Thursday, September 20, 2012

Is your book your baby?

When I ran a crit group, so many authors were crushed by what they saw as a bad crit. Now, I'm not saying that all crits are good, meaning they have value to the author or not in an editorial way, but that's for another post.

I'm referring to the author who feels that their book is an extension of them, the book is their baby and they are going to spiral down the rabbit hole at the first bad word and take it personally.  As writers we need to develop a thick skin.  Yes, we created the book, but the book is only a story, a tale whispered in our ear by a muse, or brought on by the subconscious mind, or the conscious mind, depending on your viewpoint.  The book is not the same as your first born child.

Your book is a product.  Not everyone likes the same car, not everyone likes the same shoes, not everyone likes the same movie, the same show, or the same resturant.  So not everyone will like the same book, which means that your book is, in all likelihood going to get a bad review or two. The opinion of the reviewer is not reviewing you, they don't even know you.  They are reviewing the book.  The story.

How is it that one bad review can undo all the good ones?  I've seen authors put aside their keyboards and donate their  laptop to the closest after school program over one bad review.  Even if they had 10 good reviews before that.  They now ignore their publishers attempts to contact them, they ignore their editor, they take down their author's page, close their twitter account . . . Close up shop.

Did you like the AMC Pacer?  If you don't remember them, they looked like a pregnant Ford Pinto, they were lovingly called a microwave in CB terms.  BUTT Ugly was a better name for them IMHO.   They were not for everyone, neither is your book.  Even mega bestsellers get bad reviews.

Some authors don't read their reviews, others filter them through a friend or relative so they don't see the bad ones.  However you handle them, the thing to remember is to prove the reviewer wrong, write the next book, promote the first one, increase your sales, and remember the review is about the book, not about you.

So turn on the computer and get busy on your next book.

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