Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Newsflash: Publishing is Subjective

If you've ever been rejected you know this. At least your brain does. The message is much harder to implement, at least in my experience.

But I've been lurking around the Interwebz these past few days, checking out lots of book blogs and/or book review blogs. See, The Story Siren launched her annual debut author challenge, and so my Google alerts have finally become more interesting than what I tweeted last week.

So I've been thinking a lot about what kind of reviews my book might receive--in six months. It seems almost ridiculous to think about this right now, but hey, whoever said I was reasonable?

As this band of tension started to snake its way around my chest, I had a major newsflash.

Publishing is subjective. In fact, anything creative is subjective. You might like a painting I just don't get. You might love a song/artist I think is just noise. You might not even know what Survivor is...well, let's not go there.

But the same goes for books. I love with all my heart and liver The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

Maybe you don't.

And that's okay. We can still be friends. It's not personal.

Until it's your book. Or mine.

Which seems totally ghetto, right? We can talk books until we go blue in the face, we can disagree about what we like/don't like, we can go home and think, "We just like different things."

Until it's your book. Or mine.

Which is totally made of lamesauce.

In my head, I know there are going to be people who don't like my book. Who will give it "bad" reviews. In my head, I've told myself that everything will be okay. That publishing is subjective.

That it's not personal.

And so, today, I'm standing up for the non-lamesauceness of the world. Which, I think, would be awesomesauce. And I'm just going to keep repeating: publishing is subjective. (And I hope you like my book. But it's okay if you don't.)

What do you think? Is this harder to live than to believe?


Jessica Bell said...

I'm going through the same worries at the moment. My book is very 'honest', and is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. I know how you feel!!!! It knots me up inside. I'm already creating horrible review quotes in my head! Ugh.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's difficult, because for creative people, their creation of art is an extension of themselves. So not taking it personal is a challenge.
Be prepared for the negative but get excited about the positive!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think it's harder when you're living through it. Sorry. But you are so right, the whole process of getting an agent and being published is very subjective. So no matter what, celebrate because you've made it this far.

jdsanc said...

Before I started sharing my writing, I shared my painting. I have a modern/this is the sh*% I want on my walls/kind of style. Anyway, I hated people giving me their opinions of my paintings. I even hated the compliments. I was always thinking, Like I care what you think. It's tough. Good or bad, like or dislike. It is so tough hanging yourself out there. The only thing that can make it worthwhile is that You get You.

Laura Pauling said...

For the record - I love Survivor.

I think the whole subjective thing is easier when I'm not the one receiving the R or the bad review.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

When I get 10 good reviews on anything I do and I get one not so good, I tend to focus and court the one--not so good. Just remember to focus on the positive criticism AND the praise and forget the rest because frankly the latter is harmful and a waste of time, in my opinion.

Slamdunk said...

I bet that is difficult. I can equate it (in a smaller world) to blogging though--one can't make everyone happy and offer interesting reads.

Theresa Milstein said...

Every stage of this writing journey has us filled with self-doubt.

Can I complete a manuscript? Can I edit this manuscript to make it shine? Can I recover after harsh critique? Will I ever land an agent? Can I fix the manuscript according to my agent's suggestions? Will this manuscript ever find a publisher? Can I fix the manuscript according to my editor's suggestions? Can I find each and every typo before the book goes out? Will people buy the book? Will people like the book? Will I get an offer for the 2nd book?

And so on.

Love the new blog look by the way.

IanBontems said...

Oh God I can only imagine the excitement/horror you might be going through.

My book is on submissions and I keep getting conflicting emotions about it whenever I think about the whole thing.

It's like Two-Face's coin, one minute heads and the glass is half-full, but other times it's the scarred side and I get the feeling this whole process is some elaborate prank being played on me.

I'm curious now, Elana. What would you say awesomesauce and lamesauce taste of?

Talli Roland said...

It's really, really difficult. I have achieved a new level of hyper-sensitivity! I think it's even harder when any sort of negativity comes from people you know. I like Alex's outlook on it!

Katie Ganshert said...

This is SO true! And funny. We are odd little creatures, aren't we?

Stina said...

I already know my book isn't for everyone, especially if you prefer a light romantic read. Apparently, my first chapter is dark . . . for good reason. But you can't make everyone happy. *shrugs*

Of course, it's a lot easier saying that from my side of the fence. ;)

Lacey J Edwards said...

