The Page a Day Writers Group

Nothing Good To Say…

Posted on: September 9, 2010

Growing up, my mother use to tell us, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”  And over the years I’ve tried to adhere to that, but not today.  This past weekend, I had planned to set aside some time for reading a few romance novels. I was soooo looking forward to it – that I even purchased two of them!  One was by one of my favorite romance writers – Brenda Jackson.  And as usual, she did not disappoint, but the other one – whole different story.  It was so poorly written that I am torn on whether or not to put the author’s name out there!  I was shocked!  I have read several of her romance novels over the years and they’ve been pretty good, but I hadn’t read anything lately.  And after trying to get through this one, I don’t know if I ever will again. It was so bad that I was tempted to take it back to the store and demand my money back ($6)!  Actually it is so bad, that I want someone else to read it, and tell me if it was only me or if they feel the same way and want to throw the book across the room.  BUT, I don’t want you to pay for it.  Why should we both waste our hard earn cash.  Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll let you read mine!  I started to toss the book, but I figured, maybe I should keep it on my desk as a reminder on what type of work not to put out there!  It was like someone had taken a first time writer’s work (I’m talking first attempt, without editing), and put this author’s name on it.  …I wonder if that’s what happened? I also just noticed that it’s not even listed on her website.  Hmmm

At any rate, normally I’d be the first person to toot an author’s horn if they’ve put out an extraordinary story. So why not call out an author who has truly disappointed – especially a bestselling author? I guess my question to you is, if you read a book that was really, really bad, would you called the author out?

What to do, what to do?

 Sharon C. Cooper

Advertisements

5 Responses to "Nothing Good To Say…"

This happened to me recently with a Christian author. Usually I talk about the books I’m reading on my blog, but I just decided to skip mentioning her book altogether. I think that’s the best way to handle the situation so no feelings are hurt. Let someone else will post the bad review …

Sharon, it’s nice that you are being so thoughtful about this. Bad reviews are no fun, yet if you can provide an honest review that objectively comments on the aspects that were lacking (rather than just being snarky) then the author/readers may find some value in your analysis.

What did happen? New publishing house or editor? Was it self-published? Maybe the author was putting out a book just to fulfill a contract? It is disappointing when a favorite author doesn’t live up to her rep, then again, maybe you’ve just become a more critical reader because you were evaluating it like a writer/editor.

Sharon, it’s nice that you are being so thoughtful about this. Bad reviews are no fun, yet if you can provide an honest review that objectively comments on the aspects that were lacking (rather than just being snarky) then the author/readers may find some value in your analysis.

What did happen? New publishing house or editor? Was it self-published? Maybe the author was putting out a book just to fulfill a contract? It is disappointing when a favorite author doesn’t live up to her rep, then again, maybe you’ve just become a more critical reader because you were evaluating it as a writer/editor.

Nice post, Sharon. Isn’t it cool how you can see all these elements of story and character with such clear eyes now? This, I’ve found to be both a blessing and a curse at times, but it makes us better writers.
Hugs,
Trish W.

I agree Trish -a blessing and a curse rolled up into one :). Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Kirsten, I emailed the author expressing how I’ve enjoyed her books over the years and was surprised when reading her latest one because it didn’t read like her usual crisp work. I pointed out a few things noticed and then asked if it was hers because I also didn’t see it on her website (still don’t), etc. I wasn’t sure if maybe there was a mix up when printing (although I didn’t say this, I’ve heard it happens). Any way she wrote back and said that she has published over 40 books w/…I think she said 2 major publishing houses and she’s never received an email such as mine…or something like that. At any rate, it was a one line response (which is her choice) – but she just lost a reader (which is my choice).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

Archives

%d bloggers like this: