Author feedback for your book is another area that requires authenticity from you, the author. Some not so commendable authors pay people for “good feedback”. A lack of integrity will sooner or later be revealed. I would flee from such an author and his/her books!
This is what Max Tucker, Chairman & Co-Founder at Book In A Box has to say:
“If you want to show your manuscript to someone to get feedback, it should generally be a person from one of these two groups:
- People who are experienced writers/editors
- People who are in the exact audience for your book; target audience
Let’s break down each category:
Experienced Writers or Editors
This is obvious. Someone who has a lot of experience in writing and editing can almost certainly help you with your manuscript, and give good feedback. But remember, many people vastly overestimate their experience and ability in these areas. Many people think they are skilled writers or editors, when in fact they are not.
This type of feedback can be very helpful. They could tell you what really helped them in the book, what parts they wished had more content, and where they got confused or lost. That sort of feedback tends to be very valuable.
One thing to remember about those people though, is summed up in this quote from famous author Neil Gaiman:
“When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
His point… very few people are good enough at writing or editing to actually know how to do it well. They may know that your book isn’t working for them in some way, and that critique should be listened to. But their ideas for solutions are probably bad, because they have no experience actually solving writing problems.” – End of quotation
This is good advice, which I am trying to follow.