You know, in anything in life, you run across people who are out to bamboozle you. Doesn't matter if you are experienced in your craft, or just beginning, someone will always try to pull one over on you or extricate your hard earned cash from your grasp.
I helped out my daughter's friend, recently, when she contacted me to have a look at her WIP. She told me she felt something was lacking. I read over it, gave her constructive feedback along the way and found the spot that was bothering her.
Now, when I critique something, it takes me a while to read it because I'm trying to digest it in a professional manner. This isn't something I can just read for enjoyment. I will read a little bit, write down some notes, try to figure out where the story is heading, and make comments along the way. It's a process, right? You all know how to critique.
Well, when I told her my thoughts at the end of it all, she thanked me profusely and mentioned that I had given her much more to work with than the woman she paid to critique it in the first place.
Now, I don't know about you, but I was a bit taken aback at the fact that she got so little info and help from someone she paid. It's hard to find a good, honest, professional more often than not, I suppose.
While this shouldn't have shocked me, it did. I know there are all sorts of people out there who are just in this for the money. Take their advice, or leave it, you paid for it. Tough. It just irritates me. I work hard for my money, and I know my daughter's friend does, too. I guess it sickens me that this is happening more and more, these days.
In my opinion, writers are part of a community that should work together, not compete against one another. There are people out there who read SO MANY BOOKS, we just can't be shoving ours under their noses and forcing them to buy. Truth is, if they don't like your work, there isn't a thing you can do about it. But there is ALWAYS someone out there who will like your work.
When I began Word Weavers with my pal, Jenna, we did the author trading cards. The goal behind that, was for authors to take not only their cards to book signings, but those of other authors as well. That way, if someone comes up to you and says, "You know, your book was okay. I liked it, but it could have been..." you whip out a card from a fellow author in that genre and say, "Sorry you feel that way. Here, go to the link on this card, you might like this book instead."
I know, rose-colored glasses over here. But you get my point. We writers, we can't please everyone, but it's good to be a part of a strong community where you can point readers in the direction of someone they might like. And you can trust that other authors out there are doing the same for you. Why don't we help promote each other more? What's the harm in sending someone to purchase a fellow author's book? Yes, we're losing a sale, a follower, a fan, but we just might gain ten more!
What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about promoting the work of others? How do you want to see this community of authors working?