It wasn’t always this way, however. When my debut romance novel came out, the first review I received was not complimentary. I fought back the tears as I read it. After all, publishing a novel is like giving birth. You put in all that blood, sweat, and tears, and then you send your book out into the world and they greet it with “I just couldn’t get into the story.” That sort of comment is like telling a new mother her baby is ugly!
Better reviews trickled in after that first one, but the damage was done. Desperate to find out how other authors combatted the “yucky review syndrome,” I scoured the internet, as well as Amazon. I was surprised to find that even my favorite authors, (Nora Roberts, Kristen Hannah, Karen Robards), had some bad reviews. Stinkers, I like to call them. And then I heard someone on TV say (I think it was on the show Castle), “Everyone’s a critic.” I also read an interview of another romance author who said, “You can’t please everyone.”
I started to regard my book reviews differently. Instead of agonizing over the few “bad” ones, I began to look at reviews as a whole. Yes, you may get a few readers who don’t click with your story, but that’s just a microcosm of the real world. Not everybody is going to be your friend, either. But the viewpoints from every reader are valid, and give me information I can certainly use in my future writing.
I enjoy writing unusual stories, and I’m very fortunate to be a published author. But even more than the steadily increasing royalties I receive from each subsequent book, I thrive on the growing positive reviews I get from readers of my novels, my “babies.” Therefore, keep them coming. Tell me what you like about my books. Describe how they make you feel. How you can’t stop reading into the night, or that you read it twice because you didn’t want to leave the world I created. And yes, if it didn’t work for you, tell me that as well.
Remember, I read every single review. It’s like a note across miles and oceans. I delight in them almost as much as Christmas. You can even attach them to a bow on a car in my driveway, or is that going too far? Oh, well. You can’t fault a girl for trying.
Have you enjoyed my books but haven’t left a review yet? You still can. I’m eagerly waiting to hear from you.