How do I tell someone their book is not very good?

#1RonWeasslyPosted 10/19/2012 12:54:48 PM
One of my family members whom I haven't seen in a long time(been a couple years) has just made a book. I randomly found him on Amazon while searching self-published books. I found his name and figured, "cool, he made a book. That guy always seemed smart when I saw him at family gatherings." I typed his name in google, and it lead me to his Twitter page. So I read a preview of his book and...I don't know how to review it for him. You guys can check what I'm talking about here:

It's weird because I know he's into Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I thought he'd at least write something on Christopher Paolini level, but this reminds me of elementary school writing. There's very little good, and Stephanie Meyer is better. Not to mention, there are grammar and spelling mistakes throughout. It's sad because there's hints of a decent story there, but it's just bogged down by elementary writing and mistakes. He even compares his paintings to Picasso and Basquiat. There's one story that looks like a parody of anime/fantasy cliches, but it's hard to tell from the other "serious" stories around it.
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#2TheSchrefPosted 10/19/2012 12:58:30 PM
Say that their books isn't very good.

God that was awful.
#330_STMPosted 10/19/2012 1:10:47 PM
I just read some of his writing and I see what you mean.

The only way to critique someone so they get better is to be honest. Plain and simple.

Sure, it may hurt their feelings, but if a writer is that easily swayed to stop writing, then guess what? Yeah, they're not a writer.

It sucks when people tell you something you've done is bad, and God knows we all go through it, but if they can tell us WHY something is bad, then we can at least learn from it. Try to be constructive.

Start by telling him that his grammar needs work. (Honestly, a lot of work, but maybe don't word it that way.)

Explain that, (for example) when more than one person is speaking, their dialog should be spoken in different paragraphs. He has two people speaking in one paragraph, which is not only confusing, but is just plain wrong.

Suggest that he read more and try to emulate what he's seeing in the novels he likes.

These are just a few ideas to start.

Good luck.
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#4Cowboys4u86Posted 10/19/2012 1:27:13 PM
Oh God. That was absolutely terrible.
A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.
#5WarBeaglePosted 10/19/2012 2:07:41 PM(edited)
Actions speak louder than words. Return it with feces smeared on pages with passages that are particularly bad, like this:

The weapon pulsed, firing a high-voltage beam, sending the men flying back exploding in mid-air.

"come on Max. Let's go before more of them show up" he started up the car and drove to Arizona.

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#6The_Zora_KingPosted 10/19/2012 2:05:38 PM
WarBeagle posted...
Actions speak louder than words. Return it with feces smeared on pages with passages that are particularly bad.

So...all of the pages?
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#7ASlaveObeysPosted 10/19/2012 2:25:48 PM
Be honest without being a douche. Also tell him he needs to tell less and show more. Drop some random English teacher expressions on him
#8PeeInMyPuddingPosted 10/19/2012 2:59:50 PM
Say nothing.

That's what I'd do.
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#9WesternWindPosted 10/19/2012 3:29:47 PM
Who's saying you have to review it?
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#10troIlingPosted 10/19/2012 4:02:59 PM
Wait, so he didn't ask you your opinion? Why would you say anything at all?
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