Hello Fellow Readers and Writers–

Recently I gave a 3 out of 5 possible stars review on  The woman, who shall remain nameless, said the critique didn’t bother her as much as me leaving the links to my books afterwards.  (She said I was riding the wave of her success.  Oh brother!)  But she can’t kid me.  Her hide was too soft–and we writers can’t afford to have that.  Heck, even Grisham and Evanovich get one-star reviews now and then!  What?  You think you’re above them too???

Well, this woman threw her thin-hided weight around (apparently she’s written a lot of chick-lit books), and she got Amazon to withdraw my 3-star review–so now she has all 4 1/2-5 stars on that book.  I pity her future readers who will be plunking down their hard-earned money for what she writes.  Ah, well.  I guess some people have clout and some don’t.

My point in all of this?  If you are part of a critique group, as I have been (numerous times during my career as a writer), bring your thick skin.  Constructive criticism will only make your writing better.  But don’t take every word they say as gospel, either.  As my mentor, editor and friend always says–“Follow your heart.”  If someone makes a suggestion that your character does something different, and you know in your heart that they wouldn’t do that, don’t use the suggestion.  But if, instead, you say, “Hm.  That does sound like a better idea,” then use it and thank the person. 

And my other point?  If you can’t edit your own writing for content, hire someone who can.  No one (including me, dear writers and readers) is infallible.  Content editing, especially for people writing a series, is VERY important.  You can’t have your character living in one place, with certain neighbors in one book, then suddenly switch to the same place with different neighbors.  And you can’t have her driving one kind of car in the first book, and another in the second book . . .unless you’re Stephanie Plum, whose cars seem to get demolished in every book.  (Too funny, Ms. Evanovich.)

And if you’re uploading your books to Kindle Direct Publishing, or any other self-publishing company, PROOFREAD YOUR WORK before you do, or have a trusted friend proofread it for you.  Simple errors like skipped words, words that don’t belong in the text, etc., make readers stop reading the story and you don’t want them to leave the world you’ve created or they’ll put the book down and write a less than stellar review, as I did for the author mentioned above.  ALWAYS put out the best book you possibly can.  And ALWAYS strive to better your writing.  We may be writing for ourselves, at first, but when we publish a book, it’s all about the readers.  (Right, readers? . . . Of course, right!)

Wishing all you writers out there a successful 2013, and all you readers out there, tons of fun books to read.



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