ARCS for over 10 years “says sorry if you can’t review on Amazon, you can no longer get my ARCS.”
  • I wouldn’t say I am turned off by the author, but I like to keep all my ebooks on iBooks. When books are only released on Kindle I don’t buy them unless they come to iBooks. I know why authors do it, but it is still frustrating. I have a series I want to read, and it will slowly be released on other platforms soon and I have waited at least two years for it.
  • If a series starts out at all retailers then goes exclusively to Amazon, I’m done. Books don’t have to stay in Kindle forever. It would be nice if authors release the books to other vendors even if only for a couple weeks for those of us that wish to spend our hard-earned $$$ to other bookstores. Other authors do that and email their newsletter letting their readers know. I don’t believe in supporting the Amazon monopoly.
  • I am reading a series right now and I am getting frustrated at how they end them. They will end with like almost a cliffhanger or not close out the book it seems. And then go on to the next book and say absolutely nothing about the character in the book before. And it is set in the same small town. Lol. I wanna know if the main character from the book had her baby and what it was!!! Or if their books are starting to kind of be the same if that makes sense.
  • I have a couple. One took one of my favorite series and started another series which I wasn’t a fan of and the other had some Facebook posts that kind of made me think of them differently and unfortunately not in a good way.
  • After a while all the books sounded alike. Same age gaps between characters and just about the same plot.
  • The only time I have walked away was when an author made me feel like readers don’t matter anymore.
  • A few authors turned me off during the election. They went overboard with comments on Twitter. Everyone has a right to their own opinions but, it’s how you express it. If an author changes direction moves from fantasy to horror….and the change is to a genre I don’t read. Or if the books are the same…same characters, same plot….
  • When the author becomes rude on social media to her readers. There’s no need to be rude on someone’s opinion of their book. Especially if the opinion was respectfully stated.
  • I love a RomCom, however if the author starts veering into stuff that’s more idiotic than fun, I quit reading.
  • If a writer runs out of plots or there is just no difference in the books, that might turn a reader off. If they buy the digital copy and the cost is about the same as the hard copy, that might turn off a reader. There are so many scenarios on this topic.
  • I’ve “gone off” an author when I realized I prefer love romance and fun rather than gangsters and murder.
  • There was one author I loved her stories but then I was turned off when she changed the way she wrote.
  • I’ve left an author when books become formulaic, and I know what’s going to happen too early in the book and when authors become preachy.
  • Every book sounding basically the same with different couple names. 
  • If it is a series I have been following and there are too many continuity blips. I know that a world can get complex, but they should be picked up before the book is published.
  • Sometimes my tastes change. I may not be as interested in a genre as I was before. Example I used to read thrillers. Now I prefer romance or romantic suspense. Years ago, I loved urban fantasy stories. Then I didn’t care for that genre as much. So, it isn’t usually the author. I have a few authors that I follow that write several genres, and I read which genre appeals to me
  • I stopped reading a series I really enjoyed not because of the author, but because they made the book into a movie and the person they got to play the lead wasn’t anywhere close to the character in the book. However, I’ve started to reread the series now since they made it into a series and the lead is a better representation of the character. I know that isn’t a legitimate reason, but it just turned me off the books. Totally not the authors fault though.
  • I stopped reading an author when her books turned political. Not the original storylines.
  • I had an author that I loved but she was putting out a lot of novels in a short amount of time. Her books had the same concept every time. I haven’t read her in years, but I have heard her books are better again.
  • When you kill off a main character in a book that is supposed to be a romance…I have had a couple of authors kill them off only to reuse the love interest in future books…I read romance to be happy….the other thing is when they recycle the same story….and the thing that is a quick oh hell no is when their fan pages/groups are filled with political views (which that is something I sorta can ignore to some extent) and anyone with a different view is stupid, uneducated and should lose their rights to vote and be a citizen…
  • Same storyline but different characters. Years go by for another book is out. Changing events from one book to another. I had this one author who basically repeated the last book and only had two chapters of new stuff in the new book. Another would be changing from romance to paranormal/sci-fi. Another would be starting a new series, have readers hooked but never finishing the series but putting out other books. I really think this author has died and they are trying to find a ghost writer.
  • What I would consider despicable personal behavior is an author turn off for me. Usually this comes up in social media and many times the behavior doesn’t come up until after I’ve spent money on the author’s books.
  • I have never stopped reading an author, but I have abandoned a series if I cannot get into it. Seems like a different author writing it, but I still love the original series.
  • Great question…. If an author releases books that are just retreads of storylines. After a while, it just gets old. The other is the overt political posts or overt political opinions in a book.
  • If it’s a series and things are happening, then the plot becomes stagnate. Also if the author post things that are political or not my taste. I think those items should be kept separate from business.
  • When an author starts several series and then never finish them but continue to start new ones. I get it to a point but there has to be an ending. If the author is not sure they can finish several books then make each book standalone. You can build onto it that way.
  • Gratuitous animal violence, and politics that defend the indefeasible.
  • When it feels like the books get shorter and shorter and constantly end on a cliffhanger and I just get annoyed and lose interest.
  • When the stories get predictable.
  • Right now I am interested in a different genre of books. Also, the older I get, the less sex I am interested in in books. I am enjoying more love stories.
  • When there are YEARS between books in a series being released. I’ve been waiting for years for two series to have books released and one author has been writing other things.
  • I contacted two different authors about mistakes in their published books. One was rude when she replied. I haven’t read her books since. One I never heard from, and the book was the worst I had ever read with mistakes it was atrocious.
  • When an author completely changes their style and it no longer resembles the stories I loved. Sometimes it seems like it’s a completely different person writing the books than the first 30+ books you’ve read from them. Like someone else wrote them and they just put their name on it.
  • Not an author, but a musician. He got very political and vocal about it on FB. He used cuss words and called people bad names for not agreeing with him. I honestly have trouble listening to any of his music now. I would think I would react similar if an author did the same.
