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Support for those of us lacking

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message 1: by Tina (last edited Sep 22, 2012 07:24PM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments I encourage others to leave their stories and expiriences.
Hi, well I just had a run in with a relative of mine who shall remain nameless, who told me she couldn't get through my book because it needed editing and was poorly written - this is despite that I had a proffessional editor and proof reader, and an excellent review from my publisher and all involved - I didnt know whether to yell at her or cry. I managed to say something about how the floor manager at Dymocks loved it and found it suspensefull but then I went catatonic. I know sometimes that people try to take you down because they are jealous but I know she see's it as I couldnt take critisism - even though she didnt read the book and from what she said it seemed she had read past chapter 2. Weak people try to take other's down. I have tried to turn this into a positive by working harder I know that there is plenty of love and support out there.
If anyone loves fantasy romance get it
Free Wolf Sirens Fobidden Free on Smashwords Fantasy Romance Paranormal Action Suspense http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
Please give it a review.
http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_...


message 2: by Kevis (last edited Sep 21, 2012 08:46AM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 95 comments Tina, as someone who truly has had 'editorial issues' in earlier books of mine (despite using an army of professional editors), I can certainly feel your pain. I'm not sure I'd put much stock in your publisher singing your book's praises. I published my first book with Outskirts Press, too, and hindsight has taught me to take the opinion of people with a financial interest in your book with a grain of salt.

With that said, I've downloaded your book and started reading it. Let me first say that whenever I hear an author lamenting criticism, I usually roll my eyes. But in your case, I have to scratch my head. I find your book (so far) to be beautifully written and well-edited. I can't speak to any glaring mistakes because I haven't encountered any.

It could simply be a case of your relative simply not liking your book, which is okay if he or she honestly doesn't like the kind of books you write. But if they are claiming that your book is poorly written, then there really might be something to your claim of them trying to tear you down (or the very least, they are ignorant about what constitutes good or bad editing).

Anyway, I'm very much enjoying your book so far and will go ahead and finish reading it. If you want, I can PM you later if I discover any issues with it. If there isn't and it ends as terrifically as it's started, I'll be more than happy to post a review for your book. From the little that I've read, it looks like I'll have nothing but good things to say about it.


message 3: by Lena (new)

Lena Horn (lenahorn) | 5 comments There will always be jealous people out there, and ones that don't like your book, but there will also be many who love your book as much as you do. I think as authors that's just something we have to accept.

Take Twilight for example (or really, most books), some people love it, while others hate it and call it poor writing, but in the end it's still an extremely successful series with lots of fans. It has everything from 1 star to 5 star reviews on Amazon.

It sounds like you'll get plenty of good reviews, so I wouldn't worry about the few that didn't like it :)


message 4: by Sherri (last edited Sep 21, 2012 06:53PM) (new)

Sherri Moorer (sherrithewriter) My biggest problem is from people that have English degrees. They are just appalled at the fact that I can get published with my psychology degree and pick me apart worse than anybody. After I published my first book, a colleague in management that had an English degree went through all my correspondence and piled them on my desk with red marks all over them showing my mistakes and taking a "you aren't THAT good" jab at me. This was someone in executive management! I tell you, the pirannas are out there. Don't let them get you down. Because for those red pens and barbs from the English majors, the fact remains that I continue to write and get published and they, well, aren't writing at all. And believe me, they know that little fact is truth.


message 5: by Tina (last edited Sep 21, 2012 07:19PM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Tina wrote: "Hi, well I just had a run in with a relative of mine who shall remain nameless, who told me she couldn't get through my book becasue it needed editing and was poorly written - this is despite that ..."
Hi. Well, I wrote that post at a very highly charged moment - I was still in shock, that someone I had known my whole life could be so nasty. I then emailed my editor Bev Eikli. She has been published and has suffered a lot of rejection.
I would like to post some of what she said to me for others to read:

'If you want to make yourself feel better, go to the reviews page of just about any of your favourite authors - either on goodreads or amazon - and look at the vast range of reviews from brilliant 5-star reviews to gut-wrenchingly bad 1 star reviews - for the same book. That'll help you to put her criticism into perspective.

You've written a book. Slogged through months of your life creating something that is compelling, adventure and suspense-filled and that the floor managers of bricks and mortar book stores are happy to stock when there is such *huge* competition amongst authors to get shelf space. Give yourself one huge pat on the back.

Has your 'relative' done any of this? Has she stuck at a passion long enough to give it life then taken a huge emotional (and financial) gamble to see it take wings? I don't think so.

