In just 24 hours I received 2 reviews/ratings for my debut novel, Green (Book #1 Life Force Trilogy). To say they were on opposite ends of the spectrum is an understatement.
One of my ratings was very flattering:
“…Holy hell! Freaking loved it. My jaw hung open through the end. I was floored. Can’t wait to start Red…”
I went on to receive a 5-star rating from this reader.
Next, I received a 2-star review that was quite humbling. Honestly, it kind of kicked me off the euphoric high I received from that 5-star rating!
“This book was ok there were alot of type o’s tho.”
To say I was a bit disheartened is a bit of an understatement. I am the type to learn from my reviews, so I will go back and re-edit my manuscript before I finally get to release it for the Nook and iBooks (I am currently in the Amazon KDP Select program). Though it had already gone through multiple rounds of editing and beta-reading, we are all only human and so I don’t doubt that there may be a few typos in there somewhere. Regardless, it saddened me a bit that this reader didn’t fall in love with my story.
What now? When I came into this business I was a bit apprehensive. I wanted to share my stories with the world, but at the same time I was fear stricken with the idea of putting myself out in the public. As an introvert, I tend to shy away from being in the spotlight. Allowing my book to be available to the masses was both a dream come true and a bit of a nightmare. As my own worst critic, my self-doubts often tell me of things I can’t do, not things I can.
The night I published my book my husband told me that my life was about to change. He told me to be prepared for everything that may come my way, including the obstacles. My coworker and fellow writer also told me that reviews are quite bipolar. Every reader holds different opinions. What one reader (Reviewer #1) believes may not be what another (Reviewer #2) does. I appreciate each review I receive and take all my feedback into consideration. For my first reviewer I’d like to say thanks for reminding me why I went into this business. Sharing my stories is all I wanted. It feels great to know that my story touched a reader as much as my favorite books have touched me. For my second reviewer I’d just like to say thank you for even giving my book a chance 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to read it regardless of whether or not you liked it.
Thick skin is important in this business. It always amazes me how many of my favorite shows, movies and books are reviewed and rated so differently than what I believe.
You can’t win them all. This is a lesson I believe is important for everyone – not just authors – to remember.