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.


MORE RESOURCES:
Signature (a Random House website) looks at the many 2018 Golden Globes nominees based on books:

It is officially that time of the year – awards season is upon us. As usual, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has kicked things off with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards nominees. The literary world is represented in this year's lineup with a smattering of great adaptations leading the charge in both film and TV. While the slate of nominees is populated with a few of the marquee titles you'd expect – "Game of Thrones" got it's annual nod, for instance – a few surprises cracked the surface as well. It looks to be another interesting year at the Golden Globes. Let's have a look.

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In an opinion piece in the Irish Times, John Boyne writes:

So I'm going to make a claim now that will probably get me kicked out of the Fraternity of Underappreciated Male Authors (FUMA) and blacklisted from the annual Christmas football game. Here goes:

I think women are better novelists than men.

There, I've said it. While it's obviously an enormous generalisation, it's no more ludicrous than some half-wit proudly claiming never to read books by women. For the record, purporting to love literature while dismissing the work of female writers is like claiming to be passionate about music while refusing to listen to anything but Ed Sheeran. However, I'm going to try to back up my sweeping statement...

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Booker died Sunday at 99. At the height of his career, few could have imagined he would live so long.

As Washington bureau chief for Chicago-based Johnson Publications, publisher of the newsweekly Jet and the monthly magazine Ebony, Booker went to the Deep South to cover the most tumultuous events of the civil rights movement--life-threatening work for an African American journalist.

William H. Gass, a proudly postmodern author who valued form and language more than literary conventions like plot and character and who had a broad influence on other experimental writers of the 1960s, '70s and beyond, died on Wednesday in St. Louis. He was 93. Mr. Gass was widely credited with coining the term "metafiction" to describe writing in which the author is part of the story. He himself was one of the form's foremost practitioners.

Barnes & Noble, which posted a wider loss last quarter and sent its shares tumbling, is scaling back ambitions to become more than a bookseller.

The retailer had hoped that toys, games and other items would shore up its results, especially as Amazon ate away at its traditional business. But its non-book sales have flagged the past two quarters, and now the company is putting its focus back firmly on reading.

Shelf Awareness reports on the growing "Cider Monday" movement by indie booksellers in response to the big online shopping day known as Cyber Monday. In this low key but fun event stores offer their customers "a warm welcome and a cup of delicious cider" to thank them for shopping local.

Dictionary.com's choice for its Word of the Year is "complicit." It says online searches for the word spiked three times this year...

On Saturday, hundreds of booksellers across the USA took part in Indies First and Small Business Saturday, organizing all kinds of in-store activities, offering a range of deals, hosting parties and engaging in the staple of Indies First since the event was founded by Sherman Alexie in 2013: having authors work in their favorite indies as booksellers. Shelf Awareness reports on some of the events.

Meanwhile, in the UK, bookstores celebrated the first inaugural Saturday Sanctuary to "celebrate bookshops as a place of calm and respite from our hectic daily lives."

A New York Times opinion piece by Daniel T. Willingham lays out the argument that American's poor reading skills cannot be blamed on modern technology but on a misunderstanding of how the mind reads - that functional literary is grounded not just in the ability to read words but in having the factual knowledge to put what one is reading into context.

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