  • When they suddenly start posting certain topics that aren’t book related. It annoys the crap out of me (I won’t list the topics here).
  • I bought every book she wrote without even reading the description then all of a sudden she totally changed how she would write. It was like she was watching a word counter and when she reached her goal, the story ended. She would leave story lines unfinished. The book simply ended. Sometimes she would pick up the story in her next book, but not always. It was like I’ve reached my word count goal so I will type “the end”. I decided recently to buy another book to see if it was a complete story and she did exactly the same thing. I learned a lesson, never again.
  • When a series drags on way past what should have been its expiration date. Sometimes the story just dries up. Another, when you know exactly what is going to happen and you’re on page ONE. There is one author I used to really enjoy but after a few years, realized this was happening with every book.
  • When the author is putting out books so quickly they aren’t edited. Like using wrong names and major spelling errors, unfinished sentences, etc. Also, when reading a series and it is overly predictable (I don’t mind predictable as I read to relax!) and the characters don’t grow at all (I’m thinking if a teen series I read many many years ago that celebrated several holiday seasons, Christmases, and summers yet the characters never aged or moved up a grade/graduated.) I also am not a fan of having to sign up for an author’s website to read a 2nd epilogue.
  • When story line becomes unrealistic in continuing series.
  • One of my favorite authors has 63 books in the series and I think four books come out a year (seems like it at least) and the kindle price is 14.99. Seems the storylines are the same. So I stopped buying.
  • I don’t think I have ever left an author but have taken breaks from some. When the storyline seems to be the same thing book after book, then I’ll take a break and come back fresh…
  • I had an author I loved. All of a sudden she started writing paranormal. Not my genre at all.
  • My main one is continuity gone wrong. It puts me off tv shows as well. I get so invested, picture the characters and activities that I can really struggle if something is glaringly wrong, timeline/character action/ages etc. I get it is hard to remember what has gone before but it’s hard to read, enjoy and keep going if there are inaccuracies—and then be asked to pay more money and you don’t know if more will be wrong.
  • I’ve never turn away from an author but some prices for kindles are sky rocking and I’m on a retired budget.
  • I’ve never turned away from an author, but I’ve turned away from a series or two when I’ve hated a change or the development of a character. I remember one where a key character was killed off. It seemed random and very unnecessary and it ruined the series for me. I couldn’t finish it.
  • Waiting forever for the conclusion of a series. Author promoted the “last” book. When it came out, it was announced that there would be two other books. Ok, more books to read. The last two books were nothing but rehashed stories. Clearly just trying to squeeze every ounce out if the same old story and make money. I gave up on an author I loved. Greed is not good.
  • One of the last books I bought from an author made absolutely no sense. The timeline was weird, it seemed like there were parts missing, like something happened in another book that was never released. That was enough to make me stop buying their stuff, but then she started posting really crazy things on FB. It’s like they fell down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole and their personality changed overnight.
  • Formula writers once I realize that they are writing like a Hallmark movie. Even suspense, romance and most genres have writers that use the same outline….if it’s not broken why change because you will lose readers.
  • When they turn from the genre they are best known for, when they go to a genre I don’t read. I read many different ones, but no sci-fi, no religious, no political.
  • I stopped reading a series I loved because she seemed to write only half a book. The first few novels were great then her books turned shorter and shorter until they were novellas. I don’t mind that so much but the price didn’t reflect the change and the quality went way down for the storyline. The story felt rushed and there were a lot of plot holes. Then she re-released the books with extra chapters (and extra cost) on all the books I had already bought that were substandard and probably benefited from the extra chapters she put in. Felt like a huge money grab and like she didn’t care enough about her readers to take the time to write one good book rather than rush through a story then go back and fix it after people had already played for the first copy. I won’t buy from her anymore.
  • There was an author that I used to buy every single book for many years. But then the books seemed so similar and storylines a little far-fetched so I stopped buying her books.
  • I think if it’s the same ole story and nothing new. Some series last longer than they should and you stop being interested in the characters. It’s really all about the story lines for me. I personally don’t mind the sex in the books if it helps flow the storyline.
  • I stop when politics become a huge part of the story. I read for enjoyment, and I don’t think politics are that enjoyable.
  • There was a certain series I loved—funny, intriguing, fully developed characters. But after awhile, I noticed the characters stopped evolving. They were stuck doing the same things, making the same (bad) choices over and over and I finally stopped buying the books.
  • I can really only think of one that I’ve stopped buying the new books. After I had my LASIK surgery, I couldn’t read white text on a black background. It just really screws me up. Her newsletter was white text on a black background. I emailed her and explained my situation and asked if there was a way I could get it switched. I got a rather rude response. I was disappointed, but unsubscribed to the newsletter and I stopped buying the new books not long after. I stopped following one on social media after constantly being hit over the head with her opinions on everything.
  • My library patrons talk about this all the time. How one author they have loved for years is now adding extra cuss words. Maybe to keep up with everyone else. And how the quality is just not what it once was.
  • Sometimes I find authors keep writing books in a series just to keep the series going rather than ending it while it was fresh and good – not tired and blah.
  • I had an author I followed that write paranormal romance with some suspense mixed in. I stopped reading her books after her third series of a character being raped…. Not graphic detail or anything like that, but it seemed unneeded to tell the story and was just added for no apparent reason. The last book like that just had me going nope, don’t want to continue reading this.
  • One author releases older books with different covers but doesn’t let you know. I have repurchased at else two of her books and started reading them before I realized it.
  • When they wrote one or two outstanding books, but then the rest were trash, like they couldn’t be bothered to put in the hard work to maintain that higher standard. It makes me feel like it was always only about the money, and once they got you to buy a book, they no longer cared about the quality they produced. It’s sad and annoying, and I have dropped two authors now because of it.