I've had friends tell me they didn't like a book I thought was amazing. I can just imagine how hard it is when it's your own book they didn't like! Yikes!
I understand the subjectivity of art. Which is why I don't write bad reviews. I don't really write any reviews, except general thoughts on goodreads. If I read something that I liked but didn't think it was amazing, I might not rate it, but I'll leave something in the comments like, "This book would probably be great for people who like..."
But I don't think that will be the case with POSSESSION. :)

Tracy said...

That's why when I become published I'm going to have my personal assistant (un-paid friend) read through all my reviews & only pass along the good ones. Those are the people I'm writing for anyway. Why waste time worrying about the ones who just don't "get" it.

Jamie Grey said...

Ugh - that's something I haven't even gotten to yet as a writer. It's one thing to worry that your crit partners won't like your book, or a non-writer friend hates it - you can justify that they just don't like that kind of book. But the hordes of other readers out there waiting for your debut book...*shudder*

You never know what they're going to think - but be it good or bad, you've written the best book you can, and as long as *you* love it, hopefully the negative reviews, while they might sting initially, will just fade away.

Besides, look at all the people who *do* love it...they're the ones you're writing for :)

Scott said...

Life is subjective! Yeah, it's hard when the subjectiveness is aimed at you, but . . . we shall survive . . . because Gloria Gaynor sang it so! Ha!

Seriously, we just have to do our best in this life and believe in ourselves and our ability.

4 out of 5 dentists might recommend Trident, but the 5th prefers Big Red.

So, 1,453,124 out of 1,453,123 love your book, and 1 doesn't. Oh, well, too bad for them!


Kerri Cuev said...

If I was in your situation I'm sure I would be saying the same thing. It is like sending your kids out into the world and someone bullying them.Not cool!

Guess you have to look at the positive and *gulp* ignore the subjective ones. Or you can ship them to an isolated island in the Pacific and make them eat rat brains!

Anonymous said...

It's really difficult, isn't it? It is subjective and we can't take things personally---but it still hurts. We're not cyborgs, we have feelings and hurt when projects near and dear to our hearts are ripped one.

But, we can't please everyone. Just hang on to the fact that you wrote a great story--And be sure to have some chocolate handy & a handful of loyal friends/family to get you through the tough reviews. :)

Write Chick said...

That is a tough one. I have to say that teaching helps prepare you for this. Mostly because it helps you realize that you can't please everyone. What one person says is too much homework, another will say is not enough.
I've noticed in reviews that one person will say the characters were flat, while another says that the characterization was the best they've ever seen.
You just have to remember that! Not that a bad review doesn't still hurt your feelings, but it does help it not hurt as much.
I personally can't wait to read your book. :-)

Paul Greci said...

It is very subjective but almost anything, one exception being math equations, is subjective.

I don't know what it's like to have a book coming out. You've obviously had a subset of publishing professionals give your book a big two thumbs, this is awesomesauce, up!!

Still, I think it's natural to be nervous and to think about those reviews months in advance because that's what us humans do much of the time. We look to the next thing, the next step. And when you're baby (i.e. your book) is involved, how could you not be at least a little obsessed :-) I think that acknowledging it like you did helps to demystify it, and I think that's a good thing.

VR Barkowski said...

Friend or foe, not everyone is going to love our work. Intellectually, we know this and we try to prepare ourselves for the sting. Yes, it is harder to live than to believe, but truthfully, the part of this scenario I find most baffling is why it is always the criticism or nit-pick that sticks out over the flood of positive feedback. Is it just me?

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Totally. As for the Debut Author Challenge, I've had to intentionally tell myself it's no big deal that the splashier titles are drawing more attention than the quiet ones like mine. It's okay, right? Right????

Unknown said...

Well, we think you're awesome Elana. How's that for subjective? :)

BTW, where've I been? I really dig the new blog header and theme.

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

I agree that publishing is subjective but its the ones that are close to us that makes it more personal. That is why it is so important to take our work to critique works to help us see the flaws. My problem is that I see to many of the flaws and don't see enough of the good. So they need a critique group that just looks at the good as well (:

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right, Elana, and I think as writers we can work to develop thicker skins, always thicker skins.

But. But. But.

I think it's harder to live this way in some situations than others. For example, I'm used to direct, thorough critiques. Let me have it. It's fine. And yet a dear writer friend of mine--we were in the same MFA class--just critiqued my novel and although she made some important and helpful comments, I pretty much felt attacked. And as much as I love her, I can't seem to shake that little prick of hurt inside. I don't know if it's because we're really close friends...or what, exactly. All I know is that when we finally talked on the phone, I was really clear in my head that this just isn't her book--and we had a great talk. But. The hurt lingers.

