Since 2008, I’ve been a book reviewer. I’m used to drooling over the newest release and hoping to hell I get the chance to read it and share my thoughts. I like to share my thoughts. A lot. Some may say too much…
Now, instead of being the one formulating what to say about someone else’s work, I’m constantly stalking the interwebs to see what people say about MY work. Do they love it?? Do they hate it?? Do I have the self-control to not flip out when I get a negative review??
This is the shit that’s been bouncing around in my head since last Sunday when Love You to Death became available for public consumption. I know we’re not supposed to talk about negative reviews. There are groups of people who slather over author/reviewer scandals. But ya know what? As a new author, I think it’s important to talk about – or at least be prepared for – negative reviews. There are going to be people who hate my book. They are going to think my heroine is a foul-mouthed bitch who doesn’t deserve a happily-ever-after. I get that. I even lie to myself and say I’m prepared to hear it. But let’s be honest – I will never be ready to hear it. The first time I read a negative review, I’m going to gnash my teeth and cry to the heavens and blare emo rock which will then make me hate myself even more because DAMN emo rock is depressing.
I’ll freak out.
I’ll lose my shit.
I may even construct a voodoo doll.
I know myself. I know I’m going to do these things.
What I’m not going to do, however, is do these things online. They’ll be done in the safety of my home where only the animals can see my pathetic display of emotion.
There’s this stigma about reacting to negative reviews. It’s pushed into our heads that we cannot NO MATTER WHAT react. Fuck that. I’m reacting. I’m reacting all over the place. I’m just going to have the common sense not to put my reaction out there where the sharks can smell my dismay and rip me to shreds.
Don’t feel bad if you, too, have a closet full of voodoo dolls bearing the names of people who hated your book/painting/poem/whatever your art form may be. Don’t let anyone tell you how you can and can’t react. Just be smart enough to understand WHERE you can and can’t react without a bevvy of lunatics blasting you all over the web.
*Please note – I am NOT saying there should be no negative reviews. Negative reviews are a necessary part of life. If everyone in world loved what I did I’d be a bit creeped out. I’m also not saying an author should approach a person who has left a negative review unless, of course, said review mentioned harming the author (believe it or not, that shit happens.)