I don’t read reviews because by then it’s too late – whatever anyone says, the book won’t change. It is written. ~Jeanette Winterson

I admit it. I’m new to the indie game. So new in fact I haven’t even published anything yet.

But I’m learning, reading everything I can find. Blogs, Facebook groups, ebooks. I have a game plan in place for when I finish my first and second books that will most likely become my model for future books as well. But I’m not looking past the first two because the market is changing to quickly to predict what it will do a year from now.

Today I read an interesting blog by Kai Wilson (Kai’s blog post) and it reminded me of a recent incident.

If you recall last week I posted about a lady in one of my writing groups that asked for help editing her work. I never posted her reaction to the responses she got because it wasn’t relevant at the time. This group allows for comments to be sent privately to posters as well as to everyone in the group. Apparently one of the private responses triggered her to post a rant about how it was apparent the group wasn’t for her, she was told she’d never be a writer and she quit the group in a huff. I’m assuming it was a private response that upset her because the public ones were benign and full of helpful advice on how to overcome her problem.

After she blew up and accused the group of crushing her dreams of providing extra care for her son, I thought she never would have been able to handle proper critique of her work if an email about editing had that effect on her. She’d have been like the people in Kai’s blog, stalking people and getting all her friends to post negative things.

And while I mourn that she’s (apparently) given up on her dreams of writing the next Great American Novel, I can’t help but think it’s probably best in the end.

2 thoughts on “I don’t read reviews because by then it’s too late – whatever anyone says, the book won’t change. It is written. ~Jeanette Winterson”

  1. Hi Denise.
    You’d be surprised how many of *that* kind there are out there. I really try to be upbeat about the community as a whole, but it’s been horrible lately.
    I was watching once on a Facebook group where a woman asked for feedback, and everyone was nice, if maybe a few of them were a tiny bit sarcastic because she kept coming back with ‘buts’. Eventually, despite the fact that the sample she’d posted was rife with spelling mistakes, she claimed no one ‘got it’. I get that a lot too.
    Ultimately, I think that reviews have their place. A lot of people I know *do* read reviews online before reading. Others really don’t. But, if I’m honestly going to say to others that are coming along, either as new indies themselves or to read because they got their brand new kindle for Xmas (like my step dad and FIL), I have to be able to say, with a straight face, ‘these books are good’. Lil old me started out offering reviews to help people, and it’s ended up that for my sanity, I don’t want to any more. And it’s sad, because there are others that feel the same.

    Good post and thanks for stopping by/linking 🙂

    1. Hey Kai,

      I’m hopeful that once the ‘newness’ of indie publishing wears off and the dabblers are weeded out we’ll be left with a thriving community we can be proud to call our own. This is the indie version of growing pains. Every community I’ve ever belonged to has had them and, while it’s not easy to live through, the dedicated will weather the storm. Our feathers might be a little ruffled and we may view things with eyes that are a bit more jaded, but in the end it’s all fodder for our imaginations, right?

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