What I'm Currently Reading...

Interview With the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, #1)Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
I started reading these books when I was a kid but never really got into them. Time to give them another shot!

Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2)Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Taking Criticism As An Author

So I've been writing book reviews for some time now. It isn't always the best feeling because it's difficult to write a review that an author might take offence to but I feel it is necessary to be honest. I always give the good with the bad and try to keep my reviews balanced.

This isn't a business for the faint at heart. Sometimes getting a bad or even okay review is helpful to the author. It's better to get an honest, straight-forward opinion than to have a bunch of yes-men around telling you something is great only to find out that the general populace disagrees.

My advice? When a reviewer writes you a review and you don't like what they have to say, take it and put it in your pocket for contemplation at a later time. You might be upset or offended now, but if you look at it later, with a clear head, you might just see that what they said could help you and your career. 

The saying goes, "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes." Well, I have. I too am an author and feel that I have some experience in the business of getting reviews and being criticized. If an author doesn't receive constructive criticism at the beginning of their writing career, they have no way of growing.

As an author, I've gotten some great reviews and some not so great. I've even been told by one reader that I should NEVER write another word. Of course, she has been the only one to say anything like that. In her case, there was no constructive criticism, just someone being as mean as possible. If I were to post the email she sent, it would make my readers cringe as it does me when I think on it. Even when I received her response, I took it, accepted it and moved on. I didn't respond to her and start up an argument. I let it be. She is entitled to her opinion, just as everyone else is.
I, like most of my fellow indie authors, am just beginning on what I hope to be a long career as an author. I know that my work isn't perfect but I strive for it to be. I'll take help wherever I can get it and suggest that you do too. Taking that criticism and using it to your benefit can be a HUGE help!


  1. Good post with salient points. I'm not an author but I am a reviewer and I can tell you that it is difficult for me when I read a book, especially one I really expected to love, only to have to slog through it. If a review is required I try to be as specific as I can about what I did not like. I also try to include at least a sentence or two about something I did like. Not every book is going to appeal to every reader but I do realize that most authors have put their heart and souls into their books and I wholly disagree with reviewers who are mean-spirited or snarky and those who create "laundry lists" of faults.
    Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Laurie. It really is difficult to have someone criticize your work. I've been through it, as I'm sure pretty much every author out there has. The difficult part is dealing with those who do not know how to take it with a bit of grace.

    Most recently, (just before this post) I was reviewing a book for an author. I gave the book 3 stars and talked about the good and the bad of it. The author and the 'manager' were furious that I would consider posting such a poor review and stated that I knew nothing and required me to take down the post. I must not have been their target audience if I wasn't willing to give it 5 stars automatically. What's more entertaining was that the author and I both write in the same genre and aim for the same basic fans. I'm all for supporting fellow authors. That's the whole purpose of this blog. But for someone to tell me that I have no clue about anything and that my opinion is basically worthless is very dispicable and a sign of bad judgement on the author's part.

    As a courtesy to the book tour company, I did remove the review but it made my opinion even less than it had been before. That author was the reason for the post. I wrote this in the hopes that she might read it and learn a little humility. I know it is bad to air personal issues but this is also a very professional one as well. I can only hope that my experience here helps others to grow and learn.