What does your critique of a bestseller say about you?

School bullying concept 1When book reviewers sit around and slam bestselling books that they find unworthy of their sales rank (think Twilight and 50 Shades), I figure they are simply expressing reader opinions. Authors of those books understand not everyone will love their stories—obviously many have or they would not be bestsellers—and the negative reviews are often expressing the views of non-fans.

These negative reviews, in combination with the positive ones can give an author insight to his or her target market. It doesn’t mean the author needs to change to appeal to the one stars, but it can help the author come to an understanding of what fans want, enabling the author to continue giving it to them.

But when authors sit around and bash bestsellers, that is a different story. Before you argue Authors are readers too!—understand I am referring to when authors—as a group—a group striving to improve their sales—do this. It not only reeks of sour grapes, it is also foolish in the extreme, because instead of focusing on what will actually help the authors’ sales ranking, they are engaging in a negative bashing fest that helps no one.

Instead of a circle jerk where all the authors are slapping each other on the back and agreeing the successful author’s work really sucks, wouldn’t the time be better served to take a closer look at what made the book or author a success?

This doesn’t mean you try cloning the successful author’s work, but you might find valuable information you can incorporate into your own work or routine that will improve your ranking. And really, isn’t that our purpose when we hang out at places like the KDP Forum? It should be. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case over there. I suppose that’s why I no longer hang out at the KDP Forum.