Saturday, May 12, 2012

Over-hype & Disappointments

I'm an infomercial junkie. Do you ever wonder who buys that stuff they're hawking in the middle of the night, or early Saturday mornings? You're looking at her :/

I've bought the Magic Bullet, Shark Steamer, an Ab Roller, and three different exercise DVD regimens. Except for the exercise routines, I've been disappointed with each of these purchases. Why did I buy them the first place? I believed the hype.

When it comes to books, sometimes they're hyped so much that I worry I'll be disappointed. This can work against the author. When I expect a blow-your-socks-off story, and instead I read a really good story, it's oddly disappointing.

For me, it's all about managing expectations. I won't mention the books that disappointment me, but I will list those that met or exceeded my expectations:

As for my Magic Bullet and Shark Steamer, they're collecting dust in my home :/

Have you ever been sucked into buying over-hyped infomercial goodies? When it comes to hyped books, do you have trouble managing expectations? Are you ever disappointed? And what books have met or exceeded your expectations?

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  1. No don't do that sort of thing, as I write children's books myself I can usually tell by the blurb, the first page, what I can expect. Most of the time, thankfully, this works OK! :0)

  2. I've learned not to purchase books based on buzz and I learned this the hard way. I'll love the cover and get sucked into the buzz to find a story that's good. Glad I read it. But not what the buzz led me to believe. And that could possibly be because I came in with high expectations.

    On the other hand some books that got the buzz - I did end up loving. One of those was Shatter Me.

    So like Carole, now I read the sample pages and try and ignore the cover lust that makes me want a book.

  3. Mild hype is all right for books, but not overhype. Usually it's movies that disappoint me. I try to keep my expectations low.

  4. occasionally I'll take the advice of someone and buy a book (as I did some months ago), which shall remain nameless. I am still slogging my way through it. Glad I bought it used.

  5. Agree with Alex; movies are more apt to let me down than books. I think I give a book more room to grow on me. I'm also not a NYT list reader, or really any other kind of l list reader. So if it's popular, I probably won't notice all that much.

    I've got lots of friends who won't read anything once it becomes popular, as they always think it's just a fad and couldn't be REALLY good. Sparkly vampires notwithstanding, it makes me sad. They miss so many great things with that attitude.

    Actually got into a debate with a friend who was refusing to read the Hunger Games because it had gotten 'movie' popular. He was like, "It's pop garbage." Then I mentioned to him that he's probably one of the biggest Harry Potter fans I know. Which was also a great set of books before the first movie was made. ;)

  6. As E.J. Wesley says, hype whiplash is a real thing. Sometimes, people just hate something because it's popular.

    And in any case, nothing lives up for the hype for at least one person. It could be good, but when people gush about it being "the best thing in the world", that turns people off.

    Oh, and on the magic bullet: To be honest, my family got it, and I like it. I'm not sure what were their expectations when they bought it, but it's fine for our purposes. Yum, milkshake.

  7. I bought p90x, and loved it... that's about the only hyped thing i bought on the retail side.

    now for books--yes, I read lord of the rings and couldn't finish the first book.
    And I agree, over hyping can definitely hurt your book (or movie) if it does not meet the expectations.

    the books that exceeded my expectations?
    Mist Born trilogy... loved them.
    Under the Dome... long but good.
    The Wheel of Time series, read them twice, and waiting for the last one (#14) to come out this year.
    Left Behind series... very good, I am on book #2

    Just to name a few.

  8. I never get hyped up by a title. I don't like being left out, so if a book is really popular, I'll get it to see what the buzz was all about, but I'm rarely wowed by anything. I read mostly based on recommendations, but even that only usually garners me a 50/50 chance I'll like it. I've come to realize that I'm pretty picky about books. And there's no telling what'll grab me at any one time. Out of the 6 books gathering dust on my desk, maybe one will see me through to the end. I really hate that about myself.

  9. Nice question to think about. I actually don't go by hyped material. I go by whether a book sounds interesting to me. Can you believe it? I haven't yet read Hunger Games or The Girl With the Red Tattoo, or Twilight--I'm sure they are great, but they are not themes that I gravitate to. Whereas, I'm never disappointed by a Lewis Buzbee children's mystery, or a T. A. Barron fantasy.

  10. Have to admit I own a SlapChop :)

    I don't read a lot of reviews for this very reason. I'd rather read the blurbs and decide from there - if I read too much, the book can't possibly live up to it!

  11. We own sham wows. They really work. I am trudging through a book right now that was mega-hyped. I usually go off friend's recs or a book blurb that intrigues me. As far as exceeding my expectation: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  12. I'll be honest. I am so leery whenever I see one of those commercials that I hardly pay attention. My bad....

  13. I have bought a couple of books that were very hyped. One (which will remain unnamed) was quite popular, but when I read it I was like "What's the big deal?"

  14. I bought the Shark and I love it, lol. It's literally the only infomercial produce I've ever bought. Impulsivity is an endearing quality. One that probably has never been used to describe me.

    Books that exceeded my expectations: The Sky is Everywhere, Shatter Me, Divergent, The Hunger Games.

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

  15. My oldest son has always LOVED infomercials. I'm lucky he isn't the sneaky type or my credit cards would be maxed out and our basement would be full of crap!

    I have certain people I really trust about books, but general hype doesn't convince me. Without the personal recommendation (or maybe a free sample chapter or two), I'll probably wait until the price comes down before I give them a try. Then again, I just read Hunger Games last week - I'm really far behind!

  16. I usually don't have money to buy the informercial stuff, but yeah, I've been disappointed by a few books. When I've read or heard a lot about an author, I usually take the chance on them. I've been disappointed in some major players. Sometimes, it's the quiet ones that sneak through the ranks that are the biggest pleasure to read.

  17. Yes! Exercise machine- gathering dust and there was that eyebrow trimmer, hair straightener and a few other stuff! All bought from teh infomercials.

  18. Hi, Julie. For me, the book that really jumps out at me was The Passage by Justin Cronin. Everyone loved it, but me, I think. I abandoned the book after about 100 pages. I have never done that.


  19. I am very guilty of this!! I have a lot of books I just HAD to buy the day they were released and then kind of let them sit there after making it through only a few chapters. Same as with movies, I tend to truly enjoy the ones people overlook.

  20. I enjoy books and films more without hype. There must be a way to market products well without the shamwow factor.

  21. haha, that's very true. It's tough to live up to the hype, but when it exceeds expectations (like Hunger Games), it's AMAZING. :D

  22. I bought Divergent because of the hype on twitter, etc. And I liked it, and it wasn't toooo violent so I let my daughters read it, and they liked it. Same with my husband.
    The best part is the jokes about it later. How the kids need to be more dauntless when faced with killing the bug in their room,etc.
    Hype can be fun. Or a letdown. Depends. :)

  23. Hype has let me down a number of times, I'm afraid. I'd much rather go blind into a book than go in with super-high expectations.

    And my kids are always like, "Mom, you NEED to buy this-or-that!" about the things they see on TV. "You NEED THIS!" It's very cute. :)