It’s gotta be bad if I actually AVOID a book. But there are things that make me want to put a title down and back away slowly.
Bad spelling / grammar
If you can’t manage to spell check and proofread the jacket copy, what hope does the rest of the book have? No. I have other things to read.
Really bad photoshop / design on cover
This is kind of in line with the first one. If the publisher didn’t take the time to find a professional (even a student or a new designer starting out!) to design a cover, then I don’t have time to read it.
Sometimes these aren’t obvious until you get into the book but I cannot stand stories where the people are completely useless. Flawed, sure. But they need to at least try to do something about their situation.
Present tense novels
This is so very difficult to do well and I can think of only one time I made it through a book that used it. I don’t like it.
No, I am not going to join you on a journey to Zebrith-3 solar system with a band of space Amish and their pet boa constrictors. Stop it.
The Untold Story of …
I get the draw of these and I admit I’m often intrigued by the premise too, but it is SO hard to do well. I once tried to a read a book from Rebecca’s point-of view (Daphne Du Maurier’s classic) and I made it about six pages. It was dreadful. Unless you are an actual genius AND a good writer, just don’t.
If everyone says I have to read it
I will probably hate it. Also, don’t tell me what to do.
If the author comes out with more than one book a year
I will probably hate it. I also don’t believe you.
Ok, so I gnashed my teeth more than I expected, but what annoys you in a book?