How to Handle Your Critics

We know, we know. Many of you are at that place where all you want is to be public enough for critics to attack your work like sharks devouring chum.

But once you get over it, here’s what you need to know:

A Point of View: How to get your own back on your critics

by Adam Gopnik

Every morning when I turn to the Guardian or Daily Telegraph website, I seem to encounter one writer or another offering his or her view of what the modern crisis is like, and how to make it less like a crisis. We authors, ma’am – to use the phrase that Disraeli would use with Queen Victoria, who had written a sort of book once – we authors do like to talk gravely about the future of mankind and the novel and the power of the word.

But in truth, there are only two subjects that we authors, in my experience, actually talk about in private with any real zing from the heart.

One is the size of our – or their – advances. The other, what to do about your – OK, our – bad reviews.

And, since those bad reviews stand in the way of those bigger sales, the two questions really collapse into one – what do you do when people who shouldn’t be allowed to offer their opinion of cheap cheese say that they don’t like your book, and do so in print?

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