  • I’m a bit fickle sometimes, if their books have gut wrenchingly sad endings or horrible typos. I stopped mid-series with another author because each book proved to be an emotional roller coaster. I get building up the tension, but there is a line where it becomes torture…
  • When a main character died, I was so mad I didn’t read any of their books for years!!
  • I left an author once because they were rolling out new books so quickly, they got extremely sloppy in their writing. Each book was shorter and shorter and had more and more mistakes. It made me wonder if they have anyone who proofreads their content before they publish it.
  • When I can predict exactly what’s going to happen in the first chapter. Switch things up occasionally please! Also if the books start to get super pricey. I read 100+ books a year so I am cheap about it. KU, library, Libby, and Scribd are how I do most of my reading. If I love the books I’ll buy them after but I look to see where I can find it cheap first 
  • I guess I’ve never had one of my favorite authors (15-20 or so) that I quit wanting to read. Just lucky I guess……..
  • When you feel it’s all about the money. Plugging merch and not really doing much actual writing. Start to feel a little let down. You start to feel like you don’t matter.
  • The only thing that comes to mind is if an author has lengthy time in between new books then I have found new authors and sometimes lost interest. If it’s been more than a year I don’t always return or I just forget about that author unintentionally. More than two years isn’t worth going back to.
  • I’ve never had that happen to me.
  • When an author re-releases an older book but under a different title. You buy the book and wow, you have read it already
  • I have stopped reading authors when the storylines get boring, the “snap, crackle & pop” seem to disappear. I find it sometimes happens when it’s one family, turns into another series, into another series but the new locales don’t appeal, the sense of humor disappears, or the stories just seem repetitive even though it’s not the same story. Not sure it makes sense but I can think of two or three authors like this where I just lost interest.
  • Cliffhangers! When someone who didn’t write them starts, I’m done.
  • I haven’t really stopped reading an author intentionally but I have kind of unintentionally because I just got burnt out on what they were writing. I was really into military romance a few years ago but I kind of lost interest in one author’s books and that’s mostly what she writes. I still subscribe to her newsletter so she’s not banished. Another one I’m on the fence about because she had some religious/political comments in her newsletter that are in opposition to my beliefs. Also, if the e-books are above $10 and it’s not you writing (or a handful of my other must read authors) I will give up. I know it’s their job and they need to earn a living, but I have so many choices of what I can choose to read, and a limited budget, I’m going to save my money for my favorites.
  • When the author seems like she can’t figure out where to take the story so she says the same thing over and over. It’s like, “I get it. They were happy! Move on!”
  • I’ve only done this once and it was all the receipts of plagiarism of some sort or another. Also all the recipients of author bullying. I don’t appreciate that so I walked away from her. I was never “in love” with her books though except for one so it didn’t bother me too much.
  • I wouldn’t call it turning on one, but if it’s forever until the next book, I am likely able to replace an author. Mainly because I forget how special the series/books were. I won’t keep buying a series if each story is the same.
  • I have an author that I really enjoy but all of a sudden she started writing books with another author. Tried one and didn’t enjoy it at all. You could definitely tell the difference. So now I only buy books from her where she is the only writer.
  • I had an author who used kindle and nook. Halfway through the series the nook was taken away. You could only buy on kindle. At the time I only had a nook so I stopped reading her books
  • When I read that they have plagiarized other authors more than once.
  • When an author asks for your thoughts or ideas on characters or the direction a series is going, but then if they don’t agree with you and rudely shut down your thoughts. If they ask for comments, they should be open to ideas, even if they don’t agree. I think an author can sometimes learn how different readers see their characters and possibly use it to elevate their stories. Not that I could ever write a book, but have an open mind.
  • When they start re issuing prior books as if they are new (I have no problem with them reissuing them as I have gotten to read books I missed ) but I was buying them because I bought everything they wrote and finding out I had already read it.
  • I had an author I LOVED, however they started writing the series in first person and then switched to third person, it was just weird
  • I stop reading either an author or a series if I stop caring about the characters. I have to “feel” like I know these people. I have to want to know what comes next.
  • I once found an author who had about six books in an ongoing series already published. That’s my fav, when I have a bunch to read at once. They were really good!! I devoured them. But when I got to book six, there was a MAJOR plot hole…something very significant from book three or four had just been eliminated to make the plot of book six work. So I emailed and asked. I tried to watch my tone. Complimented the series, said I looked forward to more. And then politely asked “what happened with xyz….” She never responded. Her next book, the villain had my last name, and that was the last one she ever wrote in the series. I felt bad. The series was really good.
  • Typically I’ll stop reading an author if they go too far off their “normal” style or tropes. I enjoy variety but if it’s just off the wall I can’t deal.
  • I will say there is one author that I really liked her books when I started them but they just kept going and going and going with the same plot every time and I finally gave up on them. I rarely quit on an author.
  • When an author doesn’t write anymore and you are hooked. Same story but boring.
  • I’ve recently started reading a new (to me) author and after several books I find that the story lines are always angst, angst, angst up to the last chapter where suddenly everything works out and they fall in love and get engaged, end of story. I just think maybe spread it out through the book more. It’s just all too quick.
  • I don’t turn against an author. I just discover a new one.
  • I’ve had a couple of instances where I’ve meet authors at a book signing and they were unfriendly to say the least, granted one was towards the end of a two-day signing and we all wanted to go home but we had been waiting for our numbers to be called. Don’t give out the numbers if you know you won’t have the time to meet everyone. The other time the author was really sullen and just wanted to move on to the next person. No smiley face, polite chitchat while they sign the bits you spend your hard-earned money on. Totally put me off.
  • Also I’ve had a couple of indie authors I’d read for years from their first books. When they start to become more popular the price of their books skyrocket. I understand that you guys have to earn a living and I’m happy to pay a reasonable price but when your books go from £2.99 to £6-7.99 it’s a bit steep. Especially when you are halfway through a series and a few years into the story. 
