Cruel Critiques

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.

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3 thoughts on “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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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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