Every year, at some point in the middle, I look back on the previous few months and bemoan the lack of a new book release. The thinking goes, if I didn’t publish a book yet, then I’m slacking, and losing momentum in the market, and losing readers along the way. What have I been doing with all this time?? It’s worse when I look at my Facebook News Feed and see dozens of other authors posting about their new or upcoming releases. I’m happy for my friends, but at the same time feel like I just missed a ton of opportunities.
Last week was my four-year anniversary as a published novelist. I want to thank everyone again for coming to hang out with me at the chat party. If you haven’t received your winnings yet, you will very soon. 😉 Four years can seem very long at times, but then you look at the big picture, and it’s really just a drop in the bucket. It’s not all flowers and rainbows, either. More like a crazy roller coaster ride with a schizophrenic at the controls. You learn a lot along the way. I mean, you read all the advice online of what to do and what to avoid, but even when you think, “Pfft, that’s common sense,” it’s very different when it actually happens to you.
But this isn’t about lessons. It’s about the experience itself, and what every author out there has felt (or should feel) at one point or another.
I meant this to be a Facebook post, but it got away from me and turned into a bit of a rant, so I am sharing here instead.
I keep seeing posts about this topic, from both sides of the fence, authors publicly asking for reviews (me among them) and reviewers annoyed that authors feel entitled to reviews from readers. It got me thinking. I think both sides are wrong. But then both are right at the same time. What follows are my two cents on the topic.
Get ready to say ouch. A lot.
Because, here’s the thing: yeah.
There is an art and a science to working with another author on a WIP. The science comes in knowing what you want and drawing the lines. The art part is living with those choices. Put on your big girl panties, Alianne, you asked for it, so here it is!
Lesson 4: How to Deal With Reviews
Reader reviews are both an honest critique and word of mouth about a book that begins and propagates itself naturally without an author’s interference. If your book made your readers feel strongly about it, your reviews are likely to end up on opposite ends of the spectrum. Keep an eye out for the Goldielocks reviews.