Overcome the Fear of Feedback
“The editing process was painful, and it’s where I learned how to take feedback. Positive, helpful, specific feedback.” —Dominic Carrillo
While still working full-time as a teacher, Dominic Carrillo has written and published several award-winning books, both as a self-publisher and recently with a small indie publisher. Dominic has also had one of his books released in translation in Bulgaria.
In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Dominic about his journey through both types of publishing and his newest novel coming out next year titled Acts of Resistance. You can also check out our previous podcast episode with Dominic here on Episode 9.
If you’ve written a book, you know that writing can be an emotional process, and editing is even more painful at times. Dominic learned the hard way when he wrote his first book and the editor “tore it apart.” He explains in our interview how emotional this was for him and how it took him close to quitting.
In schools, there’s a culture around feedback where you get critique and feedback and then you step back and polish your work. As a teacher, Dominic didn’t want to be a hypocrite, so he pushed through the fears that came up. He took the positive, helpful, specific feedback and used it to make his writing better.
Dominic admits his approach to launching and marketing his books is “pretty basic.” The most important piece of advice he gives new authors is to have a great cover. It needs to fit in the genre, get attention, and be eye-catching and legible as a thumbnail. He then puts out his cover on social media five or six months in advance of its release.
On social media, he’s looking for endorsements and reviews. These are key to getting attention from Amazon and from potential readers. He also puts these reviews and blurbs on social media where they show the legitimacy of his books. He also creates trailers, uses Facebook and Amazon ads, and has an email list.
One of the most creative ways Dominic’s books get attention is through libraries and schools. He has relationships with teachers and librarians who use his books in their curriculum. Since his books are historical fiction, they are an interesting way for students to learn history from a teen’s perspective.
In this podcast, Dominic also shares with us:
- How the pandemic shutdown inspired his newest novel
- How to find time to write while working full time
- The benefits of finding the right editor
- How to decide how much dialogue to use
- How to handle criticism and feedback
- The differences between self-publishing and using a publisher
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you thinking about writing a book but are afraid of how to handle criticism and feedback? Share in the comments below!
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.
Get a copy of Dominic’s book here:
Authors Who Lead Ep 009: Dominic Carrillo