In my other life, I write nonfiction. I have a book published and am working on a second. The first was self-published and then got picked up by a small publishing house. For my second, I’m trying to get an agent so that I can, hopefully, sell it to a larger house.
Here’s the thing: Although my book has been out for a couple of years, it has very few reviews on Amazon. There was an agent who initially expressed interest, and then mysteriously declined to represent me, citing that she already had similar books on her list. But she KNEW what my book was about when she asked to see the proposal.
Which leads me to believe that as part of investigating my platform, she went to check out my current book on Amazon and saw that there no reviews. Which means very little interest. The importance of getting reviews on Amazon and other places was shoved into my face in a big way.
And lest you think that I’m so smug as to think, “I’m a fabulous writer, so that can’t be the reason why they rejected me,” let me just say that because of the kind of book it is, it’s more about concept and deliver than about the writing, and the agent was digging both at first.
I’m hoping to avoid that mistake with future books, both fiction and nonfiction. But asking people to review your books is a delicate thing. And you have to accept the fact that not all reviews are going to be good. When you ask people to review your books, you take the chance that some of them will not be to your liking. You can’t please everyone, after all, and you can’t pick and choose which reviews will appear, and to manipulate reviews (i.e., have them altered or removed) is unethical.
But that’s okay. Along with acceptance and praise, rejection and criticism are part of the writing life, and writers must develop a thick skin. Sure, negative reviews suck and hurt, and it’s okay to go into a corner and lick your wounds…for a couple of days. Then, you have come back out fighting, and by “fighting,” I don’t mean lashing out. I mean getting back in the game and writing the best damn stuff you can. THAT is how you fight back—by not allowing anyone to get you down and keep you from creating your art.
Having said that, if you’ve read Twice Bitten, please feel free to review it somewhere: Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, Riffle, or wherever.
But only if you liked it. 🙂