The “Does your book make a parent run screaming from the room” syndrome / ie: Read it Again Factor

So here I am (was) working hard on my revisions… though it’s more a polishing. Add a work, delete a word, move a phrase, put it back…. It’s ready. I know it’s ready…. it’s gotten great feedback from others, the crit group, friends, my kids…. I love it, but will the people who I need to love it love it?

So, I asked my husband to read it… when it was done, I asked him, “would you read it again, or run screaming from the room if a child said ‘again Daddy?'”

Yes, there were many books which gave us nightmares when our kids said AGAIN…. Some we buried, others we learned what pages you could skip without ruining the plot, and some we would declare “bathroom break!” and then come in with another book we found that they would love.

hiding

My husband and I read to our kids a lot when they were younger. And I still do when they will hang out and listen. Now I read them my books, sometimes an award winning book I want to discuss from a child point of view, and sometimes one of my critique partners books that I’m not sure if I’m being too adult about.”

One question we need to ask both ourselves and our readers is, would you read it again? The read it again factor…

How can we test this?

  • Do you want to read it over and over? If you are getting bored, others will too.
  • Do you enjoy reading it aloud? Is it fun?
  • Does it offer interaction between the reader and the audience/child? Do you have a catch phrase or sound effect they can take over.
  • Does it feel long when you read it again the second time, right after you just read it….or is the length good?
  • If you are doing author visits, can you see yourself reading it 10 times in a day. Yes, I’ve done that. Luckily I found a way to change it up for my own entertainment.
  • Does it leave room for discussion?
  • Did you leave room for the Illustrator to have fun?

Put it on your list for your critique group… a good story is great and all, but if it’s going to be hidden in a box, and stuffed in the back of the garage for the next bonfire, I’d rather someone tells me now.

What makes a book fun for you to read over and over and over and over?

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