The ups and downs of love and hate (fiction style)

I'm still thinking about marketing this morning, and have a lot of great ideas floating around in my head. I don't want to revel them though, because I want to see if they work first, haha. It's no good reveling a bad idea! That would be of no help to anyone.

The funny thing is I probably did more marketing, innocently, before getting a publisher. I championed this book so hard back then that it was almost annoying, really, and so I kind of laid low this past year. I think the most exciting thing will be hearing what people think about the book after they read it--good and bad. Yes, the bad will be hard to swallow, but I cannot expect everyone to like The Soul Seekers, or to like it without not liking at least some of it. I've been through criticism before with my music, and know how easy it is to let one little critique eclipse all the rest. At the least, I hope readers will enjoy the book overall. At the most, I hope they love it.

Something that gave me a big kick last week was when Karen said she loved Jessie. That's just the coolest thing ever, to hear how others feel about your characters! I could read a thousand of those type of comments. I mean, if someone loves or hates a character, then I think I did my job. That means they stood out and got under a reader's skin. I know I had someone tell me they hated Jesse once. At first I was upset (because I kinda sorta love Jesse for being the kind of crazy character he is), but I can see now the beauty of that love/hate dynamic. It's a good thing, not bad. I did my job.

How do you feel about critiques? 


  1. It's always helpful to see your work through anothers eyes.

  2. I know you will be able to handle comments on your book, good and bad. But still, it must be a bit scary. Today, I can handle critique, maybe not so much when I was young.

  3. Hi, Amy. I just saw your comment about liking Vertigo and Rear Window that I posted on my A to Z Golden Movies. Yes, Hitchock is awesome, and I've learned a lot about writing from his movies.

    I'm looking forward to reading The Soul Seekers. As for "critiques" aka known as reviews, I tell you this from experience: remember that whatever a reviewer says, it's his or her OPINION. When you get past the praises from your friends . . . well, you have to develop a thick skull. I've noticed even the great writers get "I love your book" "I hate your book."
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

    1. Thank you Ann. It's going to be an emotional roller coaster when the reviews come in. But like you said, it's someone's opinion and nothing more. What's that saying, "separate the grain from the chaff"? I'll have to remember that!

    2. I like "the grain from the chaff." I just read the review you posted of my memoir. Thank you SO much, Amy. I have had the most awful month, and your words were sunshine. They made my day!

      I'm amazed at how unkind people can be. If they truly hate a book, I don't think they should go on Amazon and trash it. If I can give an honest four or five star review, I always focus on the strong elements in the story; the scenes that I like. I've read some of the responses here, and agree with someone who said we don't have to read any review that we don't want to. I've heard that most of the "great" writers don't read them!! I can see why. It's a downer to get vilified. It can stop you from writing for days as you struggle to recover! Remember: Your publisher will let you know if the book is selling. (I'm down to reading only the 4 and 5 star reviews. The other ones often are attacks that are sometimes personal and do nothing to help you with your writing. So I figure, Why inflict this on myself?!)

      The cover of your book is absolutely lovely. August 7th. Are you having trouble waiting? That's 3 months away! If you'd like me to feature it on your blog tour, I'd be very happy to do so! Just let me know.
      Ann Best, Author

  4. I think the honest critiques, those served shaken, not stirred, are the ones that make me better. I adore being told someone loved something I wrote, or faved a line from something I penned. But it's those critiques that make you look deeper, search a little harder that help to pull that teeny tiny more out of you that you didn't know was there.

  5. Angela, I agree. Any type of critique can be used for good.!

  6. I can take criticism about myself if it is helpful and not done in a mean spirited way. It is always hard to hear your children criticized, and a book that you gave birth to would fall into this category. However, I think that you are ready for this, as you have put yourself out there in your other writings and singing. You are a strong lady, Amy, and a professional. You will take the critiques, good and bad, and learn from them.

    Remember, many people did not like the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and he did OK.

  7. I am very much looking forward to reading your book. The thing about criticism is that it is often so unbalanced. Either it's gushingly good or dreadfully bad. I am sure that you have a discerning character and will be able to learn what is fair and constructive criticism and what is not.

  8. The truth is the best for me when it come to critiques. Naturally good is preferable, but I appreciate the negative as well to give me ideas on what to do differently next time. And I can decide not to listen to certain critiques and reviews. I don't have to agree with them just like they didn't agree with me.

  9. Thanks for sharing your insights, everyone. It made me feel better!


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