This sort of goes with yesterday’s post, although this one refers more to the pre-publication stage. The most polished and successful authors have a host of people who read their work prior to publication, whether for content and plot, or for typos, punctuation and grammar issues. These authors have learned to deal with others who sometimes ruthlessly say, “This has to be cut,” or “This makes no sense,” or even “Kill off this character; she’s doing your book no favors.”
Self-publishers, in many cases, have never had to deal with that type of criticism, no matter how constructively it’s phrased. When they show their work to someone (anyone), the typical result is praise, simply for having written a book. This is not to be confused with an informed opinion. (See letter “F” post about friends being cheerleaders only.)
A critique partner, beta reader, or editor has nothing to gain by telling the truth about bad writing, other than a clean conscience. Nobody seeks to hurt anyone’s feelings. Feelings, in fact, have nothing to do with the rules of writing. Those who cling too tightly to what they’ve written and refuse to fix errors will either sell no books (after someone reads their poorly written sample), or will sell only one book per person, with no repeat customers (after someone, having skipped the sample, reads their poorly written book).
Be open to criticism, especially if many people mention the same things in their criticism. They just might have something you can use.