Grow up? You all are the ones that are acting like you've never read a crummy book in your life, and that now you need to get some point across. You have Twilight on some high pedestal, trying to put it off as one of the best examples of literature ever to come out, and you get mad when it continues with the same quality it always has.
See if I returned it to the bookstore it's not that I wouldn't be completely ruining them, I'd obviously use the money to buy something else so I don't see the big deal. As long as the book is in good condition.
If people took your post to heart and never stepped into a bookstore again, you would be out of a job. Think about this before going on a vitrolic rant, m'kay?
People are irate not only with the story line but with the tripe that Little Brown put out there. Little Brown promises a quality product in terms of editing, cohesion, etc and it was just not evident in this book. Consumerism runs the world- if people continuously purchase subpar products, where is the stopping point? When do consumers say "enough is enough"? Prices are soaring on everything right now- book prices have gone up to $8.00 per paperback... if I'm paying $10.00 (after taxes, etc) for an hour's entertainment, I want quality publishing, quality editing and quality reading.
Do not assume that you have the right to castigate people for being unhappy consumers. I wasn't thrilled with all of the story line, nor was I thrilled with the manner within which the story line was executed- I didn't write it. But a well-known publisher setting these books out should have done a much, much better job before publishing this.
Also as a long-time bookworm and as a bookstore employee (since we're throwing credentials around) I have to say: please stop flaunting either of these facts when you rant at people for returning a book. It makes the rest of us look bad.
I can see Aila Yeatts point. However, I can see it the other way, too.
My first reaction is, "if I buy The Great Gatsby and don't like it would it be morally acceptable to return the book to the bookstore?" Of course not. I bought the book knowing that it may not be the best story ever, it may not live up to my expectations, etc. There's no rule anywhere that all books must meet all expectations or they ought to be returned. A book that fully satisfies me may be an absolute bore to someone else but that doesn't mean that the other person ought to return the book like it's trash or a piece of faulty equipment.
All that said, Breaking Dawn is hardly comparable to The Great Gatsby, no? And as far as I'm concerned, it could possibly be classified as faulty equipment since there seem to be so many issues and faults with the characterization and plot. (I actually have not read the book myself.)
Alia, I admire your strong moral sense, and am thinking you're probably a pretty awesome person to know, but I also think you are allowing corporate America to take advantage of you.
If "real readers," as you say, are people who simply lie back and accept whatever in a "buyer beware" gambit, then the publishing companies have absolutely no incentive to TRY. No incentive to find anything new, authors who are innovative, and timely and brilliant. This is why we have mid-list authors who struggle to put out a good product shoved into the background for the latest twelve Laurell K. Hamilton clones who might not write WELL, but by jove at least they can write FAST. This is why the real innovators, people who are pushing the boundaries and perfecting their craft can't find buyers, because "It's really good! But our readers won't 'get' it, can you simplify it a little? Dumb it down?" This is the level of respect the vast majority of large publishers have for you. Why TAKE that? Why accept?
In a larger context this is why so much of pop culture all sounds and looks and reads exactly the same, why we have 16 Britney copycats and nineteen Scary Movie sequels, each worse than the last, with everything that was unique and creative sucked out. Sequels and remakes and subpar book adaptations, year after year after year. This is why there is little to no respect among large corporations for the average American consumer -- because we keep on proving that we want our horses beaten and dead, more and more and more of same as long as it's "safe." That we're willing to accept: "well, it was poor because of this that and the other thing, but tee-hee, who cares, it's just YA, it's just fiction, it's just fantasy!"
No. Just no. If we accept crap, crap is what we will get. Non-crap DOES exist, so there is no reason to accept crap. If we accept things thrown together in six months because we need a "fix," now now now, then shoddy craftsmanship is what we will get. When quality sells, publishers will produce quality, bookstores will stock quality, writers will produce quality -- they have to make a living and eat just like the rest of us, and will do exactly what produces a paycheck. They're not robber barons on the fringes of society tying to cheat us, nor are they the archangel doorkeepers who generously bestow the Gift of Art to the Masses from the goodness of their hearts. Let's not over-idealize (or over-demonize). It is a BUSINESS, it runs on the same principles of cause and effect as any other business: Produce what people want, and you can have enough money to buy supper and a home and maybe some nice extras.