  • I stopped reading from an author I had followed for several years because she started belittling her readers on her social media. She made fun of readers for reviews they made (good reviews just grammar errors etc.). You don’t make fun of the people who buy your books.
  • For me sometimes it seems after awhile all the stories are basically getting to be the same thing, with a few changes. So they get boring. And also it seems once an author makes it big, their prices really go up. Maybe no one else feels this way but that is why I have stopped on some of the authors I used to read.
  • I had a few reasons for moving on from various authors. The ‘same story/new set of characters’ is the most frustrating. I also had an author I truly enjoyed, but her books seemed to come to an abrupt ending more than once. You read for a few hundred pages and then the conclusion took a page and a half. No pages to absorb the conclusion or see how it impacted the characters. I felt like the final chapter hadn’t made it into the books. I don’t enjoy the abrupt endings and it turned me off.
  • I had an author that I followed for a long time, read all of the books. Then I lost interest in the storyline for a while. Thought I’d give it another try a couple of years later, and the newly released book I was reading turned out to be a book I read before with a new name. The whole series had been renamed and was offered as new. I went through my kindle and found all of the old books. I was highly disappointed.
  • When I read a book and love it then the author changes the original story in an unexpected sequel. Also when an author keeps using the same plot ideas in all of his/her books.
  • For me when the story line is same. Just different person and place!!
  • When the author’s stories no longer have a plot or plot progression, and barely any dramatic tension, a collection of scenes and too many people to keep track of. There is one author whose books (and characters) I used to adore, but I now struggle to complete her books. And reading it is painful. The main characters are either uninteresting or I lose interest among the way.
  • If the author has a lot of books out and they’re getting too similar. Sometimes it’s just my taste changing.
  • I can’t recall an author I’ve dropped. I keep a list of the books I want to read and the order I will buy them. Only my preorders of four to five authors will interrupt my list. At times, for financial reasons, I will only read KU books or other freebies while only buying those selected pre-orders. So it may take awhile for me to reach newer releases by authors I enjoy but don’t follow as hard as my four to five others. I have moved certain authors lower on my rotation list due to the same reasons others have stated here: stale plots and characters or stating ugly political posts on social media.
  • Only thing that turns me off is when I’m reading a series of books, the author will start a new series, ie new characters, new town, different events that happen then it takes FOREVER maybe a year to two years to get to book two. But then I see that a series that wrapped up like 10 years ago is coming out with a new book.
  • When the “voice” of an author suddenly sounds like someone else is doing the writing. There’s a huge bestselling author who I have been reading for many, many years. A few books ago, her style changed so much I honestly thought someone else wrote that book, and her books since then have the same tone to them that just doesn’t seem like her. She has a new release that I haven’t even purchased, which is almost blasphemous of me, but I just don’t want to read it thinking it’s going to be like her last few.
  • I guess for me, when books and characters all start sounding the same. The author starts repeating and rehashing events to death in a series. If I find myself skimming pages or skipping pages because I’m bored, it’s time to go. I read a lot of books and there’s some really great authors out there, no need to buy books that bore you. I may do it out of loyalty for awhile but in the end I’ll buy something I enjoy. That being said, one thing I won’t do is give a negative review. The author worked hard on that book and just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean someone else will. I only give positive reviews.
  • One for me that I haven’t seen anyone comment yet on (or maybe I missed it) is not keeping to a schedule. I completely understand life happens and things change. There was one author I read her books the next one was advertised at the end of the book saying “coming soon” and then not just months but years go by with nothing. They went off and wrote new books but never completed the previous series. My other one is totally on me and not author. There are some books I can’t wrap my brain around when they write about a topic I am somewhat familiar with and take literary freedoms in the story that either aren’t true or aren’t believable. Example as a veteran familiar with how the military works, read lots of Tom Clancy type books. The way the author writes the story triggers how my brain will accept the “story” or if I become to critical of it and just get irritated/frustrated with the book.
  • Plagiarism
  • If the book I read just goes Soooooo Slow. And it’s hard to finish. I will have no desire to read the rest of a series and if it’s a bunch of standalone I assume the next one could be the same
  • I know it may sound weird but when an author publishes too many books in a year. It got to be overwhelming trying to keep up, especially when the books seem to be the same theme. My book budget has to cast a wide net.
  • When they stop writing a series or they go years between books!
  • I didn’t completely stop reading but I lost a lot of enjoyment in the books of an author who got location details SO wrong. The location, Colorado, was a big part of the story. The number of times I was pulled out of the story with a snort, wondering if the author had ever been to Colorado or even Googled it… I started to feel like the suspension of disbelief was too much work. It made me wonder about her other location-based series.
  • When they begin a series and don’t finish it. Or when they do finish a series and get super upset about fans viewing the characters in a way that positively impacts their lives, even if that’s not what the author originally intended.
  • Killing a favorite character makes me never want to pick it up again.
  • When it sounds like books start to have a political agenda. I feel like that has happened in a few authors that I follow.
  • I’ve been reading a series by an author who writes a really smart romance series. Her most two most recent books in the series were replete with “woke” language and political messages. They both really turned me off. Judging by the reviews of the books I was not alone. I guess the short answer is I don’t like political overtones from either side of the aisle mixed with my romance.
  • I quit following an author I had read for years after finding out she was guilty of plagiarism. 
  • I had brought up a scene in a book that reminded me of another authors. Sadly her following found out. I AM glad the other author went after her!
  • I haven’t left an author yet. I have however skipped some of their books and or series because of the subject matter. One I really like started a new series this year and I still haven’t finished the first book. Can’t get into it, don’t connect to any of the characters, it’s just not up to her normal caliber and even though it’s supposed to be a thriller I find it incredibly boring.
  • I’ve only dropped one author, and her books were cookie cutters…….same story, different names….even the love scenes were the same…..boring.
