Hater What? Hater Who?

Stepping to the stage is: Nikki - Michelle

Let’s talk about the word hate and how it implies to the African American Literary community. I’m new to this club of being called a writer/author. Over the last past year or so it seems as if the book world has turned into the rap industry. From the cliques to the “book-beef,” it has all become one big rodeo or circus, depending on how you look at it. The word hate gets thrown around so much you would think there was absolutely no other way to describe a person’s opinion of your work, especially if they don’t agree with the masses. Everybody screams hater this and hater that. Allow me to elaborate, will you?

Hate is the intense emotion of anger with that of a judgmental overtone and malicious intent. There have been countless posts where an author has vehemently declared that a reviewer is hating on them if the review isn’t favorable. I’ve seen posts where authors have even gone as far as to threaten the lives of reviewers or threaten to do them bodily harm. Riddle me this, why is it so hard for an author to believe not everyone is going to like their work? Just because your friends and family enjoyed it does not mean the readers will. Even if readers enjoy your work, not every single one of them will like it or rate it five stars. And please, for the love of God, just because your book has been picked up by a major publishing house doesn’t mean the reader is wrong in his or her less than favorable assessment of your work.

However, let me tell you what hate is. Hate is you sitting on Facebook trying to insinuate that your paperback book is worth more than an e-book simply because it’s a paperback. Real readers know that it doesn’t matter if the literary work is in paperback or if it’s an e-book. It’s what’s behind the covers, the content of the book that counts. Hate is you telling people not to buy a particular book because of the genre it’s in. Hate is you lumping all the poorly written novels together and yelling that it’s Street Lit that’s killing the literary industry for African Americans. We all know that isn’t true as I have read some absolutely horribly written romance novels and some greatly written Street Lit novels.

Hate is not someone telling you that the synopsis you posted is full of errors. Hate is not someone recommending you get an editor before you put out another book. Hate is not someone suggesting you take your work serious enough to reconsider calling yourself a writer/author until you learn the difference between their, there, and they’re. I call that constructive criticism. When it comes to the point where you think your written work is above reproach, you’re in the wrong business. In closing, stop screaming everyone hates on you and start realizing that some people are just telling you the truth.

Nikki-Michelle resides in Metro-Atlanta, Georgia, by way of Mississippi. Carried by her love of reading, she began writing at the early age of 12 and has been on a journey of "trying" to pen the perfect novel ever since (she's still working on that). She is one half of the host and CEO for the internationally known blog talk radio show Seriously Sensual and is in the process of continuing her education. She is a married mother of two and an avid reader. Her love of writing and wanting to create stories of love, hurt, drama, and real life situations is what inspires her to continue on her on journey to pen the perfect novel (she's still working on that). You can catch her works in the previously released anthologies If Only For One Night, Full Figured 3, and Girls From Da Hood 7. She has a stand-alone novel' Tell Me No Secrets and 'Tell Me No Lies, set to be released September 24, 2013.


  1. The problem with many is that no one in their immediately circle will dare tell them the truth. Also, many don't understand the difference between criticism and feedback. Personally, I welcome the good and the bad. Just as a flower needs the rain as well as the sun to grow, so do I. If no one ever takes the time to point out something in my work that could and should be improved, I will never grow as a writer. Writers must also remember that just as every genre they read doesn't pique his or interest, same goes for those who will read their books. Someone not enjoying your work doesn't make them a hater. They just weren't feeling it.

  2. Another problem is, we have become a society that gives people credit for trying. We don't know how to take constructive criticism, or any criticism at all.

  3. I love this article. I would have liked to hear more of her thoughts on the literary arena's clique's and book beefs.

  4. Like the Guest author I believe in constructive criticism. Let me just say that I belong to other groups on Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn and other writers groups who are mostly white. Sometimes as a favor and in support of my fellow writers I will download their Kindle books. White folks have similar problems in their respective genres; one person's book written in the horror genre had an implausible story line, way too many cliches and loads of grammatical and spelling errors. The other Kindle book written in the SciFi genre had a great story line but really needed better editing. The needed to better exam their characters motives and not drop characters or add characters than may confuse the reader. Plus even SciFi has to be believable. Heck! Even Aliens have motives and emotions. There should be a smooth flow from one scene to another. The Horror Book I'd give a F, the SciFi book a C+ Today's African-American writers and authors need to ready the works of quality women authors like I.e. California Cooper, Octavia Butler, Dorothy West, Jamaica Kincaid, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Zora Zora Neale Hurston, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie prior to putting pen to paper or thoughts to computer. Let's get rid of the formulaic ghetto/hood story lines that are constantly being rehashed with only the names of the people or cities changing. Expand your minds fellow writers and authors. Read outside your own narrow experiences. It will greatly improve your writing skills.