If she'd read the whole book she'd at least be in a position to give you credible feedback on Wolf Sirens and if that was that she didn't like it, then she'd be entitled to her opinion because we're all entitled to an opinion of something if we're credibly authorised to have one. But only someone who has read a work in its entirety is entitled to make judgements. She hasn't, so her criticisms carry no weight. Her words simply paint her as someone spiteful and petty. Nothing more. If she wants to be taken seriously, she has to show she's done her homework. She has to have read the whole book.

But Tina, remember, the moment we put our work in the public domain we have to be prepared to take whatever is dished out, even if we don't like or agree with it. We have to take the bad with the good because that is the lot of an author. Years of publishing rejections help thicken our skins. But if you're lucky enough to be selling books in book stores without having had heaps of rejections to help you cope when it comes your way, all you can do is consciously tell yourself that reviews don't matter because the book is selling, it's being recommended and the people who count, love it.

Now, tell me, did this bad response or 'review' upset you more than reading the good reviews you've received?

If you answered yes, then you've got the balance all wrong. Of course, it's human nature to place more weight on negative criticism than positive. But we can't do that, or our whole world is out of balance.

Go and phone Sally and have a good rant and a cry about it. But don't let yourself feel crap about it for too long - otherwise that's giving too much power to horrible people like your 'relative' who don't know what they're talking about but think they're entitled to an opinion because they read a chapter or two (probably of a genre they're never even read or even particularly like).

All the best, and chin up - Wolf Sirens is a great book!'


message 6: by Tina (last edited Sep 21, 2012 07:20PM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Kevis wrote: "Tina, as someone who truly has had 'editorial issues' in earlier books of mine (despite using an army of professional editors), I can certainly feel your pain. I'm not sure I'd put much stock in yo..."

Hi,
Thankyou so much. I was so surprised this morning when I eventually crawled out of bed to see some posts!
I actually felt physically sick after my relative's blatant nasty comments. The fact that she said everyone was obviously just telling me what I wanted to hear was the nastiest. Being a self published author it's true I've dodged a lot of rejection letters. Though I have suffered a couple. When I recieved them it hurt, but I used it as fuel for my fire and rose to become better. I am prepared to suffer some flack. But there is a difference between a Green eyed monster and truthful critique.
Love Tina


message 7: by Tina (last edited Sep 21, 2012 07:26PM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Sherri wrote: "My biggest problem is from people that have English degrees. They are just appalled at the fact that I can get published with my psychology degree and pick me apart worse than anybody. After I publ..."

Wow - there are some people out there who like to cut others down. Maybe your colleage should waste her energy and red pen on bettering himself/herself rather than bringing you down. These people make good fodder for villains. Thanks for your words of support and I wish you much success!


message 8: by Sherri (last edited Sep 21, 2012 08:13PM) (new)

Sherri Moorer (sherrithewriter) Tina wrote: "Sherri wrote: "My biggest problem is from people that have English degrees. They are just appalled at the fact that I can get published with my psychology degree and pick me apart worse than anybod..."

Oh, she's gone. My job was transferred to a new department, but she did retire shortly before my move. And we disagreed on some other "office politics" which was another reason for her venom. Good riddance to that one, right? I keep plugging on. Best of luck to you as well!


message 9: by Tina (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Sherri wrote: "Tina wrote: "Sherri wrote: "My biggest problem is from people that have English degrees. They are just appalled at the fact that I can get published with my psychology degree and pick me apart wors..."

Have you heard of the book 'Nasty People' How to Stop Being Hurt By Them Without stooping to their level. By Jay Carter, Psy.D.
I should give it another scan for advice. I swear thats how I reacted as calmly as I did.


message 10: by P.A. (new)

P.A. Wilson (pawilson) | 5 comments It's hard to hear that message from a relative. There's that myth that our relatives and friends will always tell us our work is great and then you get slammed unfairly. I'm guessing this relative isn't someone who suddenly became critical, there must be some history.
You have a lot of advice about not letting it bother you; I'll echo it and write your next book rather than dwell on the opinion of one person.


message 11: by Tina (last edited Sep 26, 2012 05:28AM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments P.A. wrote: "It's hard to hear that message from a relative. There's that myth that our relatives and friends will always tell us our work is great and then you get slammed unfairly. I'm guessing this relative ..."

