Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tuck and Roll - The Writer's Highway: Part Four

Weeks ago, I posted the introductory for a serial called: Tuck and Roll - The Writer's Highway.   If you missed the post, here it is.  

This series is meant to encourage and inspire you as a writer along your journey.

I brought out the illustration of a caterpillar.  Hence, the picture on this post.  We'll view this little guy as a sort of mascot the series.

So let's begin.  Today we'll discuss overcoming obstacles at these points in our journey: receiving negative reviews and all your novels are published, now what?

Handling Bad Reviews
Okay, finally, all your hard work has come to this – you are published.  You’re very pleased with your final product.  Maybe you chose to edit your book yourself, maybe you hired an editor.  Either way you are proud to say that book is your “baby”. 

Now comes the scary part.  Some have likened being published to standing naked in the streets.  And let’s face it, not everyone is going to like your body, and secondly even if you’re receiving “cat calls” you’re still shivering from the lack of covering.

So bringing this back to your published book…you are going to get good reviews and you’re going to bad ones.  Let’s hope the good always outnumber the negative ones.

However, keeping a balanced state of mind when it comes to reviews will help you keep your sanity.  Remember, the review is that one person’s opinion and doesn’t mean others will feel the same way!  Sometimes it’s hard to do because maybe you see merit in some comment made, or you think “I was wondering about that part myself”, but don’t let these type of reviews get you down.

I’ve had readers tell me your characters are relatable and believable while another review will say the relationship between the main characters wasn’t believable at all.  Reviewers will say “I never saw the ending coming”, but you’ll have a couple that say “I could see how it was going to come together.” You have people who say “I gave up on the book” while others say “I couldn’t put it down.”

TUCK AND ROLL!
Remember you can’t please everyone.  If you tell a good story, your readers will return.  Just as you don’t necessarily like every book you pick up, you can’t expect all your readers will love yours.

Try not to take the negative reviews personally.  I know some best-selling authors who don’t even look at their reviews because the negative ones bring them down.

If you find even the good reviews can’t “tune out” the bombardment of your inner voice that dredges out all the bad reviews, then maybe this is the solution for you.  Focus on your writing and bring more books to your faithful readers.

Remember too, there will always be people out there who give bad reviews just to bring your rating down.  These people probably haven’t even read your book.  You’ll also find they’ve only set up an account to rate yours and have no other reviews on file with Amazon.  Or you may find they set up an account, gave your book a low-star count and gave 5 stars to another one.  Only two reviews on their record…tell me they’re not working in “cahoots” with the author receiving the 5 stars.

Long and short of it is don’t give them the satisfaction of demoralizing you.  Honestly, when deciding on a book to read do you give credence to one and two stars when there are many 3-5 stars?  I know I don’t.

All the novels you’ve written are published, now what?
You’ve published everything you’ve written to date.  You’ve been so focused and goal-oriented on getting your work in the hands of readers, you didn’t take time along the way to write new books.  You were locked in editing and revision mode.

TUCK AND ROLL!
Start writing!  Don’t stress yourself out with a deadline, or keep reminding yourself you have no more books ready to publish.

This is the conclusion of TUCK AND ROLL: THE WRITER’S HIGHWAY.  I hope you’ve benefited and been encouraged.