Friday, 20 July 2012

How do I tell you your baby is ugly?

No one would take a look at someone’s new baby and say ‘Yuk, that’s the ugliest kid I’ve ever seen.’  But what should I say to someone when they’ve proudly let me read their book and it just doesn’t work for me?

I’m a firm believer in giving constructive criticism to other writers if my opinion has been asked for, and I always try to give positive comments.  But what do I do when I start reading a book, or even when I’ve made it all the way to the end of a book and I can’t find anything positive to say?  I love reading books by authors I meet on Twitter or other social networking sites, but recently I’ve struggled to finish several books, and one that did finally draw me in ended on a cliffhanger – no, no, no! 

I understand the effort that goes into writing a book, so I really want to be able to say something positive.  I can’t bring myself to write negative reviews or to give 1 star ratings on Amazon, so I remain silent – but is that really helpful?

Maybe it’s just me.  Isn’t reading a book a different experience for each reader?  Maybe others will love your baby, so I’ll just thank you for showing it to me and keep my damn fool mouth shut!

So, what do you do when you read a book you really didn't enjoy?

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