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Monday, September 13, 2010

The Many Faces of Rejection

Once your book gets published, the rejection ends there, right?


The other day on Goodreads, someone had my book on their list. And they rated it. How did they get my book? who knows. The ARCs are out. They could know someone in the industry, whatever. But here’s the thing. The didn’t review the book, they just rated it. Now, since my book really isn’t out yet, these little things stand out to me because, well, nobody really has it yet. So this person gave it two out of five stars. Hmmm. Okay. No biggie. I guess. I know people aren’t going to like my book. I get that. There are authors who write bestsellers that not everybody likes. People have diff tastes. I’m expecting this. Really, I am. BUT, I’m not prepared for it.

This was the first rating of my book I saw out there. And the first rating is from someone who doesn’t like it. My first instinct is to message this person and just say, “Hey, why don’t you like it? can you at least post a review?” But I know it doesn’t matter. Because whatever the reasons, it doesn’t change their opinion or the way I feel about their opinion.

Now, say there were like 100 reviews and some were bad. That’s fine I can live with that. But I think because it was just this one out there, it got to me. Then it caused me to second guess myself. What if everyone hates my book? What if it’s a huge flop? What if I totally embarrass myself>

I stop and realize what my journey to publication was really all about. It was never about the money. Or popularity. It was about the dream I had when I was twelve. When I first said I wanted to become an author. And then six years ago when I seriously started submitting and refused to give up. All I ever wanted was to see my book in a bookstore someday. And in January, that will happen.

I have to remember not to loose my head in this. There’s no sense in worry about anything I can’t control and the best has already happened. Anything else is icing.

BTW, a tween emailed me a review of my ARC that she read this weekend. She loved it and I’m hoping to share her review on Sofia’s Blog/Site with her permission! <----This right here is serious chocolate fudge icing!


Unknown said...

THat's so stupid that someone would give a review without even reading the book. Perhaps he thought it was another book. If you didn't like it, they should also leave a reason. Well, no matter what, rejection is hard.


Stephanie said...

permission granted - she would love it!

That is so super lame and I honestly can't see why anyone would give that low of a rating. I'm a hard critic and this is not my usual genre of preference and *I* thought it succeeded.I guess all authors go through that baptism of reader rejection. You seem to have a good head about it - remembering why you're writing. Just wait till the rave reviews start rolling in - and they will! (hugs)!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

goodreads is notorious for this. haven't you read any reviews that completely trash a good book? all that means is that there's lots of different opinions out there.
I get your reaction though. I'd be pretty deflated if my first rating wasn't good.
But there'll be lots more to come. And I'm sure, better ones. Good on you for posting this on your blog. Keep it real.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I'm getting nervous about Goodreads. Several people have told me it's already there, but I've not looked yet.
Hey, don't worry. I got to see the Publishers Weekly AND the Library Journal reviews for my book in the same day. The first was 'eh' but the second rocked. Go figure!

Faith E. Hough said...

Try not to get down. It's extremely rude to rate a book poorly without giving a reason, in my opinion...but people forget that there are authors behind every book who might actually, um, want to know reasons. The really annoying thing is that often these low-raters will dislike something so trivial...say, the font was too big/small, the size of the book struck them as funny...OR somehow they got a hold of your book even though they never like anything other than Tolien-esque high fantasy.
So, basically, brush it away. If a teen girl loved it, you can't get much better than that! Because it's mostly going to be teen girls BUYING it.
Well, and me. :)

Candyland said...

Crap...I'm sure it only gets harder. We writers are gluttons for punishment. I'm sure you'll have 99.9%likes, but there's always that .1% that makes us stop and think we did something wrong...

Francine Howarth said...


Don't take it to heart. Often as not bad reviews come from the realm called JEALOUSY!

As an old pro (bestselling author) once said: A bad review is a good review. More people will read it to see why it was slammed!

Go take a look at comments on the Mills & Boon New Voices contest site and you'll see what I mean(see my blog). Some of the comments are pretty grim and unnecessary in a public forum, other comments are good, and of course there are always the glowing "buddy" comments that praise *group entries* to the hilt simply because they're all mates from a specific writer clan. It's easy to spot the members of a clan by the gushing words used. ;)


Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, that would really bother me too. I'm sorry that happened.
I've never been on Goodreads, but now i don't know if I ever want to.

Theresa Milstein said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with contacting the person.

Months back, I read a review of a book on a blog. She said she gave up partway through because she wasn't into the story on time travel.

The author found the post and commented on it. He was really nice and asked what she didn't like. Other commenters got on board, impressed that he'd commented. In fact, she wrote a second post about doing hasty reviews, linking the original one.

The blogger was flattered, and said she'd give the book another chance. The author wound up creating buzz for his book, and probably made a few sales.

I'm not saying you have to lurk, but then again, why not?

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm sorry this happened, although it's only one single review and not a review at all just a rating. I'm sure there are many more people who will rate that book with 5 stars once it comes out. Don't worry.

And like you said, you got a letter from a tween fan so there you go! That's praise in and of itself. Congrats!

Lindsay said...

Sorry this happened. I've seen this happen a few times on goodreads.

But a fan letter sounds like a great boost. Congratulations :)

Erinn said...

PErsonally I can't wait to read your book. All the books I read, I share with my 8th grade students and it would be super cool to share with them, "hey guys this is a book by an author I KNOW!"

I'm sorry your first review wasn't the best. That's sort of my biggest fear about getting published.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Who reviews a book you can't read? Maybe that's why it was negative?
Chin up! There will be more pluses than minuses and every one will anticipate the next one as well.

Vicki Rocho said...

Just say the word, I'll message her for ya. (Why did I assume it was a female? hmmmm.) Of course, fist I'd have to recover my Goodreads password AGAIN...but I'd totally do it! (nicely of course)

Slamdunk said...

I can see where that would be frustrating. It is a shame that someone would take the time to rate a book apparently unfairly without explanation.

Anonymous said...

Never allow someone else's opinion interfere with your perception.
You set out to do something and you did it. Kudos to you. Obviously someone thought your book worthy enough because it is about to be in print while so many other authors are still waiting, dreaming, hoping.
It's funny how one persons view can change our mood. I'm sure your book will do great. Good Luck, Maribeth

vic caswell said...

chances are they didn't ever get their hands on your book. they're just being a random jerk. i'm sorry it happened to you, but you mustn't put any stock in a random click of the jerk button... maybe it's even a computer glitch or an accidental click...

Cate Gardner said...

I'd see it as just getting the bad review out the way before the glorious ones start rolling in.

Jillian said...

Like you sadi not everyone is going to like your book. It would not be published if it was not worth it. No worries!

Trudi Trueit said...

As long as I am confident that I have written from my heart and to the best of my ability what more can I ask of myself? Don't let one sub-par review (or any others) rob you of the joy of your accomplishments, Rose. People have all kinds of motivations for writing reviews, and not all of them are pure. You're living your dream and doing what you love so I say let the reviews fall where they may!