Saturday, January 17, 2009

When accomplishments hit snags...

It has been ten days since my book was released by Ellora's Cave. At first I was all floaty and happy, then I visited my page and discovered someone had rated the book and left a comment. Now, on the face of it that's great. Someone cared enough to leave me a message. However, this wasn't a particularly good rating or positive comment.

I was really bummed out. My first thought is how the heck they'd gotten a novel of 120,000 words read on the day the book was released and still managed to leave a comment. My second thought was...damn - that's on my BUY page. Any reader visiting this page is going to see that rating and they might reconsider buying my book.

I posted to one of the RWA chapters to which I belong asking for advice, and the ladies there came up trumps! First, there was commiseration. All the "how dare they" comments you want to hear from friends. Then came, the "well, you know this kind of thing will happen. This is business" comments. Then came the some really cool stuff... The "when the universe gives you lemons, make lemonade" comments.

What fell into the last category? Well, things like having a friend read the book and leave an honest (not coerced) and genuinely positive comment. Then someone suggested I go to my personal blog and challenge my readers. Write a post admitting to the bad comment and challenge readers to go see for themselves. Buy the book, read it, and comment on it.

So that's what I did. You know what? I've since had two really positive comments on my buy page. Not all the ratings are high, but it feels good to have a mix there. I figure it will encourage readers to go past the comments and ratings of other readers to decide for themselves. And really, that's all any author wants. Read the book and decide for yourself if you like it or not.

Has anyone else experienced negative reviews? How did you deal with them? Did you make lemonade from the lemons you were given? Share it in the comments section. I'd really like to know!

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