Today, we’re going to go with a bit of unconventional advice.
#1: No one gives a crap how hard you worked on your book.
Sorry, not sorry to break to anyone who thinks anyone cares, but they don’t. And they shouldn’t. Once a book is out there, you have no control over what people think. People want a good experience. No one cares how many hours of research you did, if your family came over on the Mayflower and you have characters based around that, if you cried and bled all over the manuscript, if it helped you through a dark time, if it’s the book of your heart! NO ONE CARES. If they have decided to pass on your book, knowing how hard you worked on it isn’t going to bring them back. No one is ever going to care about your book and love it as much as I hope you do. Don’t waste time being upset that someone doesn’t “get” something or doesn’t like something or thinks you should have written your book another way. None of that matters. Opinions are subjective. Spend your time writing and reading and enjoying life.
#2: Reviews are for readers.
If you want to read your reviews, go for it. You might learn something that will make the next story better. What will most likely happen is that you’ll drive yourself crazy, but hey, it’s your life. That said: reviews are not for you. They exist to help readers who are on the fence about your book. Of course, we want those reviews to be good, but I’ve recently picked up two books because of the negative reviews. Sometimes I don’t even read the good reviews. I want to know what someone thinks is the worst possible thing about that book, and if I can live with that or if it’s something that doesn’t bother me, SOLD. Case in point, book one: a few people complained that it was too dark. I bought it immediately. Book two: someone said they didn’t like it because the main character was unlikeable, irresponsible, and slutty. It’s on the way to my house as I write this. Unless everyone is universally dragging your book, you shouldn’t care what they think anyway. On the flip side, I’ve not bought books because of the great reviews. Recently, too many five star reviews on a book I was thinking about were swooning over some great romance. It was a hard pass, but that’s just me.
#3: Please don’t forget that you’re a reader, too.
Sometimes writers get offended when another writer drags their book and picks at it. See #1, then come back for a well-meaning lashing. Readers are allowed to pick at books. Think about it. If you’re “meh” about a book, do you pick at it? Do you talk about it? No, you do nothing because you don’t care. If someone doesn’t like one of my characters and harps about it, hey, they’re thinking about my book! That’s a good thing. I’ve recently gone off on two tangents about a book I’m in the middle of – if I hated the book, I would just drop it. I’m complaining about it because I care. I care that something that started off so good has now become hard for me to read. But like I said, if I didn’t care, I’d drop it. But I’m allowed, as a reader, to drag whatever I want. I’m allowed to think something is juvenile or overdone or underdone or whatever my little reader heart wants to think. Which brings me to my next point.
#4: Your book isn’t for everyone.
People are going to find your book via word of mouth, and not all of those people are going to like it. That’s fine. You don’t like everything you read. No one likes everything they read unless they only read one book, thought it was awesome, and read nothing else. Write something that’s important to YOU. Write something that matters to YOU. It’s the only failsafe way not to get upset when someone inevitably tweets at you that you’re the worst. Hopefully, with the right attitude, we’ll all be able to laugh it off. After all, if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t bother. I’m sure it sucks, but it’s better than wallowing in obscurity, and like I said, lots of books have been sold on the back of negative feedback. It’s okay. Because if you get enough reviews, you will literally have people flailing all over the place, saying it’s the best damn thing ever, and you will literally have people thinking it’s the worst book in existence and they wouldn’t read it again if you paid them.
#5: Be proud of yourself!
Do you have any idea how many people want to finish a book, let alone get one published? It’s SO many people. So many people that books about how to finish a book a thing. Now, if you wrote a crappy book, write a better one and try again, but it’s such a big accomplishment, and I know I often don’t take the time to appreciate it myself. Be proud of the work you’ve done. No one cares, but you did it anyway, and you deserve a shiny, golden star for that.
In bookish news, all the preorder links are up, and I’m running two giveaways between now and the 15th of this month! One for WINTER’S SIREN found HERE, and one for NO REST FOR THE WICKED found HERE. I’m also gearing up for a release day thingie with Xpresso Book Tours. It’s running from November 1-7. If you missed the first announcement and would like to help out, you can sign up HERE. I can’t believe it’s less than a month away! I have so much freaking stuff to do. But I also have plenty of free time so it’s all good. 😀