As for reviews, I'm a long way from there. I know some writers don't read them. I don't know if I could do that. But I, for one, can't wait for your novel!

Emily White said...

It does seem like it would be very hard to take bad reviews. Just the thought of it is making me cringe. But I think that when you read them along with all the good reviews, they'll be easier to stomach through. What you said is true. There are going to be some people who just won't like anything you write. It doesn't have anything to do with your particular skill. It's just a way of life.

Tina Lynn said...

I think as "lamesauce" as it might make me look, I'm going to stay away from reviews if I'm ever published. When I write, I entertain myself in hopes that in entertaining myself I entertain other like-minded individuals. I don't write for critics (unless they are like-minded). I write for pleasure. And I believe that's what will truly make your work stand out, that you were entertained. It will show. Just like my best teachers were those that loved the subject they were teaching and felt genuinely passionate about it. Didn't mean kids they were teaching were passionate about it. But those of us who left ourselves open to it, became impassioned as well. Wow. Long comment. Just call me Windy :)

Ben Spendlove said...

Enlist someone to kick you in the teeth a few times a day until you get used to it.

Or all your teeth fall out.

I always think I'm ready, but it still knocks me out for a while.

Ted Cross said...

I think it will hurt to see the bad reviews no matter how you try to prepare yourself. I know a lot of people won't like what I write, but their bad reviews will hurt me. At least you are becoming a published author!

Matthew MacNish said...

It's tough. On the one hand honesty is very valuable but on the other hand I can't see a writer who is actually human giving a negative review of another author's work. I mean I realize we don't all have the same taste, but I don't care if you're an aspiring writer just starting out or a best selling author, you don't say negative things about someone else's work publicly.

If you're critiquing because someone has asked you to, that's fine, as long as it's constructive, even if it's done publicly. But reviewing someone else's art online, just because you didn't love it? That's petty. Let's leave that kind of thing to the critics.

Bast said...

It's harder to live. I know that artistic things (be it a book, a painting, a song) are subjective, but when it's your own thing that's being judged ... yeah, it's harder to live.

Nicole L Rivera said...

Totally subjective. I had a short story published that received rave reviews. Then, I thought I'd be smart and submitted it to my professor for an assignment and she ripped it to shreds. The worst part is that it was so much harder to get up from the ripping then to believe the praise.
The worst is when you don't have an agent or a publisher and people praise your work out the ying-yang and you say to yourself, "Can you just go tell so and so that?"
My dad asked me last night if my book was out yet. I believe I growled at him. He doesn't get the process. He thinks, pump out a first draft and wham, book on shelf. *Roll eyes*
Oh well. The important thing is CANI (Constant and never ending improvement) and never quitting.
Congrats on the book deal and the release in 6 months :)

Nicole L Rivera said...

Totally subjective. I had a short story published that received rave reviews. Then, I thought I'd be smart and submitted it to my professor for an assignment and she ripped it to shreds. The worst part is that it was so much harder to get up from the ripping then to believe the praise.
The worst is when you don't have an agent or a publisher and people praise your work out the ying-yang and you say to yourself, "Can you just go tell so and so that?"
My dad asked me last night if my book was out yet. I believe I growled at him. He doesn't get the process. He thinks, pump out a first draft and wham, book on shelf. *Roll eyes*
Oh well. The important thing is CANI (Constant and never ending improvement) and never quitting.
Congrats on the book deal and the release in 6 months :)

Unknown said...

In seven months you are going to read a review that makes you wonder deeply *why* that particular reader ever picked up your book. That particular reader will astonish you, because it really is astonishing that a reader will take the time to actually write "Meh" about a book that evoked nothing but "Meh." This will give you the giggles. Because, in seven months lots of readers will have weighed in, and the book won't *really* be yours anymore; it will belong to the readers. In seven months time, you will be working hard on another book. Trust me. I'm you. Seven months in the future.

Carol Riggs said...

Oh yes, gorgeous header and blog design, E!

And yup...we'd all like our "babies" to be adored. I certainly would. But the reality is different (sigh). It's good you're thinking about this now, to mentally prepare yourself! I don't even have an agent yet, but I see I need to start tweaking my mindset for this too.

