Mail Bag Mondays – “I started your book, but…”

canstockphoto18799595Dear JC,

Yesterday someone told me, “I started your book, but then I went on vacation…”

I get that SO much (not go on vacation, just “I started your book but…”). I know this probably sounds weird, but I would love to get a negative comment or two on my book. In fact, I would be happy with any feed back. Mostly I get no response at all and it makes me feel quite invisible. So I don’t really know what to think. But it doesn’t indicate a page-turner, does it?

— Invisible on Amazon

 

Dear Invisible,

I know you’re thinking “My book sucks. I need to give up writing. I’m a failure.” However, that’s probably not the case.

I get the “I started your book, but…” from friends and family members who do not read for enjoyment, and other writers who — like me — tend to devote their free time to writing. But I’m not writing books for my friends and family. I write mystery-suspense novels for mystery-suspense readers. You need to find your audience too.

If you’re looking for reviews, reach out to readers and authors on GoodReads.com who enjoy your genre, and ask them to write a review. Consider trading reviews — if you read their books and write an honest review, they’ll read your book and write an honest review. You can also find a local critique group and writing conferences with people who can help you polish your work.

Finally, if you’re wanting to write a page turner, become a student of page turning novels. Personally, I consider “Intensity” by Dean Koontz to be the ultimate page turner. Find several books that you consider “a page turner” and, don’t just re-read them, but study them. There are also lot’s of books out there on the subject, such as Writing a Killer Thriller: An Editor’s Guide to Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction by Jodie Renner. Now go study, study, study.

Good luck and keep on writing.

JC

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