After re-visiting the Self-Publisher’s Review website, I think I have a couple of ‘after-thoughts’ that I have to say on Henry Baum’s stupid comment about literature in general. Although I would like to give my book to his website for review, I think there are a couple of other things that need to be said involving why I think his article is an obvious no-brainer. While I had the opportunity to browse the internet in wait of my computer, I came across a random article put out by a New York Times Reviewer dated several months back. The article was titled, ‘Self-Published Authors Can’t Handle a Bad Review.’
After glancing at the first three paragraphs of the online article, I realized that it had been talking about the same issues that I had recently dealt with. According to Kiri Blakely, she had recently encountered a self-published author who apparently had a fit of rage (more like a runoff with the F-bombs) because another editor pointed out several mistakes in her work such as spelling-grammatical mistakes and the usual awkward sentencing. Instead of acting civil with the concept of criticism, the author gives a backlash because the book is not on par with the professional standards that readers hold them to.
Although I understand the needs to ignore some of the criticisms readers put out there on Amazon, I want to point out that some of their criticisms are legit. I can say that because I have my own reviews which claim about the same things (e.g. word choices and character development). Even with those cognizant errors, I know not to get angry at them. Why? Because I know their claims are true. Despite that I am going to sell the book anyway, I know that I will eventually go back to these works later.
Even when I took the time to get into the field of writing, I knew that I had to take my critics seriously because they are the ones who are capable of seeing the things that I would not be entirely aware of. When I took my first Creative Writing course back in the Spring of 2008, I distinctly remember doing a peer-to-peer review with our short stories that we drafted. After passing on through several copies, I went through the review papers to see some of the feedback. Unlike my other classmates, there was this particular girl who went on explaining almost every detail of what went wrong with my writing, why it sucked and needed tremendous revision. I am entirely grateful for examples like that because I knew what could be wrong with the story that I had been working on. For people like them, I knew that I was preparing myself to enter the world of criticism where people can be colder than you would want to imagine.
Nevertheless, I want to point out that Self-Published authors need to develop sensitivity to criticism and not whine about it. There are reasons why people criticize and if you are not careful, these are going to be the same ones who will not buy the book.