Blythe makes a great point--your book becomes your readers' and you'll be immersed in your NEXT book. Love it! I'm aiming for that. It's already what helps me put up with agent rejections--working on my current WIP.

Sarah Ahiers said...

you know, i can honestly say there are very few books i've read that i didn't like. I can always find redeemable qualities. I don't know if that's because i'm easy to please or because i'm really good about reading books i know i'll like.
Either way, you won't get a bad review from me!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Yep, completely subjective. I never give a negative review if I didn't like the book. It's just best to keep my mouth shut, especially if it's someone I know, because not only is publishing subjective, it's also extremely political, I'm discovering. No matter how much I prepared myself to receive negative feedback on my book, it still hurt. I'm quickly learning to just not read reviews unless someone tells me there is a glowing one out there I must go see.

Shari said...

I think it is definitely much easier to believe than live, but I think you are doing the right thing. You just have to keep reminding yourself that is truly is subjective. But I have to say I am really excited to read your book and I will give you rave reviews, after I read it, of course.

Heather said...

You're right, publishing is subjective. I know you're right, that is my mantra when I receive rejections. And don't worry, we're going to love your book!

Sara B. Larson said...

You know, very few people understand the importance of the liver, until it stops working. So that's neat that yours is so involved in your love of books. ;) I'm thinking my heart and my liver are totally going to love your book too, and so will MOST people's. Easier said than done, but from what I hear, it's better to just NOT READ the negative posts/reviews and focus on the positive. Of which there will be MANY. I promise.

Anonymous said...

I do think it's harder to live than to say but it doesn't mean it's impossible. I'm excited to read your book, especially based on our conversation over lunch. And more than just being excited to read Possession, I'm excited to read anything that follows it. =D

Colene Murphy said...

You're right, publishing is subjective and I keep trying to make my brain understand it isn't personal but I think, one day when I have a book, it's first negative review will break my heart. You seem to be a tough gal, and your book cover is beautiful, your writing style is amazingly awesome, and all I know about your novel is INCREDIBLE! You have thousands of people waiting, holding their breath to get their hands on it! I highly doubt, even if you do get one or two bad ones, all the jillions of amazing reviews will matter more to you.

Donea Lee said...

(I love the new blog design up top, btw!) I sooo don't take criticism well. I smile and I'm gracious about it. I keep trying. But, when I'm alone and noone's looking - watch out! *Crazy lady alert!* If you hear a far off wild-woman scream someday - it might be me. This is a tough one to live, but I know that life in general is subjective and at some point you just have to remember that YOU love what you write and what you put out there and sometimes that can be enough. But, seriously, I can't imagine NOT loving your book!! Can't wait to read it - :)

Susan R. Mills said...

Definitely subjective. When I first queried a year and a half ago, the responses I got were sometimes complete opposite of one another. One might say, "Your prose isn't as strong as it could be, but I found the premise interesting." Another might say, "You have a wonderful writing style, but I didn't fall in love with the premise." Go figure. Anyway, you're smart not to take any negative review personal.

Lindsay said...

I think is is subjective, but I'd still be freaking out all the same.
I guess reviews are like waiting for a CP to send feedback to you, but you don't get the do-over. :-)

But my Michelle spy has told me you book is awesomesauce. Now I just want to read it. Humph. lol.

Hermana Maw said...

Yes! It's much harder to live than believe. AND I'm going to go around all day saying lamesauce. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

I so get that. When I got my first negative review on EI, I whined cried and vowed never to read my reviews again (which we both no I can't actually do)...and yes, we talked about the subjective nature of publishing. HUGS!!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I have so many emails from agents talking about publishing being subjective. I know it is, just wish that it could be subjective my way once, lol

That said, not everyone is going to love the same story. Some will love it, some could take it or leave it, others will throw-it-across-the-room hate it. You can't please everyone and it's not worth trying to.

Doesn't mean you can't sweat over it. I know I do.

ali cross said...

Yeah. Elana? Your book SUCKS.

Seriously. How could you write such crap?

(are you still breathing? did you die?)

Because that's way worse than anyone would ever say. So repeat it out loud. Say to yourself "My book sucks."

And then breathe.

And breathe.

Because guess what? You'll survive.

(and for the record, I HAVE read your book and I *DO* love it. So that's one in the plus column for you. Eventually, that column will be filled with checks and that lamesauce column will have a few but I GUARANTEE you, the plusses will outweigh the minuses)

*this public service announcement was brought to you by Stewart Smalley, because, by golly, you're worth it*

Golden Eagle said...

