Why Full Disclosures Irritate Me – An After Hours Discussion

» 6 August, 2015 » Discussion » 23 comments



It’s been awhile since I have had a bookish related discussion! Today, I wanted to talk about FULL DISCLOSURES on books, and why they irritated that crap out of me. This is actually the second time that I am discussing this – but I feel that I need to address it again because I am seeing it more frequently.

Now, before I get into my full thoughts – I want to state that I don’t mean FTC Disclosures and/or content warnings. Those, in my opinion, are obviously necessary.

Have you been browsing books on Goodreads and you see something like this?

[book title] is a full-length standalone romance with a HEA

Or how about this —

[book title] is (number) in series and ends on a cliffhanger


I know there are those that love HEA’s, and they want to know if the book they are interested in, will end the way they want it to. I understand this – to a point. I am going to take a stab in the dark and say that at least 80% of romance novels end on a HEA. So why in the world, would that need to be disclosed? You can take any number of authors and/or publishers and just KNOW how their books are going to end!

Ultimately, this my friends, is what I call a spoiler. Because, THANKS FOR TELLING ME HOW THE BOOKS ENDS!

You are telling me up front that, regardless of what the characters go through they will overcome it ALL, so don’t worry. NO. You know what? This creates disconnect for me, because ALL THE THINGS that are supposed to create angst or tension or drama or whatever, don’t emotionally impact me what so ever. You know why? Because I already know going in HOW IT FREAKING ENDS. More often than not, I will skip the book.


Now, let’s move on to the Standalone vs Series debate. This disclosure doesn’t bother me too much, because when authors are releasing books within the same world and/or characters, readers might not want to jump in at book #3 or #10 without catching up on the previous books and WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT. However. I think the term STANDALONE is debatable in its meaning, because I have read a few that claim they are standalone’s and they are clearly NOT.

To me, if the book can, I don’t know, STAND ON IT’S OWN, it’s a standalone. If there are inside jokes I will miss, character development that doesn’t make sense or major relationship developments that we should previously know about, it cannot stand on it’s own. But that’s a discussion for another day.

My question is, if your books are standalone’s, why have the [series name] #2 #3 etc? Because of the world? The theme? I don’t get it. Don’t call it the “fifth book in the series” if it’s NOT.A.SERIES.

The cliffhanger one? To me, this is a way an author/publisher prepares the reader but again, spoiler. I don’t need to be “prepared” for a major cliff hanger. As I said before — THANKS FOR TELLING ME HOW THE BOOKS ENDS.

BUT BUT BUT. What about reviews that say, “OH CLIFFHANGER ENDING, I CANNOT TALK ABOUT IT.” Spoiler, yet, it’s not FULLY disclosed. BUT again, I am getting off topic.

Back to the point. I don’t like full disclosures. I don’t like knowing how the book will end, be it HEA, cliffhanger or other. 

I want to state again, that this is not for REVIEWS but disclosures found on the book synopsis, usually found on GOODREADS.

I Turn the Spotlight On You

  • What do you consider to be a FULL DISCLOSURE?
  • What are your thoughts on them? Do you consider them spoilers?
  • Have they ever ruined a book for you? OR, have you not picked up a book because of said disclosure?
Share your thoughts in the comments!



Tonya is a 30 y/o mom, wife, avid reader, coffee junkie, junk food addicted workaholic and blogger.

23 responses to “Why Full Disclosures Irritate Me – An After Hours Discussion

  1. Jen @ YA Romantics

    I’m sort of in the middle on this issue. I guess I don’t mind a vague, general comment about the ending as long as it doesn’t give anything specific away. I just wrote a review where I called the ending “unresolved” and wondered if there would be another book. That could be considered spoiler-y to some people, I guess? I suppose my overall opinion is that when I don’t want to know ANYTHING about a book (and this is rare for me, but it happens) I avoid all reviews like the plague!
    Great topic!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • tonyalee

      Reviews are different. I feel there have been times I could have been considered “spoiling” a book but this post was in reference to disclosures on book synopsis. I find it a lot for romance novels.

