Get Early Feedback on Your Book

Dec 20, 2011 | Writing A Book

Timely feedback will help you write a better book. Remember that old Fram oil filter commercial? The tag line was, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” Feedback on your book will work in a similar way. You want to get it now and not wait until later.

Get Feedback Early

The best course is to get feedback all along the way to a finished manuscript. Sure, it takes longer and sometimes it will hurt, but feedback along the way can help you create a better book. The type of feedback is not as important as what you do with it.

Positive Feedback

One of my clients has a knack for creating helpful charts and graphics. Getting that positive feedback gave her the opportunity to use charts and graphics more than she originally planned and create a better book. Positive feedback gives you ideas about what to do more of.

Negative Feedback

One client of mine used an example from a major company as the centerpiece of one of his chapters. Several times he made reference to a particular company program. One of his readers informed him that the program he was describing never existed at the company he named.

That seemed strange. My client heard a well-known speaker use the example, but had never checked it out. When we did, we discovered that the famous speaker was wrong and the reader was correct. The feedback gave my client time to switch to a different core example.

Structural Suggestions

Tom Hall and I were working on Ruthless Focus and we were quite pleased with the way the book was progressing. One of Tom’s readers suggested that the book would be better if there were bulleted items at the end of each chapter, summarizing the key points. After some discussion of what would be best, we added “Thinking Points” and “Action Steps” to each chapter. Those additions made the book better.

Feedback is the “breakfast of champions” in just about any human endeavor. But, you’ll get far more nourishment from feedback if you get it while you’re writing the book.