23 thoughts on “How To Handle Feedback on Your Novel

  1. This is such great advice and so difficult to do! You spend so much time, love, and did I mention time? You put so much into your novel, sometimes it’s hard to see what doesn’t work. And it’s even harder for someone else to point it out. Great post!!

    • Thank you! I’m glad you find it helpful.
      It’s true, getting feedback is so difficult, but sometimes the truth hurts. And we all want to do what we can to improve our novel and writing. 🙂

  2. This is some great advice, Rachel. Some of the tips you mentioned are also applicable to reading book reviews. (I have seen far to many authors become protective of their books in comment sections.) Receiving feedback really can involve having to steel yourself, but it is worth it to figure out what you can improve on in the future.

    • Thank you.
      Book reviews are a good point. I didn’t even think of those, but in a way book reviews are feedback. You can’t go back and edit again, though. You just have to learn for the next novel.

  3. After writing my first three novels, I had my sister-in-law read through them. She loved them and told me to go ahead and self-publish them. It was beyond exciting and I’m happy with her constant support. The only problem was she was reading just for the story and not as an editor so a few things weren’t caught. When I self-published my piece through CreateSpace those tiny mistakes were left untouched.
    I don’t regret self-publishing my novel because I think I needed to do it this way to get my butt into gear for becoming a serious author. The only problem is now that I’m serious about sending my work out when it’s done, I’m terrified to do anything. Prior to sending it to an offical editor, I’m going to have a couple people read through my work so hopefully that will give me a boost of confidence to get it out there.

  4. Good advice! I always tried to make a note of everything that was said, but not respond in any way. Let it sit for a few days, let my brain get past the need to automatically defend why I’d chosen to do things the way that I had, and mull it over. Not rushing to respond is definitely a good tactic for me, and allows me to weigh what is good feedback, and which I don’t need to act on!

    • That’s a good idea. You have to let yourself process what just happened and really think about what’s best for your novel or not.
      Thank you. 🙂

  5. I’m sending my novel out to a few readers next month and while i’m excited about it, I’m also nervous that they won’t love it like i do! thanks for these reminders (and the list of questions!)

    • I think so, too. Sometimes we think our opinion is the only one or the “right” one. And we don’t do it on purpose (well, most of us ;-)), we’re just human.

  6. I agree. Getting feedback is hard. I have noticed I’ve been getting a tougher skin though. Often it’s about trusting in your story and realising you’re still polishing it, refining it.

    • Exactly. And that’s the only way you can get thick skin. But you just have to keep believing in yourself and your story. You can’t get worse, only better.

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