  2. Red Iza

    I don’t think I’ve never picked a book because the disclosure had been revealed. Eeeeh, when it comes to HEA, I must add. Mostly, it’s like you said : this romance has a HEA. OK, most romances have, so I’m kind of expecting it.
    But I might postpone reading a book if I’ve been told there’s a cliffhanger at the end and I know it’s going to take a year to know how it ends. When you’ve read the cliffhanger a year ago, you probably have forgotten how you felt about it back then (how many books have you read since ?!) and its impact will have been greatly reduced. You will feel frustrated after the cliffhanger, but not remember it much the following year. If you wait until the series/trilogy/whatever has been released (or the cliffhanger has been solved), you can wait a little (a week !) before you read what happens next, but since you read it not too long afterward, it will have more impact – I hope I’m being clear, it’s 11.30PM here !
    So, HEA : I don’t care, it’s not worth mentioning in a review. But cliffhangers might make me wait 🙂
    Oh, sometimes, I write spoilers in my reviews, but I warn my readers first and I spoil because I’m angry and have to explain why 😀 !

    • tonyalee

      I’ll comment more later — but the disclosure is on the book info not in a review. I should clarify that more

    • tonyalee

      There have been many books that I have skipped on because of that HEA disclosure, simply because it was not a “standard contemporary romance” it was a thriller, or suspense or something dark.

      It’s one thing to expect it, another to be TOLD. Most wont see a difference in that, but I do. Obviously, picking up a book from an author that always writes a HEA is one thing, but for me to openly tell someone HEY ALL OF THEIR BOOKS ARE HEA!

      As for cliffhangers, this has never scared me away personally, but I wanted to discuss the other side of the coin and not just HEAs’s lol

  3. S. J. Pajonas

    Let me address this point…

    “My question is, if your books are standalone’s, why have the [series name] #2 #3 etc? Because of the world? The theme? I don’t get it. Don’t call it the “fifth book in the series” if it’s NOT.A.SERIES.”

    So I write two different kinds of series. My scifi romance series is a true, continuing series. You have to read book 1 then 2 then 3, and not out of order. I state that in the blurb. “**REUNITED is a true series novel. Please read REMOVED and RELEASED before reading this novel.” So no one gets confused.

    But I also write a standalone series, and I have gone back and forth as to whether to put it all under one umbrella or not. Ultimately I did put all my standalone contemporary romances under the “Happily Ever Asia” umbrella because of their theme AND because of merchandising. You know Bookbub? An author is much more likely to get a Bookbub if the book appears in a series because then there’s sell-through, and not only does the author make more money from sell-through but so does Bookbub. Even if people complained to me that standalones don’t belong in a “series” I would still do it because theme is enough to signal to readers that these books are similar, and if you like one, you’ll like another. When I’m competing against fake books and erotica in a non-erotica category, I need all the help I can get!

    • tonyalee

      So, it’s more from a marketing standpoint?

      I am kind of back and forth on this. In one hand, I can see readers wanting to read a book within the same “world” that ARE stand alones. This happens a lot with contemporary romance novels. But for me, when I have to ASK if it’s actually a series or not? And sometimes, those that ARE in a series cannot be read as a stand alone like they claim and it confuses me as a reader.. Does that make sense? I also noticed that you don’t put “Happily Ever Asia # 2 or #3” that is what I meant by that.

      Now, if IT IS in a series, then I see the whole “book #2” because they should OBVIOUSLY be read in order. Like I said, I run into this more and more when it comes to contemporary novels, and some historical romance too, over any other genre out there.

      • S. J. Pajonas

        So here’s something you may not know… Amazon in the last two (maybe three) months have started requiring a book number when you input a series name. So even though all my book in the Happily Ever Asia series are very true standalones (no inside jokes or plot points you may miss, etc.) I have to include a book number or Amazon will kick it back to me. Same goes with my Kami No Sekai short stories. All of them are standalone and can be read in any order, but I have to put a book number because Amazon requires it. This is why authors have to make the statements in the blurbs, and we throw our hands up and shake our heads if readers don’t read the blurbs and see the disclaimers. There’s only so much we can do because Amazon ties our hands.

