Giving Feedback or Writing Reviews of Bad Stuff


Some book reviewers say that when they don't like a book, they simply don't review it. I'd love to take the easy way out, but when I think about it from a reader's perspective? I want to know when a book sucks. I recently had to give low ratings to a book. I posted it on Amazon and no where else. More people find the book on Amazon than on my site or other places where I post reviews.

For one book, I contacted the author and explained why I couldn't give it good reviews. I didn't write about it since I believed my association with an organization would bias my review more than usual. The author understood my views and let me know he plans to modify future editions based on some of the things I mentioned, but not the key areas. So it's unlikely I'll review the second edition.

From the minute you decide to be a writer, you can count on negative feedback, or at least, areas needing improvement. A couple of people might tell you I take feedback personally, but that's not the case. Some folks don't know how to provide feedback and make it sound personal rather than an honest criticism for improving the content.

When I edit, I try to keep in mind what it's like to be the author receiving the feedback and word it in a way that helps rather than hurt. Some people nitpick because they refuse to allow any content go through the process error-free. Nitpickers also do this because it affirms they know everything.

Working with someone for the first time makes the process harder. That person doesn't know how well (or not) you take feedback. Some tiptoe around it, provide straightforward comments, or slam it.

Writing easily challenges a person's confidence. One minute, articles get raves and the next, no one accepts it. My self-confidence has been all over the place, but I think we all go through it no matter our career of choice.

www.meryl.net/">Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind www.meryl.net/blog/">meryl's notes, www.internetviz.com/">eNewsletter Journal, and The Remediator Security Digest. She is also a PC Today columnist and a tour guide at InformIT. She is geared to tackle your editing, writing, content, and process needs. The native Texan resides in Plano, Texas, a heartbeat north of Dallas, and doesn't wear a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.


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Listen to the speech

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