Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in social media. Everyone has a blog, everyone has a book, everyone has something to say. Thing is, everything becomes static when we have so many messages being pummeled at us all the time.
Like most people I tune out books ads and self promotional posts that may as well say, “Give me your money.” It’s one of the reasons I try to avoid flooding my sites with crap about me. If you want to know me the info is there, but in small bursts.
This is part of the reason I don’t have a donation tab on any of my pages. If you’re a writer who has one, good for you. I’m not saying other people can’t do it, but I personally don’t like it when people expect me to give them my money just because. As a writer, I would much rather trade you my book(s) for compensation if you think that my work is worth it.
Those few individuals who take the time to write reviews and give feedback are my favorites. It helps me to fix issues with my technique and grow as a writer. I have had so many encouraging conversations with people on twitter, that I feel a responsibility to deliver good storytelling to my readers.
In depth conversations about characters and story line drive me to work harder. If you don’t like a book, a well written review that points out issues is extremely helpful. Scathing reviews that seem to emphasize that the reader just didn’t like it are another story. But I prefer those to just ratings.
Goodreads is one of my favorite websites. But they leave the option to just rate a book or also review. If you love a book, I guess that makes sense. But if you hate a book and give it a low rating, please write a review. Authors are used to rejection and confusing reviews that don’t really offer insight, if not, they’ll get there pretty fast.
“Writing is a process”-we hear this a lot, because it’s true. Part of that process is being able to listen to readers and improve based on intelligent feedback. Each author has to sift through a lot of comments and separate out the bullshit, which can be difficult. It’s not always easy to pin point what needs changing, and what is just a stylistic aspect that works for most but not all.
It’s helpful to have other writers who are there to help figure this out. I have been super lucky. The writing community has been extremely accepting of me. I have a writing Yoda, friends who I can relate to as we go on about our struggles, and the occasional conversation or comment with my favorite writer.
Communication is key.
I can’t get enough reader feedback; real reader feedback from people I don’t really know, who I’ve never met. Maybe that’s because it’s all been positive for the most part. I did receive an angry letter about one of my non-fiction Pagan pieces, but that’s all part of the job. Listening to other helps keep me grounded.
Give me more feedback!