“…[It] isn’t as boring as you may think.” –My “most helpful” Amazon Review. And yes, I VERY much want it to stay, give it an extra thumbs up just for me. :)
Contrary to what a few of my reviewers have said, I am not self-published. I have a publisher and they were the ones who decided that since I wrote a book, I should have some reviews. So they gave a copy of my book to a long list of people asking for just that. They said I could expect around 50 reviews in the first month, based on other books they had marketed this way.
I got 50 reviews in the first week.
My response was to hide under the covers. There they all were, a great swarm of reviews representing a great swarm of people reading and judging my book. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. I didn’t have a chance to vet them like I would a potential critique partner (Do you like elves? This has elves). They were just there, putting up their opinion like it was their job and it was terrifying.
I said in my bio that I used writing as a stress relief activity while in nursing school. That is perfectly true. But it seems the pendulum has swung the other way now. I am a nurse and therefore I couldn’t spend all my time under the covers or trolling my Amazon account. I am a nurse, so I had to get out of bed and forget about things for a while. When I got back from my work week, it was a bit better. The reviews were still there, but I couldn’t read and obsess over all of them. I only saw the number of reviews and the “average” stars.
And it wasn’t so bad.
In our very cynical and jaded world, I was actually surprised how fair they were. And I found myself agreeing with most of them, even the more critical ones. Yes, it is my first published book. Yes, it was lower budget. Yes, I wish I could have gone over it a couple (or a dozen) more times for more polishing. Yes, the world has a large cast of creatures/characters and a magic system that even included a kitchen sink (a MAGICAL kitchen sink, even). But most people seemed to like the main characters and how they grew. Most people seemed to like the end. Some of them asked for more. The things I worried about the most seemed to have resonated.
I can google myself now. A few friends of friends have reached out. Not blockbuster fame, but I don’t think I am quite ready for that. I’m happy to take it one step at a time.
The dust has settled a bit, and it seems the internet has decreed that I have written a 4ish star book. And I am okay with that. I think I will be able to try again soon. I can’t promise to leave out the elves or other established parts of the world, but I will strive to remove the kitchen sink. I honestly didn’t realize they were so offensive!!
Thanks for the reviews, internet. I really do appreciate it. :)