Ways to Grow as an Author: Feedback in Reviews

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I love my friends and family. I love that I’m surrounded by supportive people who enjoy reading and want me to be a successful author. I know this is not something that all writers (and sometimes most writers) are lucky to have. I’ve heard stories from other authors about what it’s like and how they feel not having this support system.

That being said, they are not helping me improve as a writer and author.

I took a chance before the holidays and hired a company to help me connect with bloggers to increase my book reviews for Modern Persuasion. Within a day, they told me 5 bloggers had already requested the book. A few days later the first reviews started coming in and, while they weren’t as good as the first reviews in the summer, they were honest reviews.

Authors share review horror stories and I’ve even received a few that I think are just silly. Authors are quick to get defensive about their books. They are, in some cases, like our children. To be criticized is like being punched in the gut. I get it, but I also see reviews as a chance to grow, especially when book review blogs take the time to give you their feedback in reviews.  I look at the criticism of readers as feedback on what worked and what didn’t work.

This is especially true with Modern Persuasion.  My biggest regret with the book is that I assumed, when I did have a publisher, that they would do a review of the manuscript.  After all, they had said it was one of the many services they provided as a publisher.  I would have looked for more editors and readers if I hadn’t made that assumption or been correctly informed.  When I look at the feedback coming from people for Phi Alpha Pi, I’m seeing similar comments and recognizing these elements of my writing needs work.  The difference is that this time I’m seeing the feedback before the book is published.

Right now Phi Alpha Pi is with my final editor and I’m getting Missing Auggie ready to go.  This time I will solicit even more readers and more professional editors.  The more eyes that are critical of the book before it’s available to everyone, the better it will be and more professional it will seem.

Thank you to the reviewers who are giving me constructive feedback.  Hopefully you will like the next book more!

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