Books. I enjoy everything about them; reading, seeking out my next victim, enjoying their lovely cover art, even the smell of their delicate pages. Occasionally, though, I stumble on one that leaves a sweet essence behind and a lasting impression. I could easily list many of my favorites on this page and never bat an eyelash. In fact, I have in a previous post.
It is when I have found such a novel that I am truly happy. But what makes it even better is when I realize the author of said novel gives contact info for feedback. Not only do they give you a unique escape from reality, but to then give you the opportunity to honestly express your opinion on it…. well, that takes a certain modicum of courage.
I had the privilege to do just that for a not so well known author recently. I wrote a review of her novel and gave the link to her. But that’s not all. I also sent her an email on it. I couldn’t help but let her know how much I enjoyed her hard work and how well executed it was. I also wanted to take a moment to encourage her in all her writings because it is very strenuous work.
I never send emails for my own gain. I find that very poor form. I send them because being a writer is very difficult. It is fun in many ways and the friends you make, who are just as crazy as you, are priceless. Someone who understands why you talk to yourself makes the world a little brighter. When I have my hard work in print on the shelves somewhere I would hope someone would encourage me after I’ve seen all of those vicious, poorly constructed, ill conceived reviews.
I know there are people who don’t enjoy every genre. They may not even enjoy that particular book in that genre. But there are very many people who trash books with no real valid reasons other than “I think it’s horrible”. No. Without proper explanation, your opinion simply doesn’t count. Sorry. Granted, you may have a good argument hidden in your negative review, but unless you can tell why in a clear way then all you cause is hurt. And at the end of the day, someone who spent many hours laboring on such a book may need a little good advice. Or just a positive word.
When you read your next novel keep these things in mind. If you finish the book and feel the writer did an excellent job, along with his/her team, it’s not a sin to tell them how wonderful a job they did. Whether it is through email or the best you’ve got is to post a review on Goodreads or Amazon. They do notice such things. If they are attentive, then you are not simply a number who purchased their novel. You are someone their mind considered, among others, who they wrote specifically for. Not to become deluded enough to believe this book is for you and only you…. that’s just creepy.
Dearest Reader, each review, email, or online conversation about our work becomes to us much more than words on a page. More than letters. Those writings become a part of us. Your words are part of the building process of either ego or armor. We are grateful for your feedback, because that means you took time to learn about and possibly even read our work. And always remember it is work. Words employed to entertain don’t just appear out of thin air. They are carefully put together, woven, to create a world designed to escape your reality. To take away some of those worries for just a moment. And that you would pay for that experience is a complement. So even when you have read our writing and found it lacking valuable techniques or the like, still tell us. But do so in a way that will make us better, not tear us to shreds.
Who knows? You may be the one receiving a reply one day.
I hope you also have a great day!