A book is not just its paper and ink -- it is a service, an experience, and if the experience is sub-par, the providers need to know about it, because that is their JOB. (And no, it's not their job to provide the "best experience of my life" -- but then it's also not their job to provide offense, unhappiness and discontent either, y'know?)
After all, if a huge amount of people are unsatisfied with this book, isn't it better for Meyers and her people to know NOW, and take steps to mitigate this, rather than putting out more of the same? Yeah, it may be a blow in the short-term. But if a large portion of people who bought this book hate it but don't return it, just sit at home and silently sulk because "buyer beware!", so that on paper "Breaking Dawn" looks like a universal success, and then Meyers and her handlers then put lots of money, time, and effort into another similar work which just flops because the dissatisfied have secretly gone off Meyers and this time just don't buy in the first place -- well, what a waste! It's not good long-term business. Not for anyone.
It's feedback -- they need to know what's wrong, and money is the language that business speaks.
It is just a book. I understand the need to tell the author and the publisher that what they put out is unacceptable. Sometimes the only way to get your point across is to hit them in the pocket book. They lose money when books are returned and people are warned off. I think anyone who bought it, and didn't like it has the right to get their money back. Most people spend quiet a lot at book stores, I for one never get out for under $50 when I go, and I have bought in to a member ship that gets me nearly 40% off when I buy.
I just read about this thread on PW and I was so appalled I had to reply. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Shame on you and everybody else who returned it. It is NOT okay to return a book you paid for just because it didn't end the way you wanted it to. You don't like it? Okay, talk on a message board, send Stephenie a letter, sell your book on ebay, whatever. If you bought a book in perfect condition then the book store has fullfilled its obligation to you completely and you should not be able to take it back. Just because they will allow it to be brought back so they will not lose business doesn't make it okay. There's a place to read books for free and return them, it's called the library. Furthermore, it is absolutely not the same as bringing home a carton of milk that is sour. Milk has a gaurantee, it's called AN EXPIRATION DATE. If you buy milk before the expiration date then it should be fresh, if it's not then, yes, you bring it back. Nor is it the same as buying a sweater. That also has a gaurantee and that's called THE TAG. If you wash your once-worn sweater according to instructions on the tag and it falls apart then, yes, you bring it back. If you don't follow the directions and it falls apart then that's your stupid fault. Buying a book is also different than buying an ipod that doesn't work and if you don't understand why by now then I feel really sorry for you. A book is an artist's work and art does not have a gaurantee because it's subjective. You buy it with the assumption that you may or may not like it but you've bought it and you've read it and now it's yours. You don't like it? Tough. I think I'll explain why once more: By buying a complete book in perfect condition Stephenie, the publishing house and the bookstore have all completed their obligation to you as a reader. They are not obligated to get in your head, figure out what you want to read and put out that copy of BD for you which you somehow obviously expected them to do and as I wrote that I realized how useless it is to tell you all this is because if you were dumb enough to expect that from them than you are obviously not going to understand anything I just wrote but oh well.
This isn't about punishing the bookstore (and really, they don't care, they'd rather have a happy customer who will return to buy more books rather than turn one away just because they didn't want to refund a book).
It's about letting the publisher and author know we were displeased, and there is only one way they listen these days: money.
Amen, Monet, very well said. Returning a book because you didn't like it is ridiculous. If you're worried you won't like a book, wait until you see the reviews before you buy it. Christ, do people really need to have that explained to them? But this is the age we live in, the Ugly Internet age. This whole "movement" is emblematic of the pack mentality that has become so much more prevalent these days because it's so much easier for the "packs" to get together while they hide behind screen names. I haven't read the book nor any book in the series, but I do work in publishing so I know that books vary widely in quality and that's just the way it is. So do movies--you gonna ask the theater for your money back? Just because it's possible to do so with a book doesn't make it right. You read it, you own it.
