I once sat on a panel of authors and we were fielding questions from an audience of teenagers. One of the questions was, “What is the hardest thing about being a writer?” My immediate response was “Rejection Letters”, but when the writer to my left said “Bad Reviews” I quickly retracted my answer to agree with hers.
The funny thing about authors is that even if the review is 99.9% glowing and full of praise, the only thing that the author (the ones I know, anyway) will remember is the one teeny tiny little criticism. I guess it’s human nature. We don’t remember the warm glow from compliments we receive nearly as well as we remember the sting of put-downs. I admire those authors who claim they don’t bother reading reviews of their books. I’m not one of them. When I’m reading a seemingly good review and come to the word ‘unfortunately’, or ‘but’, I groan inwardly even though I’ve been told that a bad review is better than no review at all. Hmm….
These weeks following the launch of a new book are a vulnerable time. No one likes to be told that their new baby’s nose is too wide or its ears too big. A new book is an author’s new baby. As I sit on pins and needles, waiting for reviews of Allegra I vow to hold onto any positive comments it receives as tightly as I do the negative ones and I will try not to take any criticisms as personal attacks.
Send me strength.