Are you a cheerleader or a nitpicker?
by Linore Rose Burkhard
Every author I know, myself included, wants to make readers happy, especially the cheerleaders who love our genre and stories. After all, by loving and reading our books, they keep us in business. Nevertheless, not all readers agree on what works for them, and some get downright nitpicky.
What’s a writer to do when we are stymied by conflicting feedback? Case in point: my recent release (Miss Tavistock’s Mistake: Brides of Mayfair, Book One).
Reader 1: “The Jane-esque language in this novel is exquisite.”
Reader 2: “Kudos to Ms. Burkard! (for) a few words or phrases that were new to me.”
Reader #3: “I have no idea what that word means.”
And what about pacing? We try to build plots that snowball to keep those pages turning. One reader writes, “This latest offering from Burkard explodes onto the page;” another, “Like a runaway horse, the plot picks up speed, hurtling along…” But just when I’m about to relax that I nailed the pacing, another writes, “It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but once I did…”
Wait. It took a few chapters? Aargh.
So what’s a writer to do? Personally, I watch for responses that are repeated. For example, phrases like “pure delight,” “a hero to swoon for,” “a perfect escape.” If I see such phrases in numerous reviews, then I can be sure I’m hitting the sweet spot for my cheerleaders. I have to accept that, as with most things in life, I can’t please everyone.
But I sure do appreciate the cheerleaders. If you love a book, be sure to review it and let the author know what they’re doing right. You are the ones we write for and who help keep us going!
Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, she also writes contemporary suspense and contemporary romance. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.