1. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Mixed reviews

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Lmc71775, Aug 26, 2010.

    As some might know, I am getting ready to publish my first novel. So far I recieved two offers. One that sounds great and that I will probably wind up going with, because there is no costs to the author, plus the royalities are higher and they will in fact print my book, not just do e-reader. The other you have to pay a small amount for that. Okay so anyway, I sent my ms. to about 10 publishers and besides the two offers, the rest said although well written it doesn't fit our current list, to it was not good enough, it's boring and it will fail.

    I am referring to those. When your work is critiqued and you get mixed reviews, some good and some bad, how do you know if your book will do good on the market? Do you just trust the Publisher you go with and trust the fact improvements will be made in the editing process and take a chance? My reviews are about half and not just from other editors, but from friends and family.

    Do I just listen to the good and move forward with the choosen publisher, or wait for more responses to decide then?

    I guess what I am really asking is how do you know your manuscript is good enough for publication?
     
  2. razcox
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    razcox Member

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    Wow thats a hard one isnt it? This is something you have spent hours of your life on so of course you are going to think its good enough. I think the best way would be to see what your target audience thinks of it. If its a hirstorical adventure then your normal mills and boon reader isnt going to like it and find it dull as dishwater! Maybe different tastes would account for the mix of reviews within your friends and family. I know i dont like reading the same things as my OH or nan but have similar tastes to my Mum.

    With regards to the publisher you have an offer from have you looked at what else they have produced and how well its done? This will give you an idea about if they can be trusted and if they are experienced enough to spot a winner.

    Good luck and well done - remember you have got a lot further then many already and that alone is something to be proud of.
     
  3. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Thank you Razcox, I appreciate that. It is a romance novel and I was targeting romance publishers. Some I can understand why they declined, but the ones that really hurt are the ones that said it will fail. I know it is only their opinion, but it still stings.

    The publisher that I might choose seems like a really good and reputable one too. I have researched them for a week, reading all kinds of stuff on the net about them. I didn't run into anything bad enough to make me not want to do it. They also offer hard-cover which is nice. Not sure if that is offered to all books though. I am still in the process of asking the editor questions.

    I thought it was good enough until I got all these mixed responses.
     
  4. razcox
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    razcox Member

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    Well clearly they saw something in your writing to want to take the novel further. I good saying my Nan told me when i was upset about something a teacher had said about a painting of mine is 'Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one'.

    You will never get everyone to like something but have a little faith in what you have created x
     
  5. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Thanks again, having faith in your work is important. And with all the ups and downs I have, I still have faith that my ms. is good enough to move forward with this pub.

    I don't know why I let the negative vibes get to me. As it is, my book should improve with the edits that will be made. That I think, should help a lot.

    And you're right, it's a matter of taste. I have to remember that not everyone is going to like it. Thanks again for stepping in and helping me out. That was very kind of you.
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I think it's pretty important not to discount any input from people more experienced than you. If they treat it harshly, you need to be prepared to seriously consider if what you have is really good enough. Everyone can think of books, movies, songs, whatever, that are terrible, but at some point someone said yes to. So, you can either go with the one that says yes, and potentially expose yourself to public humiliation when the bad reviews continue to roll in and sales fall flat, or you can take the no's seriously and really focus on what you can do to get better.

    There will, as you say, always be a few dissenting voices, and there is no pleasing everyone. Ultimately the decision lies with you as to which voices you listen to and which you ignore, but it's never a good idea to only listen to the positive ones.
     
  7. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Nor from people less experienced than you. Which proportion of your readers you think will be more experienced than you?

    You should take the suggestions into account accordingly to the source, of course.
     
  8. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Truly, that is why I am really thinking this over. Thanks for your input.

    Maybe outweigh the pros and cons? And by all means, give it more time too. I certainly wouldn't want to rush into things and bomb completely.
     
  9. Dermit
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    Dermit Member

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    The long and the short of it: you don't. There's no formula. Your book won't be successful just because 66.7% of people who critiqued it were gushing at your awesomeness. Your book will be successful if catches the right editor at the right time, gets the right reviews from the right people...

    It's a crapshoot, it really is.

    When an agent/editor picks it up and says, "I want to represent this person/publish this novel." Prior to that point the best you can do is speculate. Feedback from talented people whose opinion you respect is the best gauge I've found.

    A forum like this, for instance, is useful tool feedback, but it's a poor litmus test for publication, unless you really know the credentials of the person leaving the comments. And even then it's all subjective.

    So, basically what I'm saying is...you don't know if what you have is publishable until someone tells you they'll publish it. How helpful is that? :)

    Side note: In regards to the epublisher you're considering...the author should never, ever have to pay to have their work published. Ever! That's vanity publishing, that's self publishing--that's crap, unless it's specifically what you're looking for. PUBLISHERS PAY YOU. That's the goddam point.
     
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  10. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Haha...right you are Dermit! And the one publisher that wants money is out. I was just mentioning it in reference to my reviews.

    The other seems very promising, which I will eventually go with, if I don't get a better offer. But honestly, I don't see how I would, this is what I wanted. But it's funny, now that's at my doorstep, I still feel unsure.

