Reviews are extremely important to a book’s success, or lack thereof, especially for those of us who are self-published. Despite the progress that’s been made, there is still a stigma attached to indie books and authors. Many readers automatically view them as being inferior and won’t take a chance unless there’s a good number of favorable reviews. Yet, many reviewers share the same views as the general public and won’t accept them. Still, indie friendly reviewers are out there, and I’ve been focusing on getting Silevethiel in their hands. One reviewer I was wary of due to the nagging of my dark conscious telling me nothing I would ever write would be good enough to get a favorable review by such a reputable company, was Kirkus. Nevertheless, thanks to a bit of persuasion by my husband (and a glass or two of Jameson) I took the plunge and sent them Silevethiel.
After weeks of waiting with an equal combination of dread and anxiousness, I received the review. To my surprise, not only was it extremely favorable, but it received a Kirkus Star! I don’t think I’ve ever been so deliriously happy in my life. I checked my account every day for about a week to make sure it wasn’t a mistake, and sure enough, it wasn’t! You can check out the review HERE.
I realize it could just as easily have gone the other way. In fact, less than a week later, Silevethiel received an extremely scathing review from one of the reviewers at the San Francisco Book Review. It would be a lie to say it didn’t upset me. I seriously thought about giving up all together. But after a few days of reflection, I realized that every author receives such reviews, no matter who they are or how they are published. It’s part of the industry. People are people. They will think what they want, and they have every right to express that opinion, regardless of what it is. It’s important to not let any of it weigh too heavily on our hearts or influence who and what we are as writers. I’m not saying to ignore it. Listen to constructive criticism. Pay attention to what people liked. They will both help you grow as an author. But always remember, that at the end of the day, it was just one person’s opinion.
What about you? How do you deal with reviews, good or bad?