  • I usually stop reading an author if he or she spits their books out too fast. When one series has 25 books and it’s only like three years old OR LESS! I’m like Nah. I just am like how good can that book be when they are spitting out books left and right for the same series. And truly when I can’t give an author 4 or 5 stars anymore for a series I’ve been reading then no thanks. I will happily wait for my books to come out once or twice a year for each series. This has happened with two authors both mystery authors. There is a very famous author who spits his books out constantly. I’ve read three of his series and I’ve tried some of his new stuff and I just cannot get into it. I always wonder if it’s just because he writes them too quickly. I also have stopped reading authors because I am just not into that genre as much anymore.
  • This has only happened once thankfully. The author completed a series and then her next couple of new series just didn’t captivate me to carry on reading her work.
  • I’ve also read books by, I will call them “non genre” authors, who write on one topic that is totally interesting to me and draws me right in but his or her next book is of absolutely no interest. I may look when I see his or her name come up in a blog or a library post but if the story line is not for me I pass.
  • In a series if the main character(s) don’t show any growth over several books I get bored. People and couples grow and change over the years. If the characters don’t then it gets hard to keep reading the same thing over and over. I’ve given up reading two authors for that specific reason. I could basically tell how the story was going to play out within the first chapter or so.
  • Pushing their political agenda turned me off a famous one. I don’t mean voicing an opinion on a topic, I mean pushing it on you. While I love hearing that you are real people, love your family funnies, love hearing about books and processes, I think some things are personal.
  • I want real honest people. Not pushy. When I love an author I binge their books or am one clickers to their stories. In all my years reading I have only stopped two authors.
  • There is one author for me , when I first got my kindle my daughter told me she was good , I read her books as fast as I could and after seven years of waiting for her next book in the series to come out and being cancelled time after time I am done , if it ever does come out maybe I will get it BUT I do not think so .Just to make it clear I have had this preorder all this time .
  • I went to a book signing for a very well known author. The author told us that one of her books was optioned for a movie years ago. A fan asked her when it would be made. The author said she didn’t care because she said she made a lot of and then she rubbed her fingers together. I still read them, but I buy them used.
  • I used to read another author as soon as the books came out. I loved her books. As a reader I get super excited when we get either the email or the fb post of coming soon or preorder. I understand sometimes the date is not exact but this author posted a few times of coming soon with the title and book cover. And then NOTHING .. it’s been about five plus years and multiple fb posts asking along with other readers and no response. And she has finished a few other books.
  • If I get used to the author with one genre and then they change a series in mid-stream that doesn’t seem to follow the originals.
  • The publisher of an author I always buy suddenly jumped the price of her kindle books from $8.99 to $14.99!!! I’m having to think twice about buying again. I don’t blame the author. I know it’s her publisher but it really upset me.
  • We each like (hopefully) the authors we read. As people and as authors. If I see or feel uncomfortable with a storyline I quit reading. If the author arrested for a crime, I know they are human, we all make mistakes, but I don’t have to fund bad behavior.
  • Someone else started to ghost write it and not anything like hers. Sorry to see that as series had been so good.
  • When it seems like they are just cranking them out. I had an author I read every book then she just started cranking them out. That was it for me. I couldn’t anymore 
  • ..where to start. There is one author, she’s terrific, it was historical series, but due to health problems, the series has stopped. Disappointing, but she’s a good writer. There is another one, but most of that author’s stories has someone always dying, hero or heroine, after investing so much into the story, and being caught up in it, I had to stop reading that author. That’s when I found you, I want HEA. I write HEA. Another popular author, I’m actually bored with her writing. I’ve stopped reading NYT bestselling authors because the stories don’t grab me. If I’m reading about six other stories before I go back to that author, it says something.
  • I stopped reading an author when they didn’t finish the three-book series and just left it hanging for more. And their other series got to be much more than what I wanted in a series.
  • When all of an author’s books start sounding the same and like it was following a check list.
  • It’s usually because they switch tones or genres. One author I read used to read wrote lighthearted contemporary romance. Current events made it harder for her to get into the mindset, so her books got much darker and I couldn’t get into them anymore. There are some authors whom I love, but I no longer pre-order from due to financial reasons. However, I will still try to buy their books when I get a chance. There was also one author who posted something on Facebook that angered me so much that I stopped buying their books, but it was a very rare circumstance.
  • I reread books now that I am retired. When I started binge reading I discovered that several authors wrote the same exact words in all their books. Sometimes the whole paragraph. I never noticed it before because it is usually a year between books. It irritated me so I no longer read those authors.
  • I used to read every book by an extremely well known best selling author, but his books got progressively more violent and plain out weird. I just couldn’t handle reading them anymore. My tastes have definitely changed for calmer more relaxed reading!
  • I think somebody already said but the repeating topics to death. When a character appears to change but it’s the same thing. Hoping for a redemption but never happens. And sometimes new characters get more book time and old ones disappear. Am like what happened to them? 
  • A few years ago I was enjoying a series from a very famous writer who many people have enjoyed. Suddenly, in the middle of the next book in the series the author completely presented an unacceptable behavior of the main character. I literally threw the book across the room and did not purchase any more books from the author. It was many years later and after the author publicly apologized that I read additional books from the author. I never returned to the horrible one.
  • I used to buy this one author’s books. I had all her books then she was hacked and I was sent a message asking for money for a niece I messaged her telling her she was more than likely hacked and she lost it flipped out on me so I never bought another one of her books and I know she did the same thing to another author because this author did a post on Facebook.
  • I have one author that I love to read and literally it like two years between books in a series. Not working on any other projects. Just the next book in the series. I would think that if an author is starting a new series they have some idea how it’s going to go.
  • I walked away from a fiction author because the books were too much like reality and preachy. I had read everything she wrote.
  • I am really forgiving for authors I love but I have had a few where I reached a point where the books became too similar from a theme standpoint and I felt like I was skipping pages. Not always books in a series even. I greatly appreciate the level of work it takes to put out great reads.