Definitely true. Publishing is subjective--but it must be hard to ignore the knowledge there will be bad reviews over something you've written . . . You're right, though, there is non-lamesauceness in the world. :)

Patti said...

That's a hard one. But they say repetition is best for learning, so just keep saying it.

Unknown said...

I am totally Bogarting Lamesauce and Awesomesauce. Classic!

Being from the ghetto, that's certainly not ghetto. You're good. LOL.

And as you are now a pubbed author it's refreshing to see the same old fears exist after query land.

Tiffany Neal said...

Yeah. Agreed. It will/would/can be hard to hear the bad side of things and not great reviews.

But look on the up side: whether someone is reviewing good or bad, they're reading your book.

And strangely enough, I kind of think that a bad review is better than a book with no reviews.

And everyone will always have different opinions. It's bound to happen. But since you love Jenna Fox and Forest of Hands and Teeth, I am sure to LOVE your book. :))

Krispy said...

You're totally right, and it's definitely harder to live than to believe, especially when it's about something as near to you as your own book.

Angela said...

I hope I like it too because I will definetelly buy it. You're so right about publishing being subjective.

Shannon Messenger said...

Oh boy do I feel you. I worry about negative reviews and I don't even have a book deal yet.

But it IS subjective. And it's also not personal. When I don't like a book it doesn't make me think the writer is an idiot or a bad person. I just think we have different taste.

As someone who has read POSESSION, however, I think the number of glowing reviews is going to far outshine those few haters. :)

Unknown said...

There's always going to be people out there that won't like anything no matter what it is. So you have to have some thick skin, shake it off, and come up with some sort of diabolical plan to ruin them. Ya know, be a grown up about it;) I can't imagine anyone not liking your book, so don't worry about it. If you should get a bad review, I will personally help you hunt them down and we'll call them meany pants in front of their peers. It will be APOCALYPTIC! Just say the word. Then we'll have chocolate and you'll feel all better. I like to call this more suburbanesque behavior as opposed to ghetto. Oh, love the new design on the blog...it is awesomesauce.

Melissa Gill said...

Sometimes I let my mind wander into la la land where everything will be perfect if I can just get an agent. Then I remember I have to sell the book. And oh, yeah, people will read it, and some might not like it...

The only way to avoid that is not to put yourself out there, and I'm not willing to do that.

Jessica Nelson said...

Yes, I definitely think it's harder to live than believe.

Wow. Six months.

I'm full of happy-sauce for you. *grin*

dolorah said...

Absolutely; much harder to live by. "When its your book. Or mine."

I already know my novel has mixed reviews from the few reader responses I've have. Still doesn't make it any easier to swallow when someone says "its just not my thing" and you know they read extensively in the genre. Then again, you can like one author's books in a given genre and not another's.

Very subjective; but I've been there myself as a reader. Sometimes as a writer though, thick skinned doesn't begin to cover the agony.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yes, definitely! It's always more difficult to DO than to THINK (unless you live in a world of mind control, in which I imagine thinking would be difficult). The difficulty is tenfold when it becomes about us. Don't worry. I just know the reviews will be AT LEAST 95% glowingly positive (ignore that adverb, cuz I like it there). Of course, if you are really dying to know what I think of your book, I'd be happy to read it! He he he. :-)

Jill Kemerer said...

Much, much harder to live than believe. It's easy to see someone else's book get mixed reviews and think, well, that's normal. But our baby?? Yeah right! Ha!

Marsha Sigman said...

I think it would be so hard not to take it personally!

I think I would be like...WHY don't you like it? What is wrong with you?lol

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, yeah. It's way harder to live than to believe.

However, consider this: If your book is not widely read enough to get reviews on both ends of the spectrum, then that's far worse news, as far as the publishing industry is concerned.

We really ought to HOPE that so many people read our books that some people hate them.

But, still, it's kind of like someone pointing at the baby in our stroller and saying, "Gosh, what an ugly kid."

Maybe even worse. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm pretty darn sure I'm gonna like your novel!!!

The subjectivity makes "figuring things out" really hard. I just hope to catch someone's eye at some point--I believe in my story. I just hope an agent does too. ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

This terrifies me - I can be a total wimp - putting our stuff out there is hard! I think I'm more inclined to like the books of people I like online. Therefore I'm inclined to like your book - no worries! :)

Gabriela Pereira said...

