When I signed on to write about my adventurous road into becoming a published writer I said I'll abide by a full disclosure policy in an attempt to help any newbie author fellow out there to the best of my abilities. It's very easy to share when all you have to say are good things and small victories, but sharing failures or tough experiences can be a little more challenging.
Be that as it may, I'm here to tell you all about my first truly bad review, how I reacted, and what I've learned from it.
We all know reviews are the most important tool small names like mine have to sell a book. When nobody knows who the hell you are, convincing them to pony up ten bucks for your book has to be done in resourceful ways, like having other people reviewing it. Now, a true author that believes in his/her work won't resort to shady deals paying for only good reviews; no, we go out there and ask people to read and share what they really think about our stories. It is here that lies the inherent risk of someone saying bad things about your book because not everyone will be pleased.
When I started in this business, as I mentioned in another entry, I bought a "Writing a Novel for Dummies" kind of book and one of the first phrases that caught my eyes said: 'If you want to work as a writer you have to get used to rejection. You have to have rejection for breakfast!!' And I did, or so I thought. The real proof comes along with the first harsh words you receive and how you handle yourself after them.
The reviewer in my case was a bit harsh and even mean, but that might be just touchy me. In any case, when I read it my heart sank and I felt sad; I though about a thank you note but didn't know what to say, so I just closed my computer and took a break. While I was cooking I kept thinking what to do and one hour later I wasn't feeling all that sad anymore, a little disappointed maybe, but I understood this was bound to happen sooner or later and I recognized this woman had made some good points.
I came back to the computer and wrote that note. I said how I thank her for taking the time to read my book and how sorry I was she didn't like it, then I acknowledge some mistakes had been made when editing the story and assured her we were now in the process of correcting them. I closed my note telling her I wished this bad experience didn't deter her from reading any future work of mine and said bye. Minutes later, I noticed another new review from a different person who gave me three stars instead of one and that just closed the deal for me.
I was very surprised at how good I felt after hitting the send button, it was liberating! All in all, I think that I raised to the challenge and am now much better prepared to when the next one comes; it being for this book or any future one.
Well boys and girls, that's the story, I hope it helps you to deal with your own sense of rejection, or at least that it entertains you. I'll see you around and remember, the most important advise I can give you is KEEP WRITING and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.