    My reviewers that I trust is whom I am going by. And even though I don't know the editor from whatever various publisher it is, I value their opinion too.
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure why if you have a deal you like why the others matter to be honest. You were pleased with your manuscript. Unless you feel yourself it needs improving or you are not getting any offers you want, the other opinions are as important in your life as you make them.
     
  12. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    That is a good point, I was really ready for the next step and thought my ms. was ready and it did prove that two other publishers thought so too.

    It shouldn't matter really, but if you think about it, what if there is more to come after the book is released?

    I guess I have nothing to lose but hard work, if it does in fact fail, I am still NOT out any money.
     
  13. razcox
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    razcox Member

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    Maybe there is a bit of fear invloved here which is making you question it all. Fear of what comes next and of putting your self out there?

    This is understandable but you can work through it. Even if you dont do as well as you would like at least you have tried. The beauty is in the atempt sometimes.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    don't read the reviews you don't like its that simple. I have one incredibly famous friend, he learned early on not read anything nasty. Get a partner or friend to edit them:) Look at the stuff that gets written about Stephenie Meyer and Twilight, I personally have never read the books they never attracted me, but ultimately it shouldn't matter to her, she has people who adore her work, and it pays her bills which is what most writers dream of.
     
  15. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Well that's extremely difficult when you already opened the email or post, but I do get what you're sayin'.

    Raz, I think you hit it on the head there. FEAR best describes my position here.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Even a nasty review can contain things you should hear and consider.

    I had a critique some time ago from someone who clearly had a personal agenda, but amidst a good deal of comments clearly intended to be cruel, I was able to extract some legitimate criticisms that no one else had raised.

    Read all reviews, examine all the advice, and don't take it personally.
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's great before the book is published but afterwards what is the point? I'd rather move on to the next project personally, I am happy to take a constructive review whilst I am working on something but I never pick old wounds. I grew up around musicians, sportsmen, senior police officers, pub managers and artists all got their fair share of 'reviews' in the press and other sources. The ones that paid too much attention to the bad were seriously messed up individuals.

    Like my brother says, whats the point in listening to someone sniping once you have run the race, just train harder this time so you win again next time. That was why I brought up Stephenie Meyer, another example would be JK Rowlling or even Tolkein (personally I can't stand his works) ultimately a review doesn't matter once you have gained what you have set out to accomplish.

    Lmc is clearly worried about it and it does affect here so there is no point in letting it mess her up and destroy her confidence. I fully intend if I do get mine published to let the people that enjoy my work tell me I have done the job I set out to do entertain people. I am already doing that so whilst criticism can help make it even better I wouldn't read anything that was just plain nasty even now
     
  18. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Thanks Cog. Every time I see your name pop up, I always think I am going off topic...LOL Good to have your input on this.

    Here is the one comment, I recieved from the editor I am upset about. And I quote:


    So I am telling rather then showing, that I worry about. My narrative is too repetitive, that's a new one. It failed (she used that word TWICE) forward movement...so it was bad bad bad.

    BUT, with this other pub. I MUST edit and revise (yet again, which is okay and reasonable since NO book is perfect until it has been edited...and even in some rare cases, it still isnt' perfect) so I am hoping to qwell that doubt in my revision with my assigned editor.

    I'm just a big scaredy cat and get frightened when I hear things like that.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can still take the lesson, and apply it to future writing. Very often, a negative review point not only indicates a past flaw, but also an ongoing habit.
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then it can be picked up in the work you are currently working on, when you can actually do something about it. How people approach reviews has to be individual based on their personality, and also their motivation for writing, your technique clearly works very well for you and it may for LMC.

    I developed my technique for dealing with reviews over other things. Personally once something is squared away I prefer to leave it as the best I can do with that thing and look forward to the next one.

    If reviews are going to get to you and make you doubt what you have accomplished they are serving no real purpose. I used to get my parents to edit mine, anything useful I read, anything nasty I didn't bother with.
     
  21. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    Then again, on the other side of the spectrum, I know this certain famous person who has decided not to read anything bad. Everything gets screened before it gets to her. This doesn't seem to be helping one bit, because she is certainly become pretty messed up.
    Sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves or our work that we fail to see that we are making mistakes. Other people can see those mistakes easier. Whether we choose to listen to them or not is a different matter, but unless we hear it, there is no chance of us improving.
     
  22. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If a publisher wants it, that's great, congratulations! Every book -- even the most famous ones like Harry Potter, LOTR, 1984, etc -- has people who don't like it, but it takes a lot of talent and skill to have a publisher interested in you.

    Congratulations! Is it the same novel that I looked at a few chapters of? :)
     
  23. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Thanks Mal, it is.

    I guess I just can't let the bad bring me down. If there's a way I can move further with it, I will. But if a review is getting to me personally, where I can't write...or worse, that I can't even function, I will myself out of it eventually and get over it somehow.

    But as for now, everyday counts...one offer is only good for two weeks and the other, she says ask all the questions you need to before you decide. And that's the better one of the two.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you seem to be referring to vanity/self-publishers... is that really the route you want to take?

    what are the names of the venues you're considering?... have you checked them out at p&e?
     

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