Thanks for you words of support. Unfortunately one of the challenges in my life has been my family. Not my wonderful parents but everyone else pretty much. I'm an introvert so number one they don't get me and secondly I was blessed enough to be born in the first decant of Pisces which makes me even more off the wall. I come across as a soft target and I'm sure their lack of understanding in me has them seriously underestimating my intelligence. I'm very sensitive but I know my convictions and I know what I wrote is damn good. And that will frighten them because I'm challenging thier belief system.I have been through a lot and you know what. Like alot of writers I know rejection and pain like nobody's business. Suffering makes for beautiful art?


message 12: by Tina (last edited Sep 29, 2012 04:13AM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Well what a few days I've had !
The roller coaster continued today when I went to a very important appointment with BOOK STORE only to be told to come back in february ?
She greeted me with "hello - sorry to have waisted your time.", she wasn't interested in my novel or in discussing it. When I asked why? She replied rather taken aback that because the shelves would be empty in Feb. I replied that that was why I was here before christmas. So that I too could have an opportunity to sell. Apparently no one in the store reads Fantasy and they don't sell a lot of it(?) I mentioned that they had a major promotion on for Fantasy this holidays and I noted it in the front window on the way in. She answered "yes well all BOOK STORES have to participate".
So I left after telling her that she would call me when I was a best seller. I remained calm. I left after shaking her hand and saying thanks anyway.
Quietly I was reeling and hurt. Dejected I sought solace at the bead store with my three favourite people. We had a cup of tea and blammed the incident on the fact that I hadnt worn a blazer. When I arrived home licking my wounds I opened my inbox to find an email from another BOOK STORE saying they would be happy to take my books!


message 13: by Xavier (new)

Xavier Edwards (xavieredwards) | 176 comments I sometimes think that the best asset an author can have is a thick skin. Whenever I want perspective on why there's a struggle to get any attention, I think of how some of the biggest authors were shut down repeatedly by agents and publishers when they first approached them.

It's like trying to get sales in business. Far more people will throw things back in your face, even if they really need / want what you have, than will honestly take / purchase what you've got.

It gets even harder in genres which are swamped with amateur contributions and which aren't considered mainstream, but there are always successes to be had and new paths to be forged.

Sure, you may be given the cold shoulder today, but that person may be your purchasing contact tomorrow. Keeping that professional front when you've got such an emotional and physical attachment to your work can be difficult, but keeping it will get you further in the long run.


message 14: by Tina (last edited Sep 29, 2012 04:09AM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Tina wrote: "Well what a few days I've had !
The roller coaster continued today when I went to a very important appointment with Dymocks Burnside only to be told to come back in february ?
She greeted me with "..."


I feel everything.
I have forged ahead despite this. Success isn't only the domain of rich well supported or cold hearted people. I do believe they were nasty to me. The store in question is in the most affluent shopping centre in Adelaide. My book was offered on consignment. In short it was free stock. They claimed they were over stocked and didn't sell alot of Fantasy. It was school holidays and girls were in the store looking at packs of hunger games etc.
I love what I do. I am emotional. I am not emotionally attached to my work, I just know that it deserved to be taken seriously by other's in the business.


message 15: by Lucinda (last edited Sep 29, 2012 05:01AM) (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 80 comments Just rushing on to say, I'm a novice too, but don't let such negative remarks and careless attitudes get you down - unfortunately, there are people about who are insensitive or don't know how to criticise things in any sort of detached and rational manner, and some are downright spiteful but I've met some great supportive fellow Indie writers, lovely people who help you all they can.

I haven't yet gone across to follow your link - have you got some great reviews? That makes it all worthwhile.

At least you might get a look in in February.
I'll tell you something funny. When I was doing research for my ebook, I needed to know at what distance an old flintlock pistol would give a flesh wound rather than one that penetrated vital organs. I posted a question on YahooAnswers and got abuse from some supposed historical writer saying if I didn't know the answer to that, he hoped I wouldn't have the nerve to try and publish and I shouldn't be writing historical fiction at all because 'You have to know a f--- from a fiaola'.

I contacted an expert at Leeds Armoury, and he said that he didn't know the answer himself, but he thought, approximaely one hundred yards(I've given the distance in case any other historical writer needs to know that!). Anyway, the point is the man who responded was obviously just embittered and eager to put people down.

You do feel very alone when starting out as a self published writer; I do, anyway, despite meeting all these nice people. I think we must somehow try and develop such self belief that we just think these people are just plain wrong.


message 16: by Tina (last edited Oct 01, 2012 06:56PM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Lucinda wrote: "Just rushing on to say, I'm a novice too, but don't let such negative remarks and careless attitudes get you down - unfortunately, there are people about who are insensitive or don't know how to cr..."