  • What really frosted me is the cost of hard cover books. I know it’s expensive. I doubt the author is getting the lion’s share. Then, the kindle costs shot up to $12. Really? It’s electronic publishing. I dropped one author due to the cost, repetition and addition of supernatural. Just turned me off. 
  • Hmmm for one author they killed a major character off and the direction of the next book with the other major character just didn’t flow for me, and this author is good with details and the subject matter they did was to much I got the next book after that at the library just to see and again there was no spark like the other five. So I stopped reading. Sometimes the authors does like 16 books and they just need to end it because it’s the same but different situations it gets old. As a reader you know what’s going to happen because it’s the same but different. But to be honest most authors do more than one series and I’ll read some of the different series and ones I don’t.
  • Political posts and judging readers by personal views. Some have said don’t read me if you vote this way or think this. (A lot!) I don’t personally care who you vote for and will still not judge a author even if I don’t agree with the thoughts they may have. But to say it to readers is not ok. I’ve talked to many readers and they all agree that is not something they support. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and feelings. Also if there is political and or political leaning jabs in a book that’s it for me. I have unfollowed and stopped buying them. I constantly do. But my money can be used to buy books by authors who care about all their readers.
  • When some books get too violently graphic or unrealistic.
  • I have no authors I have quit, but a couple I’m tempted not to read their new series because one I read was never finished. I understand getting bored as an author and wanting to get into new things, but I’m kind of tired of waiting to get the last book of a series that is not going to be written. I feel like sometimes they have too many different irons in the fire, and don’t really get anything accomplished. 
  • I’ll probably echo what has already been said, but my very first “addiction” to a (well known) writer waned around her 18-19th book in her character series when the writing drastically (and obviously) changed and hinted that she was no longer doing the writing. With another male author I got upset the way he abruptly “wrote out” his female character. I even asked him at a book signing if it was in retaliation to a relationship issue in his life!!! LOL!!!!
  • I got tired of one author, because every book had some kind of animal activism in it. After a while, I got annoyed. Another author I had to take a break from because the language had gotten so foul. Supposedly mature characters with professional jobs were very crass and I could not take it. I’m not against an F bomb once in a while, but this one was excessive. A third author tried a new genre, and I did not care for it. The author did a better job with the previous genre, in my opinion. A fourth went from traditional publishing to self-publishing, and the quality deteriorated, so I quit reading. Giving up on an author I usually like is rare for me, though.
  • I wouldn’t call it turning against an author, but if the author’s books start to all have the same feel and it doesn’t feel like the author has new ideas, I tend to not read much of the author anymore since there are so many books on my TBR.
  • I just stopped reading. I do read a couple of series as soon as the book comes out then I don’t feel like reading again, even my favorite authors
  • When the author stops writing all together. Goes into long long long long detail.
  • I will only briefly mention that I stop reading when the books become too formulaic or cookie cutter, but I have stopped reading when an author used the same phrases or descriptions over and over and over. I stopped reading for the storyline and started counting how many times the phrases were used. I think 18 in two chapters ended it for me. And my favorite was when she combined the two overused sayings.
  • Not the fault of the author or content, but an audiobook published changed a narrator starting with about #15 of a 20+ book series. The new narrator was so incredibly irritating I couldn’t finish the series…
  • I have an author who I love her stories, and will continue to read her books as they come out. But it drives me CRAZY when she uses words that are not used in today’s general conversation. It seems like she uses her thesaurus to find alternative words as if she is afraid of repeating herself too much.
  • For me it’s if they deviate from the storyline too much.
  • I stop reading an author when the story starts out very interesting and by the third or fourth chapter it is repetitive and boring you just give up.
  • There was an author I really enjoyed until she posted a letter saying that she was going to stop writing unless she sold more books, because she couldn’t spend so much time making so little money. I don’t think that was the way to sell more books. She also posted about her fancy lifestyle. Really turned me off.
  • When they start spouting their political views! I read FICTION for a reason!
  • Authors that post their political views in a very obnoxious way on their reader site.
  • I stopped reading one of my favorite authors because his books were just too political. I love political intrigue and am fairly open minded. The books were almost inflammatory and so I stopped, after reading every single book he had written to that point in time.
  • I have an author who seems to keep writing new family member books but that person’s parents have never been mentioned in any other book. Her books come out every couple of months in this one family but another series. There are so many that I can’t keep the family straight. I have over 20 of her books but will not be buying any more until I get the families straight.
  • I have given up on a couple of authors but for me it was more about giving up the genre.
  • I rarely find a book that I don’t like and I can’t think of an author that I’ve stopped reading. I just read everything some with a lot of skipping if it’s repetitious and yes, I’m annoyed by misspelled words and poor grammar. I will say I’ve only contacted one author about grammar and misspelled words, it was one of her first books and I never received an answer.
  • I go through lots of phases. Read different genres and authors and always trying new stuff. I’ve never purposely re-read a book so I can’t really say I’ve dropped an author. However, I do have a pet peeve and I know this is just me being nitpicky. But I hate the overuse of the word myriad. It always sounds weird to me and is just a fancy way of saying many, several, variety, lots, etc. I am all for changing up words so it’s not repetitive but using myriad more than once in a book is a turn off for me. I just read one that had it SIX times! Way overused.
  • One author had a series that I had invested a lot of time in. In the last book she killed off two characters, one of which I really loved. I didn’t like it. I realize those are her thoughts – but I won’t read her again.
  • I was turned off by the cost from one author. They would publish 100-page books but for the same price I could buy one for that took more than one hour to read. Having 50 editions when it was really about the size of 10 books was frustrating and expensive.
  • Shitty editing, maybe? I don’t know, it hasn’t happened for me yet but that’s one of my biggest pet peeves so I’ll go with that. I’m one who will stick with my favorite authors, hell or high water.
  • I hate it when authors get political, even if I agree with them. I will quit reading their books.
  • Sometimes I read a book and don’t like the characters or the storyline. Afterwards I’m not very interested in this author’s books.
