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August 10th & 11th ONLY
Here is an in-depth look at the three choices you have when dealing with negative book reviews. You can either not let it bother you, vent … but privately, or avoid reviews of your book at all costs. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of each choice.
Pros: Everyone's opinion varies. You tell yourself this every time you see another 1 star rating of your book, or another reader shares how much they didn't like your book. You can't please everyone, so you write the best book you can and allow readers to take from it what they will. After all, with every new manuscript comes improved skill. No matter what anyone says, you're going to write, aim to entertain a feel a sense of accomplishment with the completion of every book, and do it over and over again. Sticks and stones …
Cons: It takes a while to completely develop a thick skin. We're all human. And it's is very difficult to know that the project you put so much into, sacrificed meals and restful nights for, doesn't make your readers tingle with satisfaction as you do. No one likes to hear they sucked, failed or could've tried harder or done better, especially when you think you gave everything but your sanity to perfect the project. It hurts and we carry that feeling around, trying desperately not to let it affect our ability to persevere. Thus developing our thick skin. It's a painful process. It's often looked up upon to be unaffected by words or what others think. However, sometimes the negative has a way of seeping in, especially if it's been building up. Developing a thick skin takes practice.
Venting … privately:
Pros: Venting your anger helps get it out of your system, and when you talk to someone you trust and who understands your frustrations it makes dealing with your frustrations that much easier.
Cons: Venting, even privately, can sometimes leave you feeling weak, amateur, and further embarrassed especially when your best friend or spouse say the same thing over and over. "Don't take it personal." "Not everyone is gonna like your book." "Just focus on the positives." Hey, you already know that! Still, "whining" about a bad review will sometimes have you defending yourself as a thick-skinned professional to those you are venting to.
Don't read reviews:
Pros: If you don't see it, it doesn't exist. Out of sight, out of mind. What you don't know can't hurt you. You don't have to worry about looking like a cry baby to your spouse or best friend, and you don't have to practice growing a thick skin. It's the easier of the choices.
Cons: You won't have a clue what your audience thinks of the story or your writing no matter if what they say is good or not-so-good. Which means you won't know what you need to improve on in your next book or where your strengths lie. Sometimes the customer is right. After all, they are your target audience. Sometimes reading others discuss the good, bad and ugly in your books is a great learning experience. You can learn a lot about your writing style, voice, characters, etc., that you would've never known by avoiding reviews of your books.
- Don't leave comments to correct, explain or disagree with the reviewer.
- Don't encourage family, friends or fans to leave comments for you.
- Think of all reviews as an opportunity to learn.
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Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!
Check out the other blogs in RJ Scott's Anniversary blog hop for August 11th -12th!