I see I've been slack about posting again, but thanks to the good people behind BWO (Blogging Without Obligation) my conscience is clear. Sort of. Enough to make me keep posting at any rate.
So Char and I are waiting for reviews of Sirenz. With our pub date approaching only one month off, it's become nerve jangling. Reviews and reviewers have been quite the chat topic of late, and I actually meant to do a post on it when a few weeks back a certain review of an ebook caused a bit of an online frenzy; an author publicly... challenged--is that the right word?--questioned? criticized? all of the above and something more?--a reveiwer's review of her book. It wasn't pretty.
Not that I needed something to get me thinking about reviews, but the situation gave me pause. There are days where I feel invisible, where it seems that no one cares--with the exception of Char and myself--about Sirenz, that no one'll ever read or review it. This is, of course, absurd. Eventually someone will read and review it, so perhaps I should revel in this non-reviewed time while I have the chance. That's like telling a kid to enjoy being a kid while he can because all too soon he'll be an adult with adult responsibilities blah, blah, blah. The kid wants the freedom and independence of adulthood. Responsibility? Meh.
I'm anxious to see reviews, but by this time--especially with my experience of goodreads.com (Oh Goodreads how I love and hate you. How you giveth and taketh away. How you raise my hopes and dash them again...)--I KNOW that every review of Sirenz won't be... glowing. But that's okay. The anxiety over reviews--if they'll come, when they'll come, what kind they'll be--and my luck in being an unsinkable Sagittarius, prompted me to look on the bright side of bad reviews...
SOME REASONS WHY BAD REVIEWS ARE GOOD IN NO SPECIFIC ORDER...
* A bad review means that SOMEONE READ MY BOOK. It means that they gave it a chance. They took a look at the cover, read the premise, listened to a friend and then GAVE IT A TRY.
* A bad review is a reminder that DESPITE ALL THE RAGING ODDS AGAINST ME, I AM THE AUTHOR OF A PUBLISHED BOOK. I often have to remind myself of what an accomplishment this is.
* Didn't Oscar Wilde (BTW, love this photo of him--I have that hat!) say that not being talked about at all is worse than being talked about badly? One sec--looking that one up. Aha! Here we are: "...for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Lord Henry says this to the artist Basil Hallward when they're talking about Basil's reluctance to display the picture he painted of Dorian Gray... A bad review means MY BOOK IS BEING TALKED ABOUT and so...
* ...if it's not one person's cup of tea, it could be for someone else. Bad reviews, in their own way, HELP GET THE WORD OUT...
* Bad reviews remind me that EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINION--including me. This doesn't mean that I'm going to run out and post bad reviews, but I can certainly consider how and in what forum I offer my opinion.
* A bad review will KEEP ME ON MY TOES, show me where, perhaps, I need to improve. No matter how seasoned a writer is (and I'm still curing in the meat locker here)--there's always room to learn and grow.
* A bad review is an EXCUSE for a pity _______________________ (fill in the blank--chocolate binge, shopping trip, party, taking a day off, etc. etc.)
* Bad reviews provide an EXERCISE IN CONFIDENCE. This is a tough one I know, because its so incredibly hard to stand up in the face of criticism, especially the kind that's cruelly delivered. However, I've had several mentors tell me that a writer has to believe in the worth of his work, regardless of what anyone thinks. And when you think about it, whenever a writer (most writers, anyway) starts a new Work In Progress, there's no guarantee of publication. You write because you must, because you have a story to tell. A review--bad or good--doesn't change that.
PS--You may be wondering how it could possibly take me so long to finish Julia Karr's wonderful XVI--it's not. My reading of this fabby book has been interrupted by Beta reading, and then bookmark and now invitation making, volunteering, and of course, synchronized swimming... my review coming soon, promise!
PPS--You! Yes, YOU! It's not too late to register for the NJSCBWI Annual Conference! Editors! Agents! Workshops! Lunch! Camaraderie! The only thing you might not wanna sign up for is that Steampunk 101 presentation. No, you don't want to do that...