  • When they change their formula. I’ve stopped reading two authors who switched to only writing trilogies. I also gave up on an author who started writing a genre I don’t enjoy (paranormal), which is fine except she only wrote paranormal for over two years, leaving the romance series hanging. When she started back up with the romance series, I didn’t want to get invested again in case she took another two-year detour.
  • I have to say that in my case, I find as I get older my interests change. It not the way it is written but the way I feel about what I read. I find something else captures my interest more and I move on. Maybe something seems more current to my life and I can’t read everything.
  • I stooped reading a couple of authors when I was able to figure out the storyline and solve the ending before the midway way. (They were suspense thriller series.)
  • When it gets predictable.
  • From Marie: I’m including this as an interesting aside on how audio narrators can make or break an experience for listeners… So this is just my experience. I absolutely love your books Marie so when I saw your Miami series I was really excited and I brought the first audiobook over a year ago. I couldn’t finish it. I just couldn’t click with the voices and to be honest I hated it. But I had already brought the second book and I couldn’t start the second without finishing the first so I abandoned the audiobook and brought the book on iBooks and LOVED it. I’ve since brought the rest of the series. This means no disrespect to you I find some audiobooks voices ruin it for me. Especially when I love all the rest of your series both audio and written.
  • I finally stopped reading one author’s books because every book was the same. Meaning same phrases over and over again in her descriptions of how the hero and heroine felt about each other. Felt I was wasting my money.
  • Personally, it is not the author that turns me away but me. I loved horror and murder mysteries in my youth but as I have aged I want a different genre.
  • I don’t understand why some authors charge like $12.99 for a Kindle book and seem to never go on sale. I have one series I want to continue but each book is $12.99-14.99 and the books are normal length. I read so quickly I’ll be done with that in two days unless I really go slow. So I’ve gotten to where I have my favorite authors that are one click like you and then others are if it’s on sale or they are in KU.
  • When an author has not written a book in the series for four years. It’s so frustrating to readers.
  • I once really liked a certain author. Her writing style is exciting and her series is exactly how I love it. But for a few years she’s been writing series with other authors. I find them very boring. Her own stuff won’t move forward because she doesn’t have time for it anymore. Too bad!!!
  • I have one author that I stopped reading because I felt like the storyline had stalled out. It was just more of the same, over and over. I couldn’t get into the lives of the characters anymore.
  • I would say learning about their negative behavior, not once, but multiple times. For example, talking bad about other authors and trying to sabotage their work and ideas, stealing ideas of other authors, and using social media as a tool to negatively condemn readers and authors.
  • For me, it was befriending them on social media. Their real personality came out when interacting with readers.
  • When the stories all become the same story just different names and settings. Or when the tone changes, for example a sweet light love story becomes a penthouse letters novel.
  • The books made into tv series and characters changed.
  • So far I haven’t come across that. The authors I love keep me busy with great books and I alternate when I’m waiting for another book to come out. 
  • When the storylines become so predictable.
  • When the books in the series seems to be almost the same except names are changed. It’s like they’re following the same recipe over and over again.
  • What turns me off is when an author’s political or social opinions show up in their stories. I read fiction and romance to get away from all the hate and vitriol. I don’t want it showing up in my books. That’s a deal breaker for me.
  • If an author kills off a well-loved character. I’m done.
  • When an author can’t make me laugh or cry anymore. When I care less what happens to some of my favorite characters. When I can tell they aren’t really doing the writing anymore. Have to wait way too long for a new book and become too invested in other authors. Unfortunately everyone has to retire at some time.
  • When the author doesn’t care what happens to her characters. When you meet the author at a book signing and she doesn’t remember the basic details about her characters.
  • I’m going to start by saying I respect authors who want to test their creative boundaries…but sometimes it doesn’t go well and they get offended when they get constructive criticism. 
  • When authors go from hot and heavy to fade to black. I love details and I don’t want to assume the sexy times, I want to read about it. When there’s a repetitive vibe in the book. When it feels that an author just didn’t invest in the book. They threw something together and destroyed a series.
  • Poor writing skills (grammatical) turn me off an author. Usually, if there are a lot of grammatical errors, the story has discrepancies, too. I will stop reading a book for those reasons. Another reason is boredom. The author seems to write the same story with different characters.
  • Within the first couple of chapters something has to connect with me. I love settling in and becoming part of the story. If I have to put the book down a couple of times because of this, I will delete it. 
  • If the author has not written a new book in years! One author I loved, couldn’t wait for the next book, & now only gives out the old books. Sometimes a series gets too big. Then there’s too much background throughout the following books. Seems the books can be summarized in like five pages instead of 250. Do a lot of skimming to finish it.
  • When I can predict where the story is going. When the books all feel/ read the same.
  • I don’t like waiting for the next book in the series. But great books are worth the wait!!
  • When the author no longer appreciates their readers.
  • I don’t want to know what an author’s politics are. I won’t read an author who seems to be pushing an agenda that happens to be “in style” because it’s now politically correct. Read between the lines.
  • Voices in audiobooks have stopped me listening to some books but most times I have already read the e-book.
  • When you read an author and fall in love with characters of a series and it gets left unfinished or you don’t get a good follow up on the characters.
  • Personal political opinions that are shared publicly. I wrote a paper in college where my professor asked what my beliefs were. I told him it’s not an opinion paper and that my beliefs were irrelevant. He didn’t like that answer. I managed a four-year degree in a private institution without one teacher knowing where I stood. I can argue both sides. Mom said I should have been a lawyer. I chose teaching.
  • The best way to describe it is when I can “hear” the same voice across the characters. Sometimes they use the same expression or words. I also don’t like when they become recipe authors. The destitute damsel in distress fall in love with the manwhore who changes overnight.
  • For me it is when the writing style completely changes. I was a big fan of an author, and all of a sudden it seemed like they hired a ghost writer or something. It made me so sad, because it was one of my favorite series. I have never read another thing from her.
