My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can You Handle the Truth?

Here's the thing about criticism: It's unavoidable.

As authors, even the brilliant authors, there's going to be criticism about our work. It's an unavoidable truth. Not every person is going to love every book. It's called taste, or preference. And there are a lot of readers out there with a lot of differing opinions.

Some authors don't want to hear the criticism. Their work is their baby; they've poured their heart and soul into their writing. It's perfect. It's brilliant. It rocks! And there is no way it needs improvement.

Time to cash in that reality check.

Even well-known authors will admit that if they could go back, there are things they'd change in their books. It doesn't matter how popular that book might be. Many authors admit that they have to force themselves to stop reading their novel because if they don't, they'll keep on re-writing and the thing would *never* be done.

Criticism should not be feared. When handled constructively, it should be revered. People, whether they're members of your critique group, your BETA readers, an agent/editor, or judges in a writing contest, are giving you feedback to make your work better. They're doing you a favor. Constructive criticism should be valued and considered, and not blatantly disregarded because you don't want to hear anything negative about your baby.

Sometimes, at first blush, this is hard to do. If you take the criticism personally and can't seem to see the forest through the trees, set it aside for a couple of days. Let the suggestions simmer. See the story through your eyes, and then through your reader's eyes. Envision your story with a few tweaks and ask yourself, "Does this make the story better?" You may be surprised by the answer!

With that being said, you know your work best. While critiques should be evaluated and considered, don't be swayed into blindly changing your writing style or the voice of your story simply because one person has a differing approach. Consider making changes that are right for you and for your story.

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