Have you heard the expression, "a camel is a horse designed by a committee?" It's because they're lumpy and bumpy and funny-looking and inefficient, and, well, you get the picture.
One thing that's NOT meant to be "designed by committee" is a children's picture book.
But I sort of went and did it anyway. I created a page using Google Forms to help me collect feedback from pre-readers about a Jewish children's picture book I wrote.
And you know what? It really helped.
Here’s the biggest thing I learned:
Even the greatest book in the world is still written only from your perspective. Other people’s views can make it much broader.
Your book reflects you and YOUR world and YOUR point of view. By opening it up to feedback, though, you let other people behind the scenes, into your creative process… and sometimes, their ideas and their perspective, are exactly what you need to broaden your book and make it more universally appealing.
Sure, some of the feedback I got wasn't helpful at all, like one person, who suggested I rewrite the whole thing in verse because she likes rhymes. But some really was, and it helped me figure out what the first draft of the book had been missing.
When you're asking for feedback, be specific. Don’t say “did you like the book?” Use questions that are specifically targeted to things that are within your power to change about the book.
For example, one of my questions was