A Compliment

I know I’m a good writer and editor.  While my books aren’t perfect, I know I tell a good story.  However, there are days when I feel like I can’t do anything right.

Writing is a tough job which requires dedication, concentration, and perseverance.  One of the things I struggle with daily for writing is marketing my books.  Really I need reviews – lots and lots of reviews.  Preferably positive reviews but always HONEST reviews.

On a regular basis, I send out requests for people to read my books and provide a review.  I send a lot of these emails.  I feel lucky if I get one or two responses to the emails and thrilled if I actually get a review.

I won’t say who but I got an email from a reviewer recently.  I’m always apprehensive about these emails – did they like my stuff; did they hate it?  Will they write a review?  Are they going to say what was I thinking?

I read this email – well written, professional but not giving an indication of how the review was going to go.  Each word holds me enthralled as I hope for a good review.

I’ve written reviews.  I’ve worked with publishers who want you to be snarky, harsh, and even mean (though I draw the line there unless it’s a really bad book).  I get the requirements and expectations.

I read this email.  It may sound dramatic but my heart in my throat and at the end of it, the reviewer says, “you’re a great poet, but you already know that”.

I hope I am.  I dream of being one but …  to hear someone else, a complete stranger say that to me.  In the moment, it made my day.  It was a small sentence which carried big impact.  I still have no idea of what the review says – can’t wait to read it.  But that small compliment lifted me from my cranky self to a place which reminded me I was on the right track.  Thank you to the reviewer.


A friend told me she was going to read my book in the bathroom.  At first I was a little offended by this but as I think about it at least she is reading it.  Additionally if it sits in her bathroom and other people use her bathroom they may pick it up.  This may be a whole new marketing technique that should be explored.

I’ve sold 17 copies of my book in one form or another.  Now I have to patiently wait while people read and hope they will post a review.  I’d love all positive reviews but I know that they won’t be. 

The hard part for me is as I look over the versions I’m seeing changes I would make – small changes that I would do differently.  The changes aren’t large enough to merit an update but if I find enough of them they will add up eventually.

Criticism is a part of life as an author.  I won’t be able to please everyone all the time.  Some people will take offense at my topic, writing style, amount of sex (or lack of it) in a book, or almost any aspect of the book you can think of.  All I can hope for is that most people will like the book and will be willing to give it a try.

I won’t lie – a negative review will probably hurt my feelings.  It is bound to.  I’ll get over it.  I always do.  Books are like a baby to most authors.  It is a lot of work to create characters, plot, and so on.  By the time we are done, I have molded the manuscript into shape (I hope).  It is like raising a kid – here is this unformed being and as a mom I take and shape it into what it will be – hopefully in a positive and good way.  To have someone come along and tell you that you did a lousy job is tough to hear.  However, I have to look on a negative review as a way of looking to improve my writing.  If it is constructive – like I found errors in these locations or here is a plot oooppss – then I can use that as a way to improve the product.  If it is a “I didn’t like it” type of review, there is little I can do about that. 

If you’ve read my novel, please go and write a review on it.  Be honest because honesty helps me hone my craft and make a better product either by updating and improving the current product or creating a better product for the next manuscript. 

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