Today I’m pleased to welcome Australian author Cheryl Adnams to the blog. Cheryl is the author of two romance novels, Bet On It and Chasing The Flames (you can read my review of Chasing The Flames here). Cheryl is bravely tackling the topic of how authors really feel about reviews!
When my first novel ‘Bet On It’ was released in May this year, I hadn’t given much thought to reviews. I’d never even heard of Goodreads until I had my own novel published.
So when I received my first glowing review, and 4 stars, wasn’t I excited and oh, so very proud of myself. From that point on I looked religiously, five times a day to see if there were any more reviews sitting there waiting to just boost my spirits and make my day.
Five stars, wahoo! Four stars, nice. And so it went on. I booked the marching band, ordered the French champagne and celebrated being the next big thing.
And then my world came crashing down. A 2.5 star review. I poured over the scathing remarks, the digs at the story, the slicing and dicing of the characters who were now like family to me. Devastation and depression set it. The champagne was no longer celebratory but medicinal.
One bad review and I started to question my writing style, my story and my right to even be a published author. After all, the reviewer must be an expert in the field right? It didn’t matter to me that I had multiple 4 and 5 star reviews. That one bad (and quite frankly nasty in some parts) review was the one that I held onto with my poor wounded heart and soul. I should say that the reviewer gave me the stars for the good writing and editing. So it wasn’t all bad. But I chose to ignore that morsel of good.
So why is it that we only hold on to the bad things people say about us and let them cast a shadow over all the good reviews?
In the last few months, I have met many wonderful romance authors through writers groups such as SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) and at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in August this year. And found there are several different modus operandi authors follow to deal with reviews.
Some will read only the good reviews and ignore the bad. Others choose not to read their reviews at all – and wow that takes a massive amount of self-control. One of the best responses I heard though is:
‘This reviewer is not my fan base’.
It’s a simple as that. As in everything in life, not everyone will like what you write. Not everyone likes who you are. Not everyone likes what you wear. It’s part of life and accepting that was the answer to turning my medicinal champagne back to celebratory champagne.
Just one last note and a word to my fellow authors :
Nasty and hurtful reviews say more about the person writing the review than they do about the author or the book they are reviewing. Shrug it off and choose to celebrate your fan base.
Thank you Cheryl for your post – interesting thoughts. As a reviewer, I tend to feel very differently about negative reviews but can appreciate how they may be difficult for those that write. If anyone has any comments, please feel free to leave them below.
This author guest post is part of the Chasing The Flames blog tour, organised by Random Romance of Random House Australia. You can check out more information about the tour, including the full schedule here
Previously on the tour: Monique at Write Note Reviews has another guest post from Cheryl which you can see here
Next on the tour: Connect With Chick Lit also has a guest post which will be featured on the 13th October