Cruel Critiques

May 10, 2010

Critics take the book more seriously than I do. Why do they insist on picking it apart when it was only meant to entertain? Do the flaws they find prevent that?

I don’t mean to take the criticism that seriously, either. I appreciate an honest critique as long as it reflects a thorough reading of the book. The author can always tell whether it was really read or not. One “reviewer” I know of makes a virtue of reading only a handful of pages and dismissing it for trumped-up mistakes. Her mission seems to be to discourage self-published authors. “Exposition” is one of the deadly sins she cites. Seems there’s a right way and a wrong way to relate background information. The trouble with that rule is, it’s always wrong when self-published authors do it.

A reader of any novel has to have some patience. It’s a complicated world we’re inviting them into.


3 Responses to “Cruel Critiques”

  1. That is a real mission, still, for some reviewers: trash the indie work, lest those upstarts try to mingle with the hoi polloi – and give them cooties. I guess.

    It hasn’t deterred any indies, but I’m glad I wasn’t part of the first wave – that must have been hard to take: traditional publishers wouldn’t take you on, and when you self-published, their minions took potshots.

    What’s a writer to do? Keep at it – the digital revolution is already over, 5+ years after you wrote those words.

    • lgould171784 Says:

      I do believe there is more acceptance of indie writers now than when I first wrote those desperate screeds. Some authors who’ve already published traditionally have embraced self-publishing as a second act, and others have gone hybrid. It’s all to the good for both authors and readers.

      • But we still need the great indie literary writers, and I’m aiming for that slot – literary, not great (which is not for the writer to say).

        Discovery is hard there; but then there are books like The Goldfinch which are pushed and have two million copies printed. It’s instructive to read the negative reviews on Amazon – I learned a lot.

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