Remember how I said the other day that I’d read this article that talked about not constantly checking numbers on Amazon? Well apart from that bad habit which I’ve cut back on, I do like to look at reviews of my books. Last week I had a look-see and found a review from someone who obviously took delight in shredding the book.
Of course, I got that feeling.
If you’ve ever gotten a negative review, you know the feeling I’m talking about. I can’t quite describe it, other than to say that I would feel this way if someone abused my son. The review rested on my mind for half a day, but as with other challenges, what matters so much right now, is not important in the general scheme of things.
It did help that two positive reviews came after that bad one. Ever wonder why the bad ones go on and go on and the good ones only take up two lines?
Anyway, as though to soothe my ruffled feathers, the writing tips widget on my sidebar came up with the following reminder - Whether you write an email, a manuscript, a query letter or a book proposal, never forget the positive or negative impact of your words.
I may be naïve, but I’ve never understood mean people. Not to say that I don’t have the capacity to be mean. I do, boy how I do! However, I think about whether I want to say the first thing that comes to mind and the impact it will have. Also, I do care what people think of me.
I realise that the anonymity of the internet gives many of us the leeway of being unkind with the security that comes from hiding behind an assumed name. I’ve also noticed that on B&N, where people are allowed to post reviews under an anonymous handle. I do get suspicious when someone has only one review under their profile, that being mine, but excuse me for being a conspiracy theorist. I’m a writer, I’m allowed. :D
I’m don’t dwell on the negative for long, so I use positive reviews to pull me out of a slump. The fact that people think I have a clue about writing gives me the energy to continue telling stories. One of my stories was floundering before I got that review and I lost energy after the negative review, but I muddled through and finished it up last weekend, knowing I’d have to revisit the tale to give it more life. Fact is, once writing is in your blood, there’s no choice but to finish what you start.
That said, these past few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot of material on the Kindle Select Programme. Yes, it has its advantages, but many writers now agree that the visibility that comes from the free days isn’t so strong anymore because everybody’s doing it and on any given day there are hundreds of free downloads. In essence, readers have no need to buy books unless they’re fans of our writing or they’ve heard good words about the book. Also, there’s the fact that books in the Select programme can only be bought in one venue, which locks out people with other e-readers.
On a personal level, the thing I’m finding out with FREE is that there is
little no perceived
value. I’ve also found, by looking through free books by authors big and small,
that there are some terrible ratings, all by people who got the books free.
Other than what I’m giving away right now, I don’t think I’ll be doing free
again. Chalk that up to me also having some inner resistance to giving away stories
I’ve sweated over.
I’m on the wagon that says slow and steady. I’m a good writer and no, that’s not self-praise. I’m going off what I’ve been told by people who have read my books.
Like many other writers, I’m extremely sensitive to criticism, however, it’s part of the publishing landscape since reading is subjective and we’ll never have the same taste – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure and all that.
I believe that what separates writers who stay the distance from those who give up is the knowledge that what they’re doing is worth the time and effort, even if the results don’t immediately support their expectation. I tell myself that for the successful author, writing is not a sprint, but a marathon. A slow burn, not a flash fire.
Despite the number of times we lose the urge to write, what’s important is getting our butts back into position and finishing what we start. And remember, the more books you have to your credit, the more you have to offer your readership.
I aim to have a productive week, what say you?