Why this Author Loves Her C Grade

Dear Reader,

Last week I got a review at Dear Author, which was both awesome and a little “meh.” The “meh” came in because I got a C-, which I’ve been told is still a solid grade. To confirm this, I looked up some of my favorite romance authors to see how they fared: they all got Cs as well. Mary Jo Putney, Candace Camp, Lucinda Brant, and more.

Why I Love a C Review

The awesome came in because I got a five page critique from the reviewer. No, seriously. I copied the text into Microsoft Word and it was five single-spaced pages.

Let me repeat that. Five. Single-spaced. Pages.

She went into detail that I would expect from an editor getting paid for her judgment. I kowtow at her feet and offer as much tea as I can brew and she can drink with multiple bathroom breaks. Her critique was spot on, pointing out everything I’ve wondered about my writing. She essentially gave me a checklist of things I need to make sure NOT to do in The Rebel’s Hero.

Do you know how many authors would commit murder for this kind of free feedback?

This is important stuff, I feel, because so often we authors can be a bit sensitive about reviews. And sure, when the reviewer launches into an emotional reason about why they did or did not like the book, that is less than helpful. Still, each review provides a learning experience, positive or negative. It is feedback for the next time we put pen to paper, and we should value them all, garnished with a grain of salt.

Plus, a C-range grade from Dear Author isn’t nearly as bad as some authors feel. It translates to “this book is competent, but not for me.” It’s a “good but not great” book. It’s a book that was “fun, but not sure I’d read it again.”

That’s fair. I’ll take that. Some of my favorite authors have multiple books in that “not sure I’d read it again” category. Darling Reader, I invite you to read the review and leave your opinion in the comments. The review was more than fair, and the comments were very nice. I would be interested to see your responses, as I know some of you left reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc.

Tumbling Around the Interwebs

Completely unrelated, I created a Tumblr for the videos, photos, and inspirational quotes I want to share that don’t warrant an entire blog post.

If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, then you will see the content there. The fun part about Tumblr is that it’s an easy way to ask me questions, or to submit fun content for others to see. I’ll see you over there!

And finally, if you’re a fan of Readability, we have a new link available in the sidebar. Read now or later, this is a quick and easy way to syndicate the blog.

All right, I think that’s it for this week! Best,

Belinda

 

 

5 Responses

  1. Jake Seliger Sunday, October 30, 2011 / 7:29 PM

    If you're curious about why a lot of people read romances and how they're graded, consider getting a copy of Janice Radway's Reading the Romance—especially the discussion of the newsletter writer and her system.

    • Belinda Kroll Monday, October 31, 2011 / 10:32 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion Jake! I really appreciate it. It's funny… a week after I received the review I wrote about in this post, I got a 5-star review from a different blogger. Just goes to show that reading is a highly subjective activity.

  2. monica4567 Tuesday, November 1, 2011 / 5:18 PM

    This is definitely a different perspective I think I'd do well to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Belinda Kroll Wednesday, November 2, 2011 / 8:59 AM

      Glad to do it! As much as a not-so-great review might make us feel crummy, it really is more helpful sometimes than a glowing review that doesn\’t go into detail. If I know what I\’m doing wrong, I can improve it. If I know what I\’m doing right, I can only keep doing that. There is always room to grow.

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