As if menopause isn’t bad enough to mess with a girl’s psyche, the crazed rollercoaster of reviews has me flying high one minute, and the next sucking my thumb in the fetal position. Whimpering. I know, I know…what kind of egotistical shallow shell of a woman am I?
Apparently a very human one. Every author on earth, no matter how hard-shelled, still feels the highs and lows while visiting Reviewsville. What’s the secret to leveling out those feelings?
Don’t read reviews.
Several authors I know, even big name ones, don’t read their reviews. Ever. I’m too curious to go that route, but I do see the value in not knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly that others may be publicly broadcasting.
Glean one nugget of truth.
Good or bad, every review has some ounce of wisdom that can aid you in your writing. Take one, ONLY one, nugget from every review. If you wallow in all the cutting remarks from a negative post you’ll get depressed. On the flip side, if you suck in all the glowing admiration from a five-star, you’ll get a big head.
Look at the big picture.
Just like you must consider a Bible verse in light of the context of the entire chapter, so should you consider a review from a particular reviewer. It helps to read what the reviewer has written about other books. So maybe you earned a sucky two-star review from that person, but when you look at their other reviews, you find out all their other posts are one-star. See what I mean? Context is everything.
Reviews for authors are like bronco riding for cowboys. It can be exhilarating and/or skull crushing. The trick is to hold on tight and remember you’re in this for the long haul.