book publishing

Some thoughts on criticism and bad book reviews

My good friend/author/photographer/digital darkroom expert Rob Sheppard recently sent me this note. I thought it was well worth sharing.

Explore the light,
P.S. This picture has nothing to do with this post, except that it was in one of my books, Flying Flowers.

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Hi Rick --

I am a big fan of Seth Godin and have been reading his book, Tribes (which you actually know all about). Anyway, I read his section on criticism and thought about of our experiences with reviews on He says this:

(Talking about criticism and bad reviews of his books) "One bad review doesn't ruin my day because I realize what a badge of honor it is to get a bit of criticism at all. [By and large, most books are ignored.] It means that I confounded expectations -- that I didn't deliver the sequel or the simple, practical guide that some expected. It means, in fact, that I did something worth remarking on."

That is an interesting idea and a different attitude. He ends this section with a very unexpected idea:

"How can I create something that critics will criticize?"


Have a Good Book Idea? Team With An Expert... or Three

Yesterday's post featuring my butterfly picture (taken in my kitchen, by the way) got me looking through my butterfly picture folder, which features the photographs I took while working on my book, Flying Flowers.

In my seminars, I talk about working on that book, and how I hired three butterfly experts – Alan Chin Lee, Gary Noel Ross, Ph.D., and Tom Emmel, Ph. D. – to help me with the text.

Those experts added credibility to the book, which is important for any book and author.

If you have an idea for book and if you are not an expert on a subject, seek one out. He or she may be an expert and not a great photographer. Your timing may be just right. You might make a great team - which is attractive to book publishers.

These pictures were taken in Mexico at the over-wintering site of the monarch butterflies – where 30 million monarch gather each winter.

How did I get there? The experts invited me. :-)

See, it pays to network.

Explore the Light,