April 12, 2011

Book Reviews

    I know I harp a lot on here about preparing yourself for all the rejection letters, only because I've made a real effort to do that myself. Once you've stepped past the gates into publishing, there's something much worse looming in the darkness, however. Book Reviews. We've all seen it, the back covers of books are littered with positive reviews from big wigs from one corner of the earth to the other. What you don't see are the bad ones.
   I read an article about Stephen King the other day, and how he had publicly professed his distaste for the woman who wrote the Twilight series and it made me step back and think about how I was going to respond to a negative review.
   After rolling it over in my head for a while, I came to some comfortable conclusions. First off, whoever handed you the bad ticket was simply doing their job. To review a book is to take in all aspects and form an opinion. If this reviewer has a lot of followers who typically share his opinion, those readers aren't likely to buy your book. It may seem counterproductive, but I would be thankful myself as a reader if someone I shared tastes with helped me to avoid buying something I wouldn't like.
   Next, consider that an esteemed author tends to lose their memory. Some of them will admit that the first thing they ever put into publication was ill written and very juvenile, while some will claim they were a genius from the start. I would dare to say that every author in the world has gone through a time when their work just wasn't up to par. Don't get down on yourself because you're a step behind. Instead, get back in the books, study, and get yourself at the level you need to be.
  The last thing I would like to cover is that one quick way to end your acclaim in a writing career is to joust with someone. Being immature and saying hurtful things only looks bad on you in the end. If you can't bring yourself to accept a bad review, avoid talking about the subject all together. If the reviewer was as far as to take some deep stabs at you as a person, it says a lot about that person; getting personal might gain them some attention, but that isn't part of a respectable review.
  What do you do with a book you pick up and you just can't get into? One that just isn't your kind of "thing"? Personally, I've picked up many books and finished reading the first page while standing over the trash can, closed the cover, and dropped it in. You kind of get a little laugh at those who said they absolutely hated everything about it but still spent hours reading the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. You put a lot of thought into this, and your advice was useful. :) Thanks for the post.