        • tonyalee

          Hmm. I guess it’s a lot more “involved” than I thought! Still, I don’t want to know if the books ends on a HEA lol

  4. S. J. Pajonas

    Oh! I forgot to add about the disclaimers in general. I used to hate them. I would say “I write adult romance. OF COURSE there’s going to be sex and profanity.” But oh my god, the reviews I got. “One star. There’s profanity in this book! MY EYES!” and “One star. They had sex after only knowing each other for SIX WEEKS!” Ugh. I had to put the disclaimers in to keep the prudes away. Now all my books have one that reads, “This novel contains adult sexual situations and profanity.” If anything, it probably sells books for me because it attracts the right kind of audience. They read that and think, “OH GOODIE! SEX AND PROFANITY! YAY!” Lol.

    Otherwise I stay away from anything else besides stating book length. I started stating book length after someone in a review complained that one of my books was “Half the length of the previous books.” Not true. It was actually longer, but it was better paced so it read faster. Anyway, yeah, those are all my thoughts on disclaimers as an author 🙂

    • tonyalee

      OKAY. Content warnings are necessary IMO. But then again, If I go into an Adult, or even New Adult, I anticipate sex and profanity. I have those type of disclosures on my reviews! LOL

      I think those content warnings are even more necessary for YA/NA cross over.

      On another note, this sparked another discussion idea because I feel like authors are almost required to state something to please readers. Too much sex? disclose. bad language? disclose. It’s boggles my mind everything authors have to say in order to market to the right audience.

      • S. J. Pajonas

        Honestly, I used to agonize over ALL those decisions, but I realized after changing the darn blurb to include or not include these things several times, I just couldn’t please everybody. It’s hard enough to write the books! Lol.

  5. Trish Between My Lines

    I don’t tend to read a lot about a book before I start it. I only skim the blurb and the Goodreads synopsis so it isn’t really an issue for me. I would be mad as hell if I knew there was a HEA before I started though. A cliffhanger warning wouldn’t bother me as much as it feels more vague and in a way would kind of excite me for something unexpected!

  6. Steph from fangswandsandfairydust.com

    I think about 98% of romance novels end on HEA even if there is a cliff hanger. It can be hard to discuss the book without saying something like “The heroine was X the hero Y and the only reason I could stand it is b/c the genre requires an HEA.” Now if I were to say, “The hero turns out to be a spy for the English and the heroine is a chocolatier and not a nurse. They get together in a small room at an inn on Michaelmas while hiding from the bad guy who is her childhood sweetheart” then I have written a spoiling review.

  7. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Nereyda and I make fun of these disclosures all the time! Haha! It’s really really stupid especially when it comes to NA/adult romance books because you already know there’s going to be a HEA anyways. There is a reason why those are popular that I can’t talk about her. The only thing I’m okay with being disclosed is kinky sex scenes (as in threesomes, BDSM etc…). Like I recently read a book that didn’t come with a disclosure and it had things that I don’t enjoy when it comes to sexy times and there was no mention of it in the synopsis either. But yeah that’s just me.

    • tonyalee

      But that would fall under a content warning. Those are “okay” but I’ve seen them on DARK romance books and I’m all, THANKS A FREAKING LOT. And message me later about the other thing.

  8. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Ahhhh, I fucking dispose disclosures on summaries and reviews!
    I totally blame those popular annoying indie bloggers that just HAVE to know how everything ends and started making a big deal about cliffhangers and HEA’s. Of course authors wanted their books read by them so they started adding them on their summaries and ruined it for the rest of us.
    I have decided not to read books because of these, and yes, I consider them spoilers. Most books have a HEA, we know this, but that 1% chance of ‘OMG, what if it doesn’t’ is very important to me. Part of the reason why I love the Love Me With Lies series so much is that I had no fucking clue if it had a HEA or not!
    I agree with Nick and think content warnings are okay, such as sex related stuff.
    On that note, I wish books with virgins, rape and kids/pregnancies were clearly stated in book summaries too…

  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    This discussion totally made me laugh. You’re so right about disclaimers that spoil (and I also agree with you about the ones I don’t mind). On another note, I learned a lot from your series of comments with Steph Pajonas! 🙂

    • tonyalee

      I don’t know why this became a thing, other than that Steph had to say lol but it’s frustrating sometimes. 😉

        • tonyalee

          Haha yeah I see that. But I do think there are times a book is pitched as a standalone ( when it clearly states it’s a series) and must be read as so.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge