But these are my books.
I feel the same way about it that I do about death. I know everybody’s got to die sometime, but on some level I’m convinced that surely an exception will be made in my case. That idea hasn’t been tested yet, but I’ve definitely encountered people who don’t like my writing.
When I was younger, I used to let other people’s opinions discourage me. My father maintained that women can’t write, and he refused to read books if he knew they were by a woman author. When my aunt showed
My aunt said, “Don’t discourage the child. It will help her reading, and you know she has trouble with that.” Actually, I didn’t learn to read until she and my mother realized I was light years behind the other kids in my class and sat me down one summer to drill phonics into my head. It wasn’t fun, but it worked. It piqued my curiosity about how authors put stories together, using just the alphabet and punctuation marks. I must admit that before I learned to read, I had some notion that those symbols on the page were random in nature.
While I do pay attention to what people say—I know I can learn a lot from thoughtful critique—I go ahead and write what I want to. My husband is good at catching errors I skim right over. He has edited MBA theses and research papers. That’s a big help, and he does a good job, but he doesn’t like my characters.
|The Fussy Librarian|
But now it comes as no surprise that some people don’t like my work. And of course there are more than a few. I took a class not long ago with a woman who doesn’t see any point in examining the situation of people who live on the edge of society, which most of my character inhabit. She and several others were of the firm opinion that people control their own destiny. All their problems are of their own making and nobody deserves a second chance. As one of my brothers says, there are people who were born on third base and think they hit a triple.
I love getting reviews for my writing. Good, bad, indifferent—somebody took the time and effort to do a review! I hope after at least attempting to read the book, although Amazon maintains that it does not require reviewers to have used a product before they review it (in the case of books, that means read them.)
Some of the reviews are puzzling. I got one that says, “I was not captivated. I found the writing slow going and finally just gave up. I couldn’t do it and I normally like historically based books.”
This is a crime novel. I can find nothing that indicates it might be historically based. I'm not surprised the
A member of my critique group, who tends to write the kind of horror that keeps people awake at night,
For those of us who need to do our own promotion, the reviews are important, since many of the promotion sites won’t accept books without a certain number of reviews. The Fussy Librarian wants at least 10. Bookbub, the site with the most impact (and the most outrageously expensive one) declines more than 80% of the requests it receives, and bases a lot of that on reviews.
The critique group has just released a Halloween anthology, Swamp Mansion and Other Dark Tales, and of course we are facing the difficulty of getting reviews. But since the project was for the fun of it and the experience, it’s not going to bother me if we fall short in reviews. We don’t expect to make money off it.
Do you write reviews for the books you read?