Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Request for Feedback

It has now been a year since my book, The Principle of Ultimate Indivisibility, came out. I’m grateful for everyone so far who shelled out their hard-earned bucks to get it, and I’m aware of the risk one takes in buying a book when you don’t know if you’ll like its contents.

I’m also grateful for everyone who has given me their reactions to the book, from reader reviews on Amazon to Facebook messages to personal comments, cocktail in hand, at a party. I’ve felt touched and humbled by the praise, and of course, I’d always like to hear more.

But now, I want to hear from any of my readers who may have felt unwilling to offer any feedback. Maybe you never got around to reading it, maybe you started but lost interest, maybe the book was unsatisfactory somehow, maybe you just plain hated it. Or maybe you loved it but are embarrassed to say so. Now is your chance to tell me anonymously how the book made you feel, what it made you think about. Be general or specific, brief or long-winded, but please just let me know your honest thoughts.

The reason I’m asking for this is mix of feelings that I imagine every artist faces: we work in isolation, we don't really know what we've done, we feel the work is incomplete until the creator-audience circuit is closed, we need evidence of our own existence. So I hope you'll help me out.

Below the Comments text field at the bottom of this post is a drop-down list where you can choose to post as Anonymous. Every comment is good; please hold up the mirror and let me know we're in this together. Thanks!


  1. I know where you’re coming from, Brent. It’s hard to get people to say much and I can see from the comments that people are just falling over themselves to tell you what they thought. I just wish they realised how much their responses helped, the good and the bad. It’s pretty easy to get people to say they liked something you wrote:

    “What did you think of my book/story/poem?”
    “Yeah, it was good.”
    “No, I mean, it was great. Yeah. Really great.”
    “So what was so great about it?”

    And then you see the look of panic in their eyes. They probably do think it’s great but trying to explain that’s the hard bit. A friend of mine gave my first novel 3/5 in her review. I asked her why and her answer was, “Well, I only gave Hemingway a 4.”

    I’ve just published a book of poems and I’m at that horrible stage of trying to get people to say nice things about it. Which involved a fair bit of begging/badgering/calling in favours. It’s the part of writing that I find the hardest.

  2. Thanks, Jim -- good to have something here besides the crickets. And thanks for your other comment as well. Yes, this whole marketing thing is unfortunately, as you say, "part of writing" these days. At least, if you believe as I do that the work is not really complete until there's a reader.

    Must be even harder for poetry, so I wish you all the best.

    What I'm asking for here is not even that folks say something nice (I've received many positive remarks) but rather that those who've been silent break the silence and give me honest, even critical, feedback. Anonymously. Of course, everyone's life is rushed so maybe I hope for too much. Time will tell.

  3. I just ordered your book from Amazon. I will tell you what I think without being anonymous. I'm in the process of writing something about Jim's poetry book, which I loved. I don't consider myself a reviewer, but I'll do my best to give my reactions and impressions. I just read the Chopra/Hameroff 10 page ditty and enjoyed it immensely. I don't pretend to understand quantum anything, but I love being conscious of consciousness and aware of awareness.

  4. I'm from Australia, Brent and have not yet read your book, let alone heard of it, but that's not surriding. I'll have to chase it up.

    In the meantime, I'm taken by your comment on Jim Murdoch's blog about the importance of underlying causes, namely that things happen for reasons, which may not always be discernible.

    I find a deeper appreciation of the complexity of life admirable, and for this reason among others I imagine I'm likely to enjoy your book. But we shall see.
    pleased to meet you here.

  5. Kass -- Thanks, hope you like the book! And isn't enlightenment simply being aware of Awareness and conscious of Consciousness?

    Elisabeth -- Nice to meet someone from down under. The human subconscious works in mysterious ways, right? Thanks!