Who cares if you're displeased? Stephenie didn't write BD for you, she wrote it for herself and she was nice enough to allow you to read it. What do you expect her to do? Put out another version of BD that is different just so you can have a copy you like? It's not going to happen, that is the way the story ended wether you liked it or not. I'm not too happy with BD either but I would never return the book like a petulant child who didn't get their way. It's not anybody's fault I didn't like it but mine. Same with everybody else who bought it and didn't enjoy it. Why should anybody be punished at all when everybody did their jobs? Stephenie Meyer wrote a book, Little Brown Books published it and the book store sold it to you. We're the variable here. Wether you liked it or not you still read it and therefore should still have had to pay for it.
If she wrote it for herself, she wouldn't have tried to get it published. As soon as she entered the publishing world, she stopped writing for herself.
You're still arguing that someone displeased with a product should just suck it up and live with it. That's not how our consumer-oriented society works these days. You're thinking in extremes.
Hell, I didn't even buy it. After Eclipse, I wasn't about to. I did borrow it, however, and I was more than eager to return it as soon as I could. If I had bought it, I would have returned it, because my $15 isn't going into Meyer's bank account. Not a penny of it.
I'll borrow a book and then buy it if I enjoyed it enough. I borrowed Ender's Game from my dad, and when I moved out I bought my own copy because I loved it that much. But Breaking Dawn isn't even 5% as awe-inspiring as Ender's Game. Not worth keeping or worth putting money into Meyer's pocket for something you didn't enjoy--especially for those who were eagerly expecting to love it as much as they loved the last three novels.
aila yeatts-- wow, and you're telling us to get over ourselves... no, meyer hasn't smashed the perfect little vampire mary sue world- she CREATED it in BD and it was a horrible one, too! honestly, i never really cared about bella in the stories (and i know many readers who agree with me) because she was a whiny, immature, and annoying main character. hm...hiding what the story was to me? what about the veil that made me realize that the story simply WAS: in your words, The Teen Equivalent To My Mother's Trashy Romance Novels. actually, i'd rather read my mom's trashy romances simply because the authors would have been true to their genre and made it an interesting - instead of TRAUMATIZING in BD's case - read. real readers tell it like it is...you've been blinded by your own assumptions. and i didn't get what i paid for. as a true fan, it wasn't entertainment to me - it was pure torture, thank you very much.
Monet, why are you so "appalled"? You should stop for a moment and consider--whether you agree with it or not--the very real phenomenon of thousands of fans being SO upset with this novel that books are actually being returned everywhere, and perfectly legally as well. When was the last time, if ever, this has happened with such a popular author? Think about it.
Hmm......what can I say about this subject. Well, I see no reason why when you're dissatisfied with a product that you can't get your money back for it. Whether you return it or sell it and make your money back is up to each individual. My problem would lie with the bookstore and what they intended to do with the book after it was returned. If they put it back on the shelf and try to re-sell it for full price, that would bother me, because I don't want to pay full price for something I think is brand spanking new and it turns out not to be. If they had a used book section, I think that would be okay. Then you know that someone else did own it, but you get a discounted price for it. I think that's fair.
What do bookstores do with returned merchandise anyway? If someone has answered this, I'm sorry, but right now, I don't have time to read through the whole thread.
So long as it's in sellable condition, it goes back on the shelves. In fact, if the book is in any way damaged (bent spines, torn pages, scratches, writing inside, etc), they won't accept a return. (This is not speaking for defects. Those are not the same thing.)
Now honestly, I was very much disappointed with this book. But as an author myself, I am slightly appalled I guess. I work in retail and nothing grates me more than people 'renting' something. (meaning they buy it, then return it cause they no longer need it. Think of...perhaps buying a GPS unit for a weekend trip and then returning it as soon as you get home. Forcing the retailer to sell it used and at a lesser price.) Big deal, you hated the book. Why do you feel the need to be so involved to 'make a point.' Trust me, I've paid for much worse. The author deserves their cut and believe me it's not fantastically large. Fact, most authors don't make their living off their books. Oh sure you've got your rare birds who do, but that is more of an exception to the rule. She doesn't deserve my money? Nice morals there.
If you send people out there, returning every book they never liked...you will force retailers hands on return policies. Don't take advantage of it or they will take away the privilege. This 'idea' is STEALING. If you are so adamant on the author not making any money, go to the damn library.