Posted: November 22, 2012 by Arushi in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , ,

Our expectations tend to color everything around us. We expected something to be very good, so when it turned out to be just okay, we thought it was terrible. We expected something to be awful, so when it was okay, we could not stop praising it. This can be a person, an act, a movie, a book, a meal, a restaurant, a song… anything.

It’s so easy to say, “Don’t have expectations if you want to be happy!” but it is so hard to follow this thumb-rule. After all, how do you not expect a five star hotel to have good service? How do you not expect something (movie, book, art) from someone you think is brilliant, to be really really good?

Truth is, there will always be expectations. But the examples I’ve given so far the innocent ones. The ones that don’t hurt anyone. Not really. After all, if I hated that dish they served two months ago, it’s not really the end of the world. But if I expect someone to do something, something big, and keep on expecting it, and make sure they know I’m expecting it, I might become a huge barrier to them ever doing what they want to do. Because they have to live up to my expectations.

Sound familiar?

Its kind of the story of a lot of kids and even many adults. Peer pressure, pressure from parents, teachers, family and even friends leads to them aiming for things they might not really want. That I might not really want. But I cannot let them down! They’re just so invested in me! So… hopeful about my future! 

True. But at the end of the day, a person should never forget that he/she has to live his/her life and bear with the consequences of their decisions. See how quickly I have gone from first to second person narrative?

What we want to be, what we are, and what we wanted to be. We need to reconcile all of that within ourselves and then make sure that our own expectations don’t hold us back.

Still, they do provide excellent motivation. They do make us excited to do something because we are expecting a great result. So they’re not all bad. Not all doom and gloom. Most things in life aren’t. There’s always a positive, a negative, and the living part is to find the balance.

Enough of my life lecture though. This post was inspired by something mentioned on my favorite Goodreads Forum: a lot of Urban fantasy books get marketed as Paranormal romance if there is any romance in the sub-plot.

Let’s look at it from the reader’s perspective: “What a rip off!” If someone picked up something in a bookstore where they don’t have a lot of info available right then (like Goodreads), they will make the decision according to what genre the book was placed in, the cover and probably the blurb. So wrong branding like a UF placed in the Romance shelf would really annoy people.

If I picked up an UF and there was excessive sex, I’d get seriously annoyed. So the reverse is also bound to be true. You see why this post started by talking about expectations?

From the author’s perspective: Actually, I’m not too sure what an author would think. It could be one of many reactions, or a mixture of all. If a lot of books sell due to the ruse, the author may not really mind. If they get angry emails/bad reviews I am sure they won’t be particularly happy. Then again, they might not care about either of these things and still be unhappy because they love their book.

From the Publisher’s Perspective: Well.. they’re trying to sell books. As long as more books are sold, I am not sure how much they care about the finer details of branding. Sigh. That’s not really true. They do try their best to give books their niche, but at the end of the day, they have to sell. And sometimes.. a little bit of smudging in the genres is what gets it done. I am sure they don’t like bad reviews either.

So much trouble over expectations.

Moral of the story: Go into a book without expectations. Or maybe do research and have the right expectations.

  1. Vega says:

    Makes sense. For both life and for the publishing world. I didn’t know that putting a book in the wrong genre can do so much harm!

    Question: I haven’t read the Twlight series. But is Bella as emotionless in the book as Kristen Stewart enacts her in the movie? [2 friends of mine have been arguing about it and it came to their expectations of the movie being similar/different from the book]

    • Arushi says:

      Not quite that emotionless, but then again, the books are from her point of view, so basically you can hear every single thought that flies through her head. Still, she does try, Kristen Stewart succeeds.

      The movies are, plotwise very similar to the books. The characters, well, similar enough.

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