I received my first “negative review.”
Someone didn’t like my book! (And no, I’m not going to link to the review because I don’t need people to start a flame war there. People are entitled to their opinions). Yes, I was quite shocked – I mean, how could someone not like my book? My book is amazing and awesome!
WELL CLEARLY YOU, DEAR REVIEWER, ARE STUPID AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ AND WOULDN’T KNOW GOOD TASTE IF IT DANCED NAKED ACROSS THE ROOM AND THEN A NINJA KICKED YOU IN THE FACE. HOW DARE YOU BESMIRCH MY WRITING? HOW DARE YOU THINK MY BOOK ISN’T THE GREATEST THING EVER WRITTEN SINCE… WELL SINCE THINGS WERE WRITTEN! HOW DARE YOU…
Huh. Maybe they had a point? Maybe I should have done X, Y, & Z instead of A, B, & C? Maybe I should email them and explain why I did the things I did that they didn’t like. Maybe if I do that I could change their mind, and THEN they would like my book. I’m certain that if I talked to them we would become friends and they would
like me like my book and then they’d remove that review and…
*sobbing* WHY DON’T THEY LIKE MY BOOK? WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEEEEE? WHY DO THEY HATE MEEEEEEE? I AM A TERRIBLE WRITER AND SHOULD NEVER EVER WRITE ANYTHING EVER AGAIN! I SHOULD REFUND ANYONE WHO EVER BOUGHT MY BOOKS THEIR MONEY THEN WRITE AN APOLOGY MESSAGE TO THEM ALL AND THEN COMPLETELY ERASE MY ONLINE PRESENCE AND PRETEND AS IF NONE OF THIS EVER HAPPENED. MY LIFE IS OVER! *deteriorate into unintelligible sobbing*
*spots a couple other negative reviews*
Okay Self, so a few people didn’t like your book. Who cares? By far most people who have read it have loved it, and guess what, remember that teen girl who said “you are officially my hero… I have never devoured a book so quickly or enjoyed it so much… my new favorite book… my new favorite series, and you are my new favorite author…You inspire me…” Yeah that one. And remember that your daughter decided she loved reading because of your book? Oh yeah… So, pretty much everyone else in the world could HATE your books, and the fact that you just caught your daughter up reading at 0430 because she didn’t want to put her book down makes it all worth it.
And the truth is, it hurts.
Yes, it hurt my feelings to see that someone felt so negatively about something I’d poured hours of my life into, and worse it made me doubt my writing ability.
And yes, I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.
But wallowing in self pity is not only silly, but it’s destructive.
Because here’s the thing, I KNOW I wrote a good book. It’s not the best book, it definitely has its fair share of problems, but it’s a GOOD book. It entertains. It has a plot. It has a heart. It has a purpose. By far, the vast majority of my reviews have been spectacularly positive.
But despite all that, it still hurt to read someone’s words (it was somehow worse that they were a perfect stranger) listing all the things they hated about my book – things I can’t fix because I think they are essential to the story. Or worse they just hated my story for no apparent reason and didn’t even bother to write a review. Just gave it one star. (Also, don’t give unto the temptation to email/message the reviewer).
Well, that and it hurts whenever someone tells you “your baby is ugly.”
It’s a bit funny in hindsight – I thought I had a thick skin, but I guess it’s not as thick as I thought.
But really, it’s my own fault. I KNOW my book isn’t going to appeal to everyone. And I know there are going to be some nasty reviews out there. Yet I went out looking… For the plethora of good reviews, there is that one (several now) where the person didn’t like my book, and for some reason that’s the one I focused on.
I need to not go read reviews of my books if I’m not prepared to deal with what I see. My stories aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay! How boring would life be if we all liked the same things? Yeah, no thanks. So I’ll take my hits with a smile, and if I see any constant themes use my negative feedback to improve my writing.
Because really, what am I complaining about? “OH WOE IS ME… SOMEONE DIDN’T LIKE MY BOOK! MY LIFE IS SO HARD! LET ME GO CRY ALL THE TEARS.”
Yeah, when put in perspective, it really is a silly thing to get worked up over.
Thanks for all the love everyone.
1pm: Geeks Rule!
7pm: Phineas and Ferb Uncovered
1pm: Girlz Rule!
4pm: Music Show Mash Up
7pm:Bad Boys! Bad Girls! (I may have to leave this one a smidge early to catch my flight home)
Lastly, need a copy of my books? As it happens you can buy them here.