I thought writing a query letter was difficult. Then I thought the waiting game was hard. And then everyone told me the editing process would be killer. These things weren’t necessarily the most pleasant thing, but they weren’t nearly as hard as something that I would come to find to be the most difficult part of this whole gig: reading reviews.
We as authors have put ourselves out there into the world, heart exposed in a lot of ways. At least that’s how I feel. I put so much of myself in each and every one of my creative works, so handling reviews is going to be a learning process.
The reviews I have received have not been bad. They’ve actually been really good. Phrases like “I could hardly put the book down”, “I hope there is a sequel”, “I highly recommend this for those that love historical fiction with a touch of romance involved” are just a few of the pieces I can pull out of reviews. For some reason, the perfectionist in me wants to see five stars every time. That’s just not possible. For some people, giving three stars is a good review. This puts me in a tough spot. I think You wrote such wonderful things and didn’t give me more stars!?!
At the end of the day, the advice I’ve been given is to not let the reviews be the end all of your day/week/life. They can, if you let them. I think it’s best to let them be what they are: someone’s opinion on what you’re doing well and maybe need to work on. Take that and let it spur you on to write a better book the next go around if you must, but do not let them drag you down. For newbie authors, just in case you haven’t heard this yet, let me say that you should NEVER respond to a negative review. Let someone have their opinion. There is nothing to be gained by getting into a word battle with them. It will only hurt you and your brand.
In the end, I’d like to say that I truly appreciate the time the reviewers put in to reading my work and putting their own thoughts down about it. Everything above is my own issue. I really am thankful for those who review books and the role they play in this process.