Precious Snowflakes Melt Under Criticism

You know what sucks? Being told that something you made is horrible.

Creating is a difficult process & it’s hard not to feel precious about the final result. Especially when that final result is the sum total of weeks of work, late nights staring into the screen, forgotten meals, agonising over minor changes, careful refinements… you get the idea. Artists work hard.

So I get it. After all the time I spent on Speak for the Dead, some of the initial comments I got back made me feel pretty defensive. I’m pretty sure the first thought to go through my head was that’s not a valid criticism, give me an example.

I held my tongue though, because it might be hard to hear, but that doesn’t make it untrue or unfair.

What I do find harder to remain silent about is people looking for validation over the “outrageous” and “undeserved” negative feedback they’ve been given. Is someone pointing out that your book has a full stop instead of a comma nitpicking? Hells, yes. Is their pointing it out “abuse”? Aw, hells, no.

Even though it feels like shit to see a small-minded commenter refer to your writing as puerile, at the end of the day it’s a numbers game. For that one person who left an overly-long & frankly dull rant on your Amazon page, how many people read your book & simply responded with “meh”? How many read it, liked it, but never thought to leave a review? How many read it & wouldn’t know what to say beyond “it was good”, so didn’t post? By this measure, you’re still coming out on top.

But, let’s be frank here. Who really looks like the fussy tantrum-thrower in this equation: the negative-review ranter, or the author who makes comments like this in reply –

Dear reviewer,
Thank you so very much for the review, but it looks as if you posted it on the wrong book. This clearly can’t refer to mine. I sincerely wish you to read, “My Book,” which I’ll send if you reply with your address–free. After you read it, please be specific as to how it can be improved and I’ll be forever in your debt.

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2 thoughts on “Precious Snowflakes Melt Under Criticism

  1. I love it! That is a good reply. What I was trying to say though is even though freedom of speech is a good thing, there is a big difference between a customer voicing their opinion and being crude and insulting to complete strangers saying ignorant rants just to get off. Amazon also has the freedom to decide to take these down or leave them up too. They don’t have to post those unhelpful rants that crazy people post just because the crazy people have a right to say crazy things. They do not have to offer a free platform for these losers to vent. Amazon says they have standards. Well what are they? If you read the example I am referring to you might see what I am talking about. Go to I Know You’re Hiding and I’ll Find You by Janis Anderson Yelton. A negative “review” was posted by some crazy person that I believe that Amazon should take down. I am not just talking about honest people voicing there opinion and giving a bad review, just trash-talk from morons. I would like Amazon to show respect to CreateSpace customers/authors and just weed out that crap.

    • I tried to read the review on I Know You’re Hiding and I’ll Find You, but I got bored after about a paragraph & a half. If anyone is reading those reviews because they seriously want to know what the book is like, they’re probably going to be just as bored & dismiss it. I wouldn’t worry about it.

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