I'm a complete freshman in the publishing world. The past few months have seen a lot of firsts. My first book published, my first sale... my first review (and by gawd, it was a good one!), and eventually... my first negative review (and by gawd, it was an AWFUL one!). It's all a part of being "out there." It's a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you're stoked beyond measure over a positive review, the next, you're freaking out because there's a lull in sales... the next, you're up again. Repeat ad nauseum.
Self-publishing has been a complete adventure. And one I've had to break ground on alone. I have a lot of writer friends, but none of them have really set out on this sort of journey. To put it mildly, I'm making it up as I go along. Fitting for this chunk writer. :)
You know, before I put my book out there, I was a pretty avid book reviewer. I loved it. Reading a ton of books and then sharing my thoughts about what I did/didn't like. I've been known to be *cough* harsh at times... complete fangirl ridiculous at others. But one thing I always held myself to was the truth. I didn't sugarcoat for the sake of putting on a good face in the "public eye" and I didn't set out to tear anyone down for sport. Now, there were definitely a few casualties along the way (heh), but for the most part, I think I offered up fair critiques according to my VERY subjective taste.
As a writer who has now had her work up for critique for a good six months, I have to say my opinion on the subject holds true.
Y'all, I have been praised... and I have been ripped apart. HARSHLY. And the only reviews that made me cry were the good ones. That's the honest truth. I know it sounds crazy, but while I don't exactly relish negative reviews, I don't let them get to me either. It's all a part of this gig. Bemoaning them or saying someone doesn't have a right to express their honest opinion goes against everything I've always so stubbornly defended. They have the right to their opinions...just as I have a right to disagree. (g)
I never--not for one minute--thought I would be okay with the negatives. But I am. Mainly because one thing this past six months has taught me, is that there are different strokes for different folks. And while my book may make some people want to bang their heads into a wall, there are equal numbers of people out there who will love it. I will never be able to please all of them, so why let it get to me? I don't write to try to please the people who think I produce garbage.. I write for the people who love what I have to offer.
I don't even have to make it a mantra. It simply is.
So for anyone setting out on this journey, remember...this WILL happen to you. It happens to the best of them. :)
Just keep truckin', yo!