Have you joined the historical fiction group here on good reads?
My editor Bev Eikli writes historical fiction romance - friend her or follow her blog.
on http://www.thefrugalreader.com
I really like your story, I love hearing the truth of what happens to well intentioned writers getting our heads bitten off, by people with issues. I am heartened and comforted and amused. Is that wierd?
It's reality, I suppose. Share your pain in a positive way. That guy was obviously a nut. :D
All the best.
-Tina


message 17: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 80 comments Thanks, Tina! I'm glad you found my story heartened you a bit!
I'll look into that link.


message 18: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 126 comments For every nut who has to tear you down when you ask a question, you get someone like the guy who sent me all sorts of historic train schedules when I needed to ok now how my grandmother and her family got from Nebraska to Spokane in 1904.

That book hasn't hit the light of day yet, but maybe someday. And I'll have to thank the chap in a very general way, because I lost his contact info in a computer crash :(


message 19: by Tina (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Rebecca wrote: "For every nut who has to tear you down when you ask a question, you get someone like the guy who sent me all sorts of historic train schedules when I needed to ok now how my grandmother and her fam..."
Very true. I have been amazed by the support and help I have been given by generous people who I otherwise would not have met if I wasn't striving for something.
I believe in generosity and kindness. That's why I am so horrified when a nasty person tries to run me off the tracks. They obviously don't realize that helping others will help them as well. They can come on our journey and if you get bumped to first class maybe you will save them a seat. Rather than you joining them back in coach.
Did you like my train travel analogies?
Life's about the journey and not the destination.
Love Tina


message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 126 comments Lovely train images--though we live so much in the age of air travel that I was thinking of first class in the plane--even after all the tracks!

Maybe because I've seen first class on a plane, since they make us walk through it on every flight on our way to the cattle car. Never saw first class on a train!


message 21: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 80 comments Rebecca and Tina, I so agree. That is fascinating stuff about your grandmother's epic journey, Rebecca. How do you ever find the time for all that research (I'm astonished already at the amount of research you've done on Bronze Age Greece.
Leaving aside honour, very often co-operation is a much more effective way of getting to a goal than cut throat competition, besides feeling nicer. I'm happy to have experienced instances of people's generosity that are really impressive.


message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 126 comments Bronze Age Greece? Alas, that's not me.

In fact, I don't do a lot of research normally--my current work, The Ninja Librarian, has an almost wholly made-up setting, as does the mystery I'm going back to when I've got the second NL novel out.

I did put in a lot of research on my grandmother's story, both because I needed it to try to write the book, and because it's my family history and I wanted to know. That curiosity led me to the county offices in O'Neill, Neb., where another really nice person helped me find the records of my great-grand-parents' wedding, nine months to the day before my grandmother was born :D


message 23: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Elliot (lucindaelliot) | 80 comments Lol, I thought you were another Rebecca I know! Your work sounds very interesting, anyway.


message 24: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 126 comments Thanks!


message 25: by Red (new)

Red Haircrow (redhaircrow) | 11 comments Because I've always been used to criticism and evaluation in my former and other professions (law enforcement and as a private chef), I'm used to that. As an American Indian, its just fact negative comments are often made by people without their really thinking about it. Such things don't seriously bother me because I can respect other people have their opinions, even if I don't agree with them, they do have the right to express them. Or either, I consider that such behavior or comments reflect more negatively on the person giving them than on their subject.

What I've experienced beyond that, however, having web groups writing what amounts to nasty articles and threads about me personally, although they don't know me personally, and having other authors and their fans endorse that which has resulted in boycotting of my work. It extended to what has basically been cyberbullying and a witchhunt which I had to finally address in legal terms promising action.

What was it based on? I write fiction and non-fiction, which have sometimes included gay characters or situations. So have many authors who are not then labeled exclusively as such. Consider Norman Mailer as a general example. I made the request that my work be labeled as I or my publisher have done so. A webgroup choose to interpret that simple request that I dislike the kind of books those writers or readers enjoy involving their interpretation of gays. I've even been accused of discrimination towards gays which was a far jump in assumption, but it spread like wildfire, which was fanned by some moderators, bloggers and authors both on Goodreads and other websites.

