For the last couple weeks, I’ve been periodically hanging out over on Amazon’s forums – specifically the sub-forum for their “breakthrough novel award”, wherein a bunch of irreverent novelists engage in wisecrackery and tomfoolery and even occasionally discuss something related to wrting.
A lot of people have been posting excerpts of their work, asking for feedback. Some people have been complaining that they get “unhelpful” feedback – like anonymous people leaving one-star reviews with the comment “sucks”. Or, indeed, one-star reviews with no comments at all. Many have suggested that the person or persons leaving this feedback is, you know, under-endowed, sexually frustrated, et cetera. Stay classy, children.
The thing is, though, they don’t really want honest and sincere feedback. They don’t want you to review their work, or (horror!) critique it, but to praise it.
Now, some of these same people are complaining because not enough people are leaving comments. “I have 70 views and only three reviews,” one author writes, “Ugh. That sucks.”
You can’t have it both ways, people.
Read the rest of this entry »