Opinions have value
Several people have told me that they don’t like to share their opinions, even if it’s positive. I understand their reluctance. No one wants that dreaded label, “opinionated,” used to describe them. And even if we say something like, “I loved such and such movie”, there’s often someone else who will say, “I hated it.” They might even list a reason that makes us regret telling them we loved it. Maybe they found something offensive we didn’t even catch. UGH.
But authors love to hear opinions, especially when they’re positive. I visited my hometown last weekend, and a couple of people came up to me after church to tell me how much they had enjoyed my books. It thrilled me to hear that and it made my day. I was really glad they sought me out.
I’ve also had some negative feedback, too. Yeah, it happens to all writers. We can’t please everyone. Writing is an art form, and like any art, it’s very subjective. One person may love a particular style while another can’t stand it. I still value the opinion because it can make me a better writer.
Writing books is a lonely occupation. When I worked for media organizations, there was feedback from other staff members, but now I have to seek out other people’s opinions to learn what I’m doing right or wrong. So I send my manuscripts to a critique group, beta readers and an editor to get their advice. And because of them, my books are much better. Then on the last page of every book, I ask my readers to leave me a review. Reviews are REALLY important to authors.
Amazon and other distributor’s judge most retail goods by how many good reviews they receive, and so do customers. Amazon will accept a review even if you don’t purchase the book from there and they make it really easy to do.
Do you share your opinion or give reviews? Why or why not? Leave a comment and let me know.
The 7 reasons I read and consider it vital:
1. It stretches my imagination: Opening a book is discovering a new world of possibilities.
2. Use it or lose it: It stimulates my brain and that’s as important to me as exercising my body because I don’t want my brain to turn to mush, too.
3. Reading improves vocabulary. Huh? Duh? What? Excuse me? Ever say something like this when someone used a term you weren’t familiar with. I have. But reading means I use those terms a lot less.
4. It helps build empathy. Have you met my husband? I need empathy to deal with him and other people in my life. 🙂
5. Reading relaxes the body and calms the mind. Again have you met my husband? It could be dangerous for him if I didn’t read.
6. Cheap Entertainment: I go to the library, used bookstores, and peruse the kindle bargains to get hours of entertainment I can take anywhere at very little cost.
7. To learn from reading. There are a lot of things I don’t know much about, but reading a book, an article, or a recipe helps me expand my knowledge and come off as an idiot a little less.
So discover a new world of possibility. Crack open a book today.