First off, let’s take a moment to pay homage to one of my favorite movies ‘Dazed and Confused’. I love this movie. It is one of my favorites and if you can’t randomly identify or throw out quotes from this example of fine cinematic greatness, then you probably shouldn’t be my friend.
Okay, now that I have got that out of the way…
I saw something today that stunned me a bit. I was perusing the books being promoted on a few Facebook groups and I clicked on a link because the book looked interesting.
I read the synopsis and then I came to the end. I know that I am a relatively new author, but I know my way around the kindle book store and I have never ( can you hear me emphasis never?) ever, seen this before.
At the end of the book blurb, the author, wrote that if a reader is dissatisfied with the book and is tempted to give it 3 stars or less to please write her or her publisher before submitting such a review.
I’m sorry. She didn’t say please, she used the word implore. She implored you the reader not to leave a bad review.
Anyone who uses the word implore means business…that’s all I’m saying.
I was confused, shocked and I have to admit, a little amused by the plea.
I almost felt like writing a review on her book blurb. I wanted to say “Sweetie, you’re in the wrong business,” but I didn’t. Instead I have been stewing about it all afternoon.
Writing a book is hard. That is a fact that every intelligent person is aware of in this world. Publishing a book is even harder. Not only are you selling a piece of your soul for anyone to read, but you are also inviting criticism which can lead you to be brokenhearted.
It’s a terrifying proposition, but it is one you must consider before you publish. Every, single, author has had a bad review. I don’t care who you are, we all have had them and does it sting? Yes, of course, but I believe it is what also makes us be a better writer.
We all know about the buying of bogus reviews. If I see a book that has 300 four or five star reviews with not a single naysayer then I am now suspicious. I hate it. I wish I wasn’t weary, but I am now.
I wish I could speak to all the readers who didn’t like one of my books, but I can’t and you know what? It’s okay. I realize some people may not like profanity and graphic sex scenes and that’s why I write a disclaimer. If I see a review that mentions it, then I have to admit, I don’t lose sleep over their words because I’m honest about what I put out there.
My early reviews mentioned typos and whatnot so I fixed them. I read the criticism and agreed. I finally admitted that I needed help and I couldn’t do it on my own.
I took the words to heart and I am a much better writer now.
I have had two one star reviews. Now, I don’t think that’s bad considering I have published seven books, but boy it sucked to read that they thought my story was silly.
There’s no other word for it. It sucked. Big time.
Those are the times you put on your big girl panties and move on with a smile.
I’m not trying to make fun of or bash this author. I know how hard it is to get those bad reviews, but trust me when I say that at the end of the day, those reviews are what makes us stronger as authors.
There’s a part of me that wants to reach out to this author and tell her how I feel. I wish I could convey to her in the nicest way possible that frankly it sounded a bit pathetic and that she doesn’t need to persuade people to like her book, but she needs to believe it herself.
Part of being an adult is that we can move forward even after hearing or seeing something that makes us upset or hurt. We acknowledge our faults and try to use them for personal growth.
I would much rather hear a person speak the truth than listen to their lies. The thought of begging someone to like my books is ridiculous. My stories are a part of me and if you don’t like them then that’s cool.
I like them and in the end that is all that matters.
Write for yourself and no one else…have I mentioned that, like, a million times already?