During the course of my time on WordPress I’ve discovered that my opinions about many things are often in the minority. Let me just list off a few things that I’m talking about.
I could probably go on and on, but the point that I’m making is that at least I’m honest. It’d be easy for me to just say and do what everyone else does, but why should I? And why does my opinion matter so much? I’m asking because just yesterday I discovered multiple bloggers write posts specifically to talk about my post on book hangovers. They weren’t happy about what I had to say. I didn’t read either of them, but I noticed that they basically went line by line down my post to dispute or disagree with something I said. That’s fine. Go, them. But it really got me thinking about why my opinion is such a big deal, because it shouldn’t be. Imagine going into a grocery store and asking for a stranger’s opinion on something and then immediately disputing what they had to say. It sounds ridiculous.
My opinion is my opinion. Sure I’m more direct than most bloggers on WordPress, but so what? If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t comment or Like or unfollow if you must (I think someone did yesterday). But don’t sit there and act like I’m attacking you personally. Think of ALL the worse things I could do, but I’m blogging about books.
The point of this is to say that my opinions are my own and yours are yours. I can guarantee that you won’t be changing mine, no matter what you say. And I don’t set out to change yours. We’re strangers over a blogging platform, or did you forget?
On this day in 2014 I published Reading Multiple Books at Once.
Every blogger on WordPress is in the business of telling everyone else on the site what they SHOULD do about something. It’s a little funny at times. Anyway, one of the things I see discussed over and over is how you’re supposed to support other writers.
Some would have you simply give encouragement. Some would have you beta read for them. Some would have you buy their books. Some would have you buy and review their books. Some would have you use your own social media accounts to drive attention toward the writer in question. Some would have you attend a book signing. Do you see what’s happening here? There are a number of ways to support other writers. You don’t have to do one thing or another just because that seems to be the consensus among random bloggers. That’s absurd. And just because someone is more forthright with their opinion doesn’t make it any more right or reasonable.
If you want to beta read for another writer, then you should. If you want to buy another writer’s book to show your support, then you should. If you want to launch a mini social media campaign for another writer, then you should. But you should never feel obligated to support any writer in any way. So what if they have a nice little blog? That alone isn’t grounds to go off and support them like they’re running for president.
Support other writers how you want to because there is no “correct” way of doing so. No matter what others would have you believe. And don’t forget that the number of writers you’re obligated to support is zero. It’s all up to you and not everyone else.
On this day in 2014 I published A Letter to my Character.
Photo Credit: Care and Cost
Okay guys, I’d say that more than 95% of all the writers I’ve come across on WordPress are either unpublished, self-published, or published via vanity press that accepts “submissions.” I have come across very few writers, if any, who are traditionally published. So all these writers I’m talking about likely face the same problem…getting people to review their books. Let’s discuss.
So you wrote this fantastic book that you’ve been working on for the past two years. You have your little blog set up so that you can tell the world about your release day. You wake up bright and early just to check to see if the Amazon page has updated to show your book as available rather than for pre-order. You write an excited blog post for all of your 82 followers to hopefully see and perhaps even read. You get some congratulatory comments from people you’ve never met who say that they’ll check it out. You become even more excited than you already were. Then you turn to your other social media platforms and tweet or post a status update about your book telling all of your friends and family to buy and review it for you. More congratulatory remarks. But then you check your KDP account and see one sale. You’re thinking of all the people who may have read your blog post or tweets or status update and can’t believe that a few more people didn’t just buy the damn thing for two bucks. So you figure people are just waiting a little while. You check each day for the next week and see a couple of new sales that you attribute to your parents and your siblings. Then a week has passed since your release day and still no reviews.
This is when the reality sets in. This is hard. You try your best not to spam every person you know, but you can’t help it. You NEED to know what people are thinking about your work. And then out of nowhere, a review! You read it all the way through and see that most of the points raised in the review are valid. But it’s only three stars. You figure it’s better than one or two, right? Then another review comes in raising the exact same points as the first, but this time it’s only two stars. Now you’re worrying that everyone hates your work. The first dozen reviews all say the same thing. You did this, left this question unanswered, didn’t let a character develop, blah blah blah. It doesn’t matter. If everyone is seeing the same thing, then it must be true. This is when you stop checking for new reviews altogether. They all say the same thing anyway.
That’s my little hypothetical about what I think some writers experience when it comes to reviews of their book. I’ll be honest, I think I’ve read every review of my book on Amazon. I know I have. Some were nice and others were brutal, but I wasn’t sitting on my bed crying myself to sleep because I got a one star review. Nope. I can’t really tell you why I read them, but I did. I almost feel foolish admitting that because imagine if JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins or John Green read the reviews of their books. Ha.
Tell me about your experience with the reviews of your book. Have you read them? Ignored them? Maybe a mix of the two?