Reviews are reviews, whatever is said I don't let it bother me, though if it has factual errors in it, I might correct them if I see what they wrote. I don't make a directed effort to read reviews of my work unless it is one I've directly requested.
But, just like Donald Sutherland, the actor, said once after reading a review of one of his performances, "That was the most destructive, stupid piece of criticism I've ever received." He said he "stopped reading reviews after that."

It is the stalking, cyberbullying, very personally directed attacks and attempts to humiliate and hurt you not just as an author who cares about their work, but when they try to affect your career, your sales and your image based and actually encourage others to do so. What keeps me going are the times people write to me who have enjoyed my work, several of whom with which I've become friends. As I always say, I keep dancing and letting the music of life lift me up, which is the way of my people, whatever the odds faced or the faces and voices against you.


message 26: by Tina (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments I had my first "Not for me." Today.
But I also had a great comment from facebook. Someone in U.S read my book and loved it.
I've got two copies for free
Giveaway’s page:
http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sho...


message 27: by Tina (last edited Oct 02, 2012 03:37AM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments Red wrote: "Because I've always been used to criticism and evaluation in my former and other professions (law enforcement and as a private chef), I'm used to that. As an American Indian, its just fact negative..."
Hi. Great post.I think most people dont know how much of our blood sweat, tears and toil goes into a work.I'm finding it hard to read between the lines of you comment about the gay sites/bloggers banning your stuff. I like the Donald Sutherland quote.
Not everyone sees the world one dimensionally.
Just think of Steig Larson. He wrote the girl with the Dragon tatoo (Lizbeth Salander).Everyone loved her. I dont think the likability of a character is dependant on their sexual preferance formost. Although I think she was popular as well becasue she was bi. Which was more appealing.And the fact that she didnt give a shit. People either want to idolise something or someone becasue they want to be them or want to screw them. As writers we have to market our work. Some genres are more popular than others, everything goes with fashion. If it's got the marketabillity and the writing and a good storyline it shouldn't matter.
I was talking with a 11 year old and she agreed if you dont like someones work you don't go up to them and yell it in their face. You have some tact and you should rightfully give examples of why - which is more constructive.
I think even though the criticism from people is aimed to take us down, it can actually make us strive to be better.Which is what made me write Wolf Sirens.
This is what you seem to take from it, to learn from mistakes and be better or ignore it - though it's hard when we are emathetic,emotional creatures,which is what makes us good story tellers.
Address misgivings before they undermine much.
Love Tina


message 28: by Tina (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


message 29: by Red (new)

Red Haircrow (redhaircrow) | 11 comments I do agree that academically, "If it's got the marketabillity and the writing and a good storyline it shouldn't matter," but as someone mentioned above some genres are much more problematic in author and reader/fan behavior. I reference this by majority as an outsider (reviewer) looking on.

To be honest, I am used to that type of behavior for the reasons I placed above, among others. It is partially a learned response to be publicly/professionally unmoved by it, but it is a part of my nature not to give a damn one way or the other, and as a psychology major also...I put it in perspective: its indicative more of the person(s) doing it than the work or actions they target.

I write what I wish to and do not cater to anyone, any market, group or anything else, which is exactly as my personality is anyway. Certainly, I and others might wish for some to like our work, but I do not write to be liked or to make money. I write because there are stories I absolutely must tell, just like many of you.

I tend to be straightforward or say nothing at all, so no need to read between the lines of anything I say though I understand what you mean :-) I don't do ulterior motive or innuendo.


message 30: by Tina (last edited Oct 07, 2012 05:50PM) (new)

Tina Smith (tinasmith) | 46 comments I agree write what you want what you like and do it as you like.You can't please verybody and if you try it's then that you can drop the ball.
"if there's a book you want to read and it hasn't been written yet then you must write it."
I wrote what I knew what I loved. I do want to be successful and I'm not scared to work hard and persistently to reach my goals.
and I have. A lot of writers don't like to catagorize their work, however I think that is their failing. Just becasue you label the jar "Jam" doesnt mean it can't taste better than Jam for those who like it. But at least they knew to give it a try becasue it was labeled as something they have enjoyed before.
- Tina


message 31: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Martin (martinbeks) | 16 comments Sherri wrote: "My biggest problem is from people that have English degrees. They are just appalled at the fact that I can get published with my psychology degree and pick me apart worse than anybody. After I publ..."

You know what? My mom has a nursing degree and she's published two eBooks on Amazon. Her one sister is super jealous, while the other is supportive. That's the beauty of writing. If you have a story in you, and you allow it to flow from you, anyone, regardless of education, can be a writer.


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