So now you have a baby, you have finished your new book. And you thought the hard part was over, did you? Your worries and sleepless nights have just begun.
In my last blog I suggested you begin researching what you will need to set your baby up for the best chance of success in a world full of babies. If you indeed started doing that you should be pulling your hair out just about now. Information, misinformation, suggestions, opinions – you name it – should be giving you the biggest brain ache you could have never imagined.
In this post I will attempt to make some sense of the terminology that has been tossed around, best we start out on the same page as we take baby steps through the process of bringing your book, your beloved baby, out to meet the world. I will tackle ‘the critique’ in this baby step.
Your book is your creation. You have become close over the past months or years and no one knows it like you. That is good. And that is bad. Sometimes the closer and more involved we are, the less objective we become and what we think is obvious, really isn’t. It is time to get another opinion.
Your first visit with your baby will likely be to people you trust. People that may have been waiting for the arrival. You want to share your book with them and celebrate its birth. These visits can take a variety of paths.
Teachers or mentors
Fellow writers-critique group
Each has pros and cons. Friends are your friends because you like each other and you take care to maintain a certain interaction code. That varies with every friendship but each has an element of caretaker-ship. Family is always a mixed bag of support, from the “You did what!” to the “It must be perfect because you are!” Teachers and mentors have investment in you but they also have their own ideas of what that baby’s path should be. Fellow writers are basically in the same boat as you are. They come with their own skills, flaws, perspectives, rules. Groups can be people with similar interests, goals, aspirations. Associations, likewise, but perhaps on a professional level. Those offering professional appraisals will vary in skill just as every single author service provider you will encounter in the publishing process.
But your goal in your first series of outings is to get those second opinions of your book. Biased or unbiased, it will get you looking at your baby in a different light and hopefully bring your feet back down to earth after the exhilarating experience you have just been through. It will be rough at first, realizing you are not the first, nor will you be the last emerging author. But it is a necessary journey learning to let others hold your baby and to listen to what they say. Really listen. Without prejudice or taking the opinions and suggestions as a personal affront to you.
Your access to the various outlets to get these second opinions will vary, but you must find someone or preferably someones to get an objective view. They will alert you to problem areas. Character flaws, gaps in the story line, anything that is not clear or just not plausible. They may even point out writing habits you may not know you have.
So step one is get other opinions on your book. This will give you the information to determine your next baby step.
Next: But I thought…Making edits in your book and your perception for your baby’s best chance in life.
Note: Just want to add there is a way to get feedback on your book idea with Write On by Kindle through Amazon. You can post your story here and get reviews and comments here from readers. You can post and remove stories at your will. You cannot post anything published and once published you must remove it. However, it could be a good way to get some constructive criticism on that idea or some interest for readers to follow your progress. I would caution that if you post an entire book, once read it is unlikely to be purchased, so be careful. I have not joined as yet so don’t know the ins and outs but it is a possibility. Just get familiar with it before you go too far. Amazon has laid out review criteria and offered some advice on reviewing so hopefully you will get constructive advice and comment.