It’s a given: Readers love to review books. Whether they are an expert on the subject or not, they want to be heard.
As an author, you may feel that criticism of your book is unjust. And, you may eventually get tired of reading, what seems to you as, constant criticism.
But, hold on, don’t be too quick to ignore your critics. Believe it or not, you may actually learn something from them.
How Criticism Helps You
Let’s look at 3 reasons why we should take a deep breath, step back and listen to what our readers have to say:
1. Criticism gives you another perspective on your work. Whether we realize it or not, sometimes we need to view our work through someone else’s eyes. Why do you think that there are movie critics and food critics? The greatest value they can give a director or a chef is their unique perspective. Similarly, someone else’s perspective can make you look at your work in a way that you never have before.
2. Criticism gives you the full picture of what your work means to other people. What author wouldn’t want the majority, or even all, of his or her readers’ comments to be positive? After all, that’s going to help to sell books, right? Criticism may show that you need to do more research on your topic or develop your characters more or further edit and proofread your work.
3. Criticism acts as an instructor. Critical comments teach you about your audience and what they are thinking about. It helps you gain insight into the public's view of what you do for a living. Criticism also shows whether or not your work is making an impact on others. If not, you’ll have an opportunity to stop and make adjustments to your work.
So, what should you do? The next time someone criticizes your work— constructively that is, and not in a mean-spirited sort of way—accept it. Then, take that criticism and find a way to apply it and improve your work.
Let’s face it: Criticism is inevitable. It’s uncomfortable, but you have to get used to it. If you are strongly convinced that you are a writer, and a good one at that, you cannot let criticism stop you.