Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bad Reviews Have Their Place

It’s been just a little over two months since I began my journey as an independent author, and I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy journey. I’ve got a lot of things stacked against me. Probably the two biggest are the facts I’m an unknown author and I’m an independent author. There’s nothing wrong with either facts.
We all have to start somewhere, besides, if the journey was easy, the reward at the end wouldn’t mean as much.

I knew when I started, I’d have to build my “author brand” and my readership—that I would have to gain the reader’s trust. I realize some people will love my writing. Some will like or think it’s okay, and others will hate it. That’s okay too. I don’t like everything I read either. There are some popular books that I can’t read because I can’t stand the author’s writing style or I just don’t like the story.

As a reader, I make the decision as to what I read. As a blogger, I make the decision what to put on my blog. As a writer, I make the decision as to what my story is going to be about.

This is the way it should be.

I’ve started looking for bloggers who could help me get word out about my books to the readers through reviews, interviews, promos, giveaways, etc.  I realize there are a lot of bloggers who, for whatever reason, don’t want to review self-published authors. Honestly, I’m fine with that. It is their right to pick what they want to read and review because it’s their blog.

What I hate is the fact that some self-published author or authors have started bashing the bloggers for the reviews they received or didn’t receive. Not every review is going to be great because not every piece of writing is great.

Let’s face facts. Some writing down right sucks! I know. I’ve been there, and in some people’s eyes may still be.

The very first draft of Guardian of Atlantis “blew chunks!” It was horrible!!! When I finished it, I was so proud of myself. I set it aside and then after some time, I picked it up and read it. The plot was horrible. It had holes in it that were big enough to fly the space shuttle through. The first thing I had to do was to teach myself to create a better plot. I read everything I could get my hands on about the hero’s journey, the three act structure, outlining, etc. And I rewrote  and rewrote and rewrote.

Is my writing perfect? No.

Will every review I get talk about how fabulous my writing is? No.

Will I be angry at the reviewer who gives me a bad review? No.

If my writing needs improvement, I need to know so that I can fix my writing. I expect people to be honest, because that’s what helps me to improve and grow.

I am sorry for all the bloggers who have been on the receiving end of “self-published writers gone bad.” It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to us writers who care about our writing and our readers.

I appreciate the bloggers who have taken the chance to work with me. I’m thankful they are helping me to get my stories out to the readers. And hopefully, I will make contact with many more bloggers who are generous to give me and my stories a chance.