THE MOST VALUABLE THING I’VE LEARNED FROM GOING ON BOOK CRITS
By Fat Penguin
Mona: Every person has an opinion, you’ll get so many diverse opinions and sometimes opposite ones. Hear them all, learn from them, and have your own opinion. And thank people for their time and feedback.
Daze: Show you appreciate their time with a handwritten thank you card after.
Lauren: Listen. Absorb. Seek clarification. Where necessary, defend the ideas you believe in. It may spark a debate and reveal something new. Be humble. It’s very difficult to take things for granted at SCA but we have the wisdom of top creatives on our doorstep and we should seize every opportunity. Lastly, work for it. Make changes. Re-crit. Repeat.
Orla: Have confidence in your work and pitch to people on their level.
Kenny: People tend to be nicer than you think. Nine times out of ten, they’re there to help you. They want you to do well. Keep that in mind and speak to them like a friend.
Augustine: People are insanely generous with their time and energy. Never stop valuing that. Take on board all criticism. Rework your book. Hell, chuck it out if you value that person’s advice. Thank them. Properly. And fight for the ideas that are worth fighting for.
Krista: You can’t please everyone.
Flav: Ask for feedback. If you believe in your ideas, even if the book page is turned around quickly, ask what you can do to make that specific campaign better. Don’t throw it all away because of one opinion.
Gnome: People want to see you do well. Be keen and go back when you have made the recommended changes. Choose who’s opinions you respect, and I’d suggest getting book crits from agencies that you want to work at. Tailor your book towards them.
Sophie: Show how you’ve listened. When people give advice they want to see you’ve listened and acted on it. Write down everything – check you’ve understood exactly what their feedback is.
Beth: Believe in your work and sell it to the best of you abilities, but be humble and open. Take notes and adsorb all of the feedback as it will make your work so much better.
Max: You may sit in silence initially. But there’s no reason why a crit can’t be a conversation. Don’t be nervous. Listen very carefully. Don’t just nod. Don’t excuse your work. Do enjoy.
Alex: Take notes and be conscious of what ideas you find easier to talk about and sell and which ones you’d like to push out of your book. Follow up with a thank you email/card and make the changes you agree with. Then take your book back to show them if you think you’d like to work with them in the future.
Jacob: Present and pitch your work like you’re a creative team not a placement team. Also, can’t believe how nice everyone is.
Christine: You and your partner should sell each other. Tell about each others skills and why the two of you are a good match. Don’t be afraid of asking questions. Don’t be afraid of having an opinion.
Adeline: You’re never as good as you think you are but you’re never as bad as you think you are either.
Mark: Sometimes people don’t get your jokes, this is life, move on and accept that you aren’t as funny as you think you are.
Anam: The follow up is what turns that book crit into gold. Write back to them, thank them for their time, and make sure you go back with the changes they requested.
Malou: People are so so so nice. Whatever fear you have about book crits, overcome them and GO. You will build relationships, get nice feedback and see how different agencies works. Also, bring a book, the world’s smallest aquarium to look at, a puzzle or whatever to keep yourself entertained while they’re reading through your book. This will avoid awkward silence. Elliott and Laura from Fallon had books that my partner and I could read through, and it just made it all very relaxed and chilled.
Sasha: Ask about what helped them when they were getting into the industry.
When Daisy and I had a crit at Creature with Tori, she gave us a long list of competitions she recommended us to enter.
Ludo: Don’t over fill your book, take your 6-8 best bits and land them with a punch, anything else probably won’t be that great and just waters down the book.