Thursday, January 12, 2012

*Flips the Switch On*

It’s a New Year and I can finally say I’m a published author. Net Switch is available in paperback on Createspace (subsidiary of Amazon) and Amazon, and on Kindle and Nook.

Blogs, Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble have already received reviews and I’m excited and nervous because I know my novel will get good and bad reviews (hopefully more good). Criticism was my biggest fear of publishing, however, I knew I’d always wonder and regret it if I didn’t do it. This experience has also opened my eyes to all the liberal arts. How actors and actresses, musicians, painters, and writers must feel when they receive unflattering criticism. It hurts, plain and simple, and sometimes even makes us cry. Criticism of an author’s book is very personal. Our book is our baby, and any bad publicity is like saying our baby is ugly, stupid, and should never have been born. Yes, I know it sounds dramatic…and the feelings are just as dramatic. None of us like criticism; a boss putting negative comments on an evaluation, and family and friends letting us know what they don’t like about us. We cringe, get defensive, and usually no one walks away a winner.

But since I published, it means I accept the good with the bad. It’s part of the deal. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t read about how to deal with it, so I actually researched how other authors go about handling negative reviews. Should you bother reading the reviews? Do you accept them like a grain of salt or do you learn from each one? Do you post a comment on a blog who has reviewed your book thanking them for reading it? There are so many questions and different ways authors handle negative reviews. A few have even gone a bit nuts online—berating the reviewer (You gotta read the comments). And there are even some authors out there that don’t read any reviews of their books. They feel it doesn’t matter at this point.

Literature is subjective. Some people will like my book and some won’t—there’s nothing I can do about it. What I can do is handle my reviews professionally. Everyone has a right, including me, to express how something makes them feel and that is something I need to remember about reviews. I don’t have to agree with every review, but it's how the reader felt and what they took away from the book (right or wrong). It isn’t debatable.

*raises beer*

A toast! To all the reviews I receive regarding my book, good and bad, and a heartfelt thank you to all who bought it (or will buy it) and took (or will take) the time to write a review.

*chugs beer, puts it on the counter and smiles*

Reading and reviews,


  1. Cheers to that, Bea! Congrats on the novel! I'm already over at Amazon checking it out.

    And don't let criticism get to you. I know it's personal, but people have such varied tastes. Hell, last time I went to a writer's convention, my prized novel went out to a bunch of agents and editors... my agent loved it and said it was the best book he'd read all year. Another agent said it should have been re-written as a children's story. Another said he didn't like it at all. Funny how one person can love a story so much it moves him to tears, and the other can just dislike it, right? It's so subjective.

    Also, I just realized now that I wasn't following you properly. Sorry about that. I was wondering why you never showed up in my feed. Bad BFTS.

  2. BFTS, Thanks!

    I appreciate you sharing your experience. It helps to know that we're not alone. And you're right, it's funny how one person could love our writing and another dislike it.

    I just added you to my blog list. Following blogs doesn't let me know about new posts and your blog is one I read on a regular basis.

    Take care.

  3. "chugs beer" ...

    In two words you just gave the best advice for how to deal with negative reviews. ;-) (totally kidding, but couldn't resist :D)

    I haven't checked out your links yet, but I love how you said this has opened your eyes to the liberal arts, and pretty much, to criticism in general. As you said, literature is most definitely subjective. Thank God, b/c how boring would it be if all people were equally pleased with all books, everywhere?

    The other thing your post made me think of was the "controversy" some writers feel about writing a book review for another writer. Maybe you didn't know this exists, but I've seen it in some circles... Some authors feel it's a conflict of interest—especially if you read a book by someone you know—whether your review can honestly remain objective. I'd venture to say no, but it doesn't stop me from reading reviews.

    I wish you much success and will chug a beer along side you while your reviews are rolling in. I'm learning from your publishing journey every day, my friend. Cheers to 2012!

  4. There is a lot of talk about reviews lately on blogs. Those posts are good lessons on what not to do. I only give reviews when I like a book. I don't feel it's my job to belittle someone's work or warn anyone else. We are grown ups. We can start a book & decide to finish it or not on our own. So there :P

  5. Barb, LOL! I think it would be worse if people drank and then posted reviews.

    It has opened my eyes and I will always think twice before posting a negative about someone. Having people equally pleased with books would be boring, BUT there’s criticism and then there’s viciousness. Some people don’t know the difference.

    I didn’t know there was controversy about writing book reviews for other writers. It could be a conflict of interest, but the way I see it, I’m also a reader. I’ll admit though, I haven’t written a negative review. I have joined in a few discussions about books I didn’t care about, yet I don’t think I’d go as far as giving them a poor review. That’s just me.

    As for remaining objective when reviewing a friend’s book, who cares? I will ALWAYS support my friends, and I don’t care what anyone might think of my review. It’s how I am about my friendships. I’m a very loyal friend, and will do what I can for my friends and be there for them…just don’t take advantage that loyalty. Support is support. If my friend was marrying someone I didn’t like, does that mean I shouldn’t go to the wedding? We don’t always agree with our friend’s choices in life, or like what they’ve done, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being there for them…and the way I see it, that’s buying and reviewing their book.

    Thanks much for stopping by, and cheers to the New Year.

    P.S. I can’t BELIEVE it’s snowing!

    June, I guess I’m missing these discussions. I’m with you; I’ll only do a positive review on my blog or anywhere else. After going through the entire process of writing and publishing a book, from this point forward I couldn’t give someone less than three stars for their novel. There’s too much time and heart invested into creating and publishing a book.

    I guess it’s a double-edge sword though. As writers, we want reviews to help with sales, yet we don’t want the negative ones. My only gripe about negative reviews is those that are not only unfavorable, but downright cruel.

    Thanks for joining in the discussion.

  6. *shakes the snow off my boots after going shopping for a new shovel*

    Denise, I am with you all the way on loyalty & support. And as far as the reviews, I think the gripe people had was that if a person only writes positive reviews to uplift their friends, then the review isn't valid or some such nonsense. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one. In a world where negativity runs rapid, why not uplift someone? If I read a book I didn't like (odds are I won't finish it anyway), I'm not going to post a negative review. But like you, I would join in on discussions about it—with friends or people who I can trust to be civil, and not vicious, because what's the point of that?

  7. *wipes snow off my coat*

    I went grocery shopping too, so the craziness of the snow doesn't leave me starving...wait...I could use a bit of starving.

    You're eggstactly write, Barb! Away with negativity...something I definitely have to work on myself.

  8. Oh, my goodness!! Congratulations!!! :-) Sometime this year, I'll be writing a similar post, Bea!

    Now, I must be off to Amazon to check out your book!! :-)

  9. Hot Coco, Thank you. WOOHOO! I’ll be looking out for that post of yours. Glad to connect with another writer.

  10. My editor gave the advice that, as an author, never read ANY of your reviews-- good or bad. She said the bad can make you feel like a bad author, and the good can make you feel like you're never going to live up to their expectations with the next book. Both can be paralyzing to your writing. Sounds like good advice to me!

    Congrats on it all! I'm so excited for you!

  11. Peggy, I actually like that advice and I will TRY not to look for reviews.

    Thank you so much and I wish you the best with your writing endeavors.