When you put art out into the world, it can be a scary thing. You’ve worked SO HARD on getting it just right. Usually a single book represents years of work — writing, revising, workshops, critiquing, rejection, rewriting, more rejection, acceptance, editing. And because you feel that the final product is so hard-fought, and as perfect as you can make it, you want more than anything for people to LIKE it. To accept and acknowledge your hard work.
So when a reviewer hates your book, what do you do? The first reaction is, of course, to be upset. How could they not like my book? I LOVE my book, how could they not like it??
Because everyone likes different things. If not, we’d only have vanilla ice cream. Realistically, I know this. But still, when I got a really CRAPPY review of CURSE the other day, it was hard. And then I read it again and realized it wasn’t MY problem, it was the reviewers. She complained that she hadn’t called the ending right. Oh, so she had WANTED a certain thing to happen, apparently, and was mad that it didn’t. And the more I re-read this review, I think she was really upset that I had pulled the rug out from under her, and then felt the need to trash the book, even though she liked the writing and wanted to read more of my work. It kind of read like sour grapes, because she didn’t get what she wanted from it.
Maybe that was it, and maybe not. It doesn’t matter, because it’s her OWN opinion. And I’m totally cool with that. (But it took me a long time to be okay with reviews like this. Author wisdom) I totally do NOT take it personally, and that’s hard as an author, because we sometimes equate our work with US as people. And that’s not fair to you OR the reviewer. I had another middling review that also said the book was good, but it didn’t meet HER expectations. No one book will EVER meet everyone’s expectations. No worries!
On the other hand, I have had so many AWESOME reviews. I want to share them with you. Because they made EVERYTHING better.
“First off, why doesn’t this book have more reviews?! This truly is a hidden gem in young adult! The more books I read, the more and more that I am discovering that many times the books not on the bestseller lists are actually better than the so called “bestsellers.””
“This book has everything I could want in a fairytale retelling. It’s got steampunk, a strong, spunky lead female, a courageous and passionate lead male, evil, ugly stepfamily and loads of fun.”
“The story was inventive and the pacing had me on the edge of my seat almost yelling at the characters.”
“This is the first time I am reading a book by this author, and I’ve never read anything like this ever before. This book has just been released and thanks to Curiosity Quills (amazing publisher) that they sent me this amazing book. Wow, this book was insane! A Curse Of Ash And Iron was an amazing read! “
This one was one of my absolute favorites:
“Awesome adventurist read! Thanks to Curiosity Quills Press and NetGalley! Finally a good read with steam works, 1800th century customs (not set in London for once), steam motor car?!, clockwork and a touch of witchcraft/Fae magic.”
See?? All better now. Only thing that would make me happier is if 100 people would buy the book for every one of these awesome reviews…