My first novel was just released. I worked for eight years on this manuscript and now it is a published book. So I feel sort of sheepish and ungrateful complaining, but the worst thing has happened.
The Kirkus review was okay (nothing bad, but no star). But then PW—I almost died. They gave me a TERRIBLE review. And I mean awful. They said the characters were flat and the ending was completely predictable. I am devastated. It’s bad enough that B and N didn’t pick it up, but now…who will?
Tell me all is not lost.
I am so sorry you got a bad review. That really stinks. I often say that when you have a baby—no matter how ugly that baby is—people say, “Oh, what a beautiful baby!!”
But publish a book?
People go out of their way to point out every mole they can find!!!
There is not a writer alive who has not received a disappointing review. So Join the Club! Just yesterday, I was discussing a book online—by a very famous, award winning author—and people were just tearing the new book apart. Things like: "It just didn't work for me," and "Can someone explain this one to me?" All for anyone to see.
I am a reviewer and I take my job very seriously. I believe it is my job not to simply write my opinion and reaction, but review the book so that the readers who will love it will recognize that this is a book for them.
I can't give a to everyone....
but getting a book into the hands of the right reader is the goal. In my opinion, that is better than a . Right?
Because as we've said before, no matter what: someone won’t like your book. And someone will love it.
Still, it ACHES to read bad reviews. And now that anyone can post a book review online…and that google alerts will pick it up, you can know exactly who is saying what.
My strategy: Know a teenager?
Hire them to read your reviews. Have them send you the good ones. Dump the bad ones. Don’t feel obliged to read them all. After I read one icky review, I did this. I paid my teen $10/week, and she found every reference to my book, including an online review that I probably never would have found.
What else can you do?
Try a little marketing.
Make a contest for your book. Or do a blog tour. Send copies to people who you KNOW will love your book and ask them to review it on amazon, B and N online, or on their blogs.
It's a lot more useful than bumming out. And selling books is the goal. You want to be read. You want readers to react to your book. They can't do that until they read it.
Is there an organization that could use your book? Or a program that would fit into someone’s plans? Make a study guide. Or a reader’s theater. Write an article for a journal. Remember to always update your website.
True story: When I was working for a small publisher, there was once a book that got TANKED in the reviews. But the author did not care. He sent flyers out and spoke and wrote articles and that book—unlike many that had stellar reviews—went into a second printing. and by now, probably a third.
Want to review my advice? Or add some of your own? Write in today! Tomorrow, I will post the ultimate antidote to the writing blues….no guessing what that is!
- Current Mood:busy