  • I just left an author when I bought a “new” book from them only to find that they repackaged and renamed an earlier series from 2013 without any warning’s that tells you it’s a reissue!
  • The most likely reason for me is honestly not their writing—it’s if they’ve chosen to conduct themselves in a way that I find at odds with what I can respect in a fellow human being, then that’s it for their books.
  • If an author uses the Lord’s name in vain too much, I quit reading their books. There are other words to use that aren’t as destructive to my heart.
  • If they start changing the direction of the books they’re writing. Like I hate love triangles. So if they start writing love triangles I’m not going to read that.
  • I read an author when I was young and I liked her books. As I got older I realized that her male/female characters were all the same and not good. Woman is always much younger the man, between 19 and 22ish, Man is 30/40s. Man hates girl, girl loves man. He treats her bad but she loves him. Then he falls in love and they marry happily ever after. No strong women.
  • I’ve been reading for 60 years and I have never turned against an author in a bad way. If I wasn’t crazy about a certain book I just looked for another by him or her. Since I pretty much know what my wheelhouse is, I am rarely disappointed.
  • I had an author that I read a series for quite a while but the series books started to have the same plot over and over again with the same conflicts with no resolution. I decided to stop reading the series because I was bored by the same plots over and over again also with no resolution to the same conflicts. I have to state that I read books from many different authors & different types of stories. I love books and almost all books that I read too. 
  • Only ever happened once for me. Little by little the writing style changed and the character inner monologue was over the top, repetitive, and very lengthy that I literally struggled to continue reading a series that I really had liked when I started reading the books.
  • When an author gets lazy. As in it seems like they’re getting paid by the word so the repeats start. And the longer the book goes the less fluidity it has. And the less sense it makes.
  • I read to escape the world around me. When an author that I once loved reading switches to political or politically correct it turns me off.
  • I love happy stories. There can be a thrilling element to them, but when the author gets progressively darker with each book, I reach a walk away point. There is a very famous author that I followed every series of. I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out and would preorder the physical hard copy for each one. The writing style of every series began to get so dark that instead of reading a book in a day or couple of days, it would take me a month to read it. I literally sold or donated every book that I had purchased of theirs, and I don’t even try to look at any of their new stuff. Now I see that the author doing a lot of collaboration with other people that doesn’t even make sense to me. I choose to follow authors that haven’t changed their style but just grown further in their genre and/or writing style.
  • Too much over-the-top drama and including things like rape for the sake of angst.
  • Sadly me for and it’s no fault of an author they have massive gaps in books. Not like 12 to 18 months but they stop the series out of the blue and pick up over a decade late. Sorry but life got away from me and I never went back. Out of sight out I mind.
  • One of the authors I will not read anymore had this great storyline that she evolved into a trilogy. Everything was pointing to what seemed like a HEA after some rough patches until the last chapter where the heroine left the hero.
  • I don’t like when all of a sudden all of their series, worse yet, books, are carbon copies. I’m not talking formulaic, I’m talking when they basically just change the names and cities.
  • Can’t answer, it hasn’t happened, yet. I haven’t turned against an author but I’ve loss access to new material due to an author’s death. Also, I lost my print copy through moving and no digital copy is available.
  • To date I have only given up on two authors. One due to their personal beliefs being so much on the other side of my own that I was devastated on behalf of her readers. and I can’t support someone with a completely closed mind. The other I was reading a series it was very lots of action and romance and one of the characters was getting set up for their HEA and she killed him off instead. I have never wanted to throw a book so much in my life. Sadly the book was my phone, so no throwing. But now I am emotionally distressed and can’t take the chance she kills off any more of my people. In my head they have all their HEA and are fine and safe from the author. (I might add that there was no hints, or anything about this completely healthy character meeting the very very, very violent ending that he did. I cried the entire time. This is not like when a character (no spoilers) is injured or sick and you kinda know that someday he is going to expire from an old injury and leave me bawling for six chapters. 
  • I only have done this with one author. I really liked her first two series, but then she did all these spin off series I wasn’t enjoying as much. They got predictable. She was coming out with new books so quickly–practically every month, & it just got overwhelming & too expensive to keep up.
  • When everything that can possibly go wrong does. The dread of what’s coming next gives me anxiety.
  • Nothing!
  • I quit reading an author that started doing cliffhangers. I hate cliffhangers because by the time the next book comes out, I’m not as invested in the story. I read so many books and it’s just not the same.
  • Repetitive writing and repetitive jargon from the writer. Sometimes when I read something and then something else from the same author, I notice that everything is the same.
  • Two issues have caused me to either fail to finish a book or give up on an author completely recently. One is pushing political ideologies to the point that the book is basically propaganda at this point. And the second is writing about the pandemic. That might not bother some readers, but after living through it, I don’t want to read about it. I read to escape my own problems, so I don’t want political/social lectures or to rehash the hell of the pandemic. I’m well aware of the state of the world. That’s just my opinion, though. To each their own.
  • When they suddenly write a book with a cliffhanger.
  • I stopped reading an author that got incredibly repetitive in the story. I got it the first couple of mentions, thank you. I stopped reading another author because the stories all seemed the same, except in a different small town and the stories seemed to get ‘basic’ and nonsensical. I stopped readying another author because the spinoffs from the first series (really good!) were stretching things and just seemed like they couldn’t get past the first series; couldn’t think of a different story line. I will follow an author as long as the first book in a series to the 7th, 14th, whatever number book is as strong as the first.
  • When authors put out more “previously released as…” titles, than new material, I figure it’s time to move on.
  • I stopped reading the author when I got bored with the same storyline, or they dragged it out in multiple books.

So, there you have it—a masterclass from hundreds of readers on what they like—and what they don’t. I hope you found their input as enlightening as I did! 

Join Marie’s Mailing List!

Get Marie's Latest Newsletter & Sign-up for Text Alerts here!
We respect your privacy.