How to get honest feedback.

A close friend had a birthday recently. I gave her a print copy of one of my pen name novels. I didn’t mention that I wrote it. I thought she would either figure it out, or I’d just let her know when she told me later how much she loved it.

Well, she really did not love it. Didn’t even like it. She asked if it was one of those “DIY things”. She didn’ t like one of the main characters. She didn’t finish the book, she didn’t even get very far through it.

Huh. And I thought I’d written something that was compelling and engaging with strong characters. My first readers enjoyed it, but then, they knew it was written by me.

I have to remind myself that taste plays a big part in someone’s reading – despite being someone who reads some thrillers, my friend is probably not part of my target audience. I guess I might also need some training in the art of giving. Maybe next time I’ll just a get her a voucher.