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January 17 2019 Book reviews & Feedback

Feedback is important to any author or writer. Without it we cannot understand what our readers liked or disliked about our books, series, webblog,article or whatever else we write. Its just really important to get this kind of feedback. You will however have to excuse us for not publisizing the really negative stuff, even if its true. The fact is that we are in the business to sell books and articles, and if we don't promote ourselves we just end up losing readership.

That being said, it is also important for us to acknowledge that some of the readers out there may disagree with all or some of our writings, character development, plots and outlines and just general dialogue within our work. Thats ok! Our readers are entitled to their opinions, because they paid for the book! If we do our part as writers and try to understand our readership, and even fix a few of those novel blunders or ommissions, we can only become better writers in the long run.

"Simple causal reasoning about a feedback system is difficult because the first system influences the second and second system influences the first, leading to a circular argument. This makes reasoning based upon cause and effect tricky, and it is necessary to analyze the system as a whole."

— Karl Johan Åström and Richard M. Murray

While we still must remain true to our writing, our own thoughts and the way the story naturally infolds; we must also thicken our skin and take more of the opinions and suggestions that our readership lets us know about. Its a two way street and if the reader likes our story, the characters and the way the thing was written, then they will likely buy more book, but please keep in mind as a reader that while writers do indeed make their living from the words they write and that you buy, they still can only write what they believe in and subscribe too. The story, the article, the outline, the plot, the characters have to be what they have to be. Maybe you didn't like that book, and perhaps you swore to never buy another thing that that author wrote, ever again, this happens.

The truth is that for all of us in this profession, we grow from book to book, we try new things and we evolve as writers. So don't give up on us, maybe that next book or series will be the one that you can give a rave review of, its always a possibility and its our job to try to write something that almost every one of our readers can look forward too!

Constructive feedback helps any writer, irrespective of talent or prestige. Any writer hoping to be published needs to take on criticism, and any writer, even the very best, benefits from a fresh pair of eyes.You needn’t shy away from feedback if you are serious about being a writer, nor let criticism stop you chasing creativity. Even if you’ve finished a novel and are considering whether you need to pursue editorial feedback, read on.

We all wish for this. Whether you feel writing talent is innate and needn’t be taught, or is something that shouldn’t be taught – the truth is that all conscientious writers learn to self-edit from sound feedback.Bear in mind the quality of editorial feedback that helps your novel beat the slush pile won’t often come from immediate family members, unless your sister is Emily and your name is Charlotte or Anne (Brontë). Feedback can also come from literary family members, or friends who write, but be sure they care enough to be honest, as well as kind.

Find dependable ‘beta’ readers, if nothing else. Being practised at taking criticism can help you face agents and editors later, and if someone in the book business reads your manuscript thoroughly, and comments constructively, it’s a gift. And it’s as well to consider all feedback a gift – it’s a chance for you to improve. People in the industry do know what they’re talking about – and sometimes it’s better to hunt for a critical eye than to rely on family and friends who will be proud of your efforts, but may not be the most critical.

For any writer, it’s important you learn to self-edit. Surround yourself with people who can give you insightful critique. Even if you don’t quite agree with the feedback you receive, it’s still possible to take feedback and comments on board. You mightn’t agree with a suggested change, but you might understand why, then at least you can find another solution that feels organic to the story you’re telling, and more heartfelt to you as a writer.

If ever you’re frustrated and disheartened by feedback, bear in mind that any publishing house’s aim is to publish books that will sell successfully. Even if you’re rejecting traditional publishing, you’d still want that for your books yourself – you’d want them to sell. No contemporary manuscript goes through traditional publishing without editorial care.

It will be tough receiving criticism. It’s a sore point for any writer – because all we want is to be good enough. If you can take (constructive) criticism with an open spirit, you can hone your novel until it’s as good as it’ll be. Until it’s jacketed and on a shelf, after all, your book is always an art in progress. In sum, creative writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Keep this thought in mind, and let this ease some pressure for you. Remember, too, that perseverance with practice and patience is key to writing success.
 

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