For today's toss-up, Renee Stevens gives some good thoughts and important questions on author feedback. We hope you enjoy...
by Renee Stevens
Today, as our Toss-Up Tuesday, we'd like to focus on reviews, both negative and positive. It's no secret that many author's on site thrive for feedback. For myself, I absolutely love to get reviews, I'm sure my eyes light up when I see that little notification that I have a review waiting for my perusal.
I don't mind getting contructive feedback from my readers, if there was something that didn't make sense then I would love to know. However, this is a double edged sword as far as I'm concerned. While I don't mind the majority of critical reviews being public, I think that any that are overly critical should be sent privately.
The majority of us on site are not professional authors. Many of the authors on site are posting their first foray into writing. Instead of discouraging them and saying "don't post if you can't take the criticism" please take a moment to think about if you really want to risk discouraging a new author or if doing the simple kindness of PM'ing the author with your criticism is a better route to take.
Bill W said it best in December of last year and I would like to take a moment to share his post with you:
A Note to the Critics
I’d like to share a word or two with the critics out there. First and foremost, those of us who post on this site are not professionals, do not do this for a living and receive no remuneration for all the time and effort we put into our stories. We do it to offer something to the gay community and I’m sorry if my, or anyone else’s, efforts don’t meet up to you’re your ‘high’ standards.
I’m mostly worried about the younger writers whom you may attack and turn off to sharing their talents. Therefore, I will offer a word of advice. If you have something nice to say about their work, then please feel free to do it in a public forum, even a review. However, if you have a more critical view of their work, share that in a PM or email – do not put it out for public display.
I’ve never had any illusions about my own personal talents and that is why I’ve never offered writing suggestions or mentoring advice. I knew I had limitations and did not profess to be an award winning author, however I offered my stories in hopes that they might help others work through uncertain situations or give them hope for a brighter future.
I hope the stories I have written offer at least some positive focus on issues, but I no longer possess the fire necessary to do this any longer and will make no further submissions to this site. Please, if you get anything from my message, it is that I beg you not to extinguish the fires of those who might still have something to offer to the GA community.
As this was nearly a year ago, some people have for sure noticed that Bill is still active on site and is still writing. What I would like everyone to focus on is the rest of his post.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Should overly negative and critical reviews be posted publicly?