I got berated last time I used children as an analogy for books, but oh well. People get hung up on little things. No one is saying that a child can be substituted for a book. It’s just an analogy that people can relate to as most people have a child or know a child or were a child at some point. Okay, that’s clear now. This is about books you think are “bad”.
I’ve just shown you my baby (you read my book) and you think it’s an ugly baby (bad book). This may be because it doesn’t meet your expectations of what a beautiful baby is supposed to be (it’s not your genre), or because the way it cries is weird (you don’t like the way language was used), or it has some blemishes (oh my lord, a typo!), or it vomited on you (it made you feel something you didn’t want to feel), or it pooped on you (it had a scenario you hate and you weren’t warned because, you know, shit happens). Think about this rationally. Does that make it an ugly baby, or does that make it a baby you just don’t happen to like for one of the above reasons? Don’t get me wrong, there really are some ugly babies out there.
It’s okay either way. I can love my baby, and be proud of my baby, and keep wanting other people to see my baby, even though it’s an ugly baby to you. You don’t have to hold my baby. You can look at it and get close enough to see a sample of what my baby is like and back away. If you choose to hold my baby and one of the above happens, then what?
You must know that telling someone outright that they have an ugly baby (bad book) actually hurts their feelings. If you want to give feedback on a baby (book), maybe be a little more informative about what was so ugly (bad) about it. Like, ‘babies are nice, but this baby cries weird’, or ‘this baby pooped on me’ – but please don’t describe the poop in detail, or ‘this baby vomited on me, which pushed me out of my comfort zone’.
Feedback about why you don’t like something is appreciated, but the delivery, people, come on. If you think that the baby’s blemishes (typos) could be cured with cream, great, say that. Say something useful, informative, insightful. And if you’ve never even met the baby, please don’t talk about the baby.