That's a tough question. I think what makes it so tricky is that aside from whether people think your work is "good" or "bad" is that there's so much grey area in between. I know for me, I'll often gloss over the positive feedback, but then I'll latch on to that one itsy-bitsy negative comment.

I guess the important thing is to remember there isn't just "good" and "bad" but lots of in between.

Michelle McLean said...

In preparation for my book release next month (eep!) I've sent my book out to a few people so they can review it for my book release. And I realize that some of them may hate it. There are going to be people out there that shred me for my lack of platform, or for some obscure rule I didn't address, or for the book being too informal....someone somewhere is going to HATE it....and it makes me nauseous LOL but...it's gonna happen and I'm trying really hard to not worry about it.

However, no matter what I tell myself, I do worry, I will be upset, it will hurt. I just hope there are enough people who like it to counter the negative that is sure to come :)

June G said...

I imagine it's probably better to not seek out what reviewers are saying. If you run across one, sure, you'll read it, but to consciously look for what folks are saying, can be debilitating. You've written the book, you're not changing it, so it's not productive to focus on what people say.

I guess this confirms what Sara Zarr does. If I'm blessed enough to get a book deal, I'll take a page out of her book and NOT put goggle alerts on my name. She said it saves her a lot of stress.

And no matter what people say, you've accomplished a goal that is the dream of untold thousands. Be proud of that and celebrate!

Anonymous said...

So true and good to remember. All the comments here are good too.

I've just had 2 professionals look at the first few pages of my novel and I'm really looking carefully at what they say. Before I have always done what they said. Now I'm being more discerning.

Only I know what I want to say.

One thing I've learned on this journey is to go with my gut feeling and it's becoming quite clear with what suggestions are relevant to my vision and what aren't. So it's time to put it out and say - okay some of you will like it, some of you won't. I just hope I find a publisher who does like it.

Anonymous said...

So true and good to remember. All the comments here are good too.

I've just had 2 professionals look at the first few pages of my novel and I'm really looking carefully at what they say. Before I have always done what they said. Now I'm being more discerning.

Only I know what I want to say.

One thing I've learned on this journey is to go with my gut feeling and it's becoming quite clear with what suggestions are relevant to my vision and what aren't. So it's time to put it out and say - okay some of you will like it, some of you won't. I just hope I find a publisher who does like it.

Elana Johnson said...

Thank you, everyone! I am woefully behind in my email, so you might not get a response. But I'm going to try!

And man, will June EVER COME??

Catherine Denton said...

YEEEEEEESS your majesty! (Sorry, been watching Alice in Wonderland, cartoon version) It's MUCH harder to live than believe.

Nichole Giles said...

Um yeah. It's hard.

Luckily, I really do love your book.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Oh, God, yes. I hate this - making friends with other writers is awesome, and I love the support in this community, but then when I look up someone's book and don't like it, I think, "Well, crap. NOW what?" Do I never mention that I read it, so they won't ask me what I thought about it?


I want to live it, though. I want us all to be able to support each other without feeling like we have to love each other's work all the time. And I don't take it personally when one of my CPs says, "This is really not my thing, so I've just tried to give you feedback as well as I can." I don't know why I have so much trouble saying the same thing to another writer when it's so easy for me to hear it myself. So I'm trying to live it.

Nathalie Schiltz said...

I think publishing is indeed VERY subjective. You have to find an agent who LIKES your book, then a publisher who also does. Let's face it, it's all about pleasing the right people. BUT when it comes to critics, comments have to be taken with a pinch of salt. You may AIM to please, but you'll never get everyone on board. There are some professional moaners out there who love nothing more than a good take-down.

I think it's normal to feel defensive of your work and, no matter how hard you try, to get scared of people not liking your work. It's your baby. You've poured your blood, sweat, tears in there, along with all the fruits of your imagination and even probably developed carpal tunnel syndrome over it. Hey, I'd be touchy too! lol Actually, I am. I want to be liked. It's not wrong! :P

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

It definitely is harder to live than to believe, but you have to believe it first. And repeat it, again and again. And eventually it will be true in your heart as well - I'm not my book. I'm not my book.

BUT your book will be loved by all, so no worries! :)

p.s. it's sitting in my "orders" list at Amazon, soulfully waiting until it's set free, erm, released.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I think it will be very hard, but if anyone can do it...you can Elana!

See Elana's recent blog posts

Recent Posts Widget