As a reader, I look up to authors. I truly do. I have always said that authors are my rock stars. They are crazy, wicked talented and I do go a little fangirl when I meet them (usually in my head because I am too starstruck to make any sudden moves). But, one thing I have also learned is that they are real, down to earth people trying to make a living like everyone else. The spend days, weeks months and years to get that story just right for their readers. The more readers they have the more the pressure goes up to deliver again. How in the world do they withstand that pressure?
In the past year I have become an Author’s Assistant and have gotten to see a different side to the book world than I did before. I have gotten glimpses of what an author can struggle with from the pressure they put on themselves to the pressures readers put on them. It is a tough industry. I really don’t know how they withstand criticism the way they do. Since learning about the author-side of things I have also witnessed several behaviors from readers that break my heart. I get that not everyone will like a book whether it is the plot, cover, characters, etc, however, us readers need to keep in mind that authors spend a lot of time on their books. And, they are humans. They will make mistakes. There will be typos in books. There might be something a character does that you just don’t agree with.
When it is time to review a book that you think has flaws that you feel you must point out, think about how you would want to know. Some things may need to be mentioned in a review for other readers based on how it made you feel. However, some things should be mentioned privately with an author. Almost all authors have ways to contact them via their website or Facebook Page. So, why not drop them an email or message about something you would like to discuss with them about their book?
The purpose of this post is to just remind readers out there to think about authors as humans. They are writing because it is their passion. They want it to be perfect and enjoyable to readers. If you have negative feedback, share it with them in a constructive way. You never know where that might lead. It can be very helpful to the author and you might develop a new relationship!