Thoughts on reader reviews and criticism…

OMG 2 DAYSIn two days…just TWO days, Singleish will be unleashed on the world.  Actually, I think it releases at Midnight, so while you and I in the States are sleeping, it will miraculously show up on your Kindle.  For my friends in the UK, you’ll be able to read it while I’m still dreaming of you reading it.

I should be elated, right?  That’s what everyone tells me.  “You must be so excited!”  Well, I am excited!  I am thrilled.  I’m also terrified.  Absolutely fear stricken.

Why?

With readers come reviews.  With reviews, oftentimes, come criticism.  I think that when people review books sometimes they forget that a human being with real human being feelings wrote the book.  That person spent a LOT of time, sweat and tears in writing what you have just mocked and claimed to be no better than the toilet paper that they use to wipe their butt (yes, I’ve seen that once).

I am a fairly realistic person.  Some of you will love it.  Some of you will not.  I hope beyond hope that more of you love it than not!  But it’s amazing how deeply words of criticism (or critique) cut.  Even if you are expecting them.  As we approach Midnight, May 22nd; I am giving myself all sorts of pep talks.  I’m trying to remember everything I said to a friend when there were one or two bad reviews.  Don’t focus on the bad, focus on the good.  You are writing for YOU not them.

But now that it’s my book?  Oh man.  This is hard.  Someone could tell me five things they loved about it and one thing that they didn’t love.  Guess what is human nature to focus on?  Yeah.  That.

Case in point…my mom.  Disclaimer:  parents are not usually a good source for a decent critique of a book.  Mom has been wanting me to write a book for so long that I could have published the phone book and she would have told me it was incredible.  I knew that my mom would read my book.  No brainer.  So I wrote in a style that I felt comfortable with her reading.  This translates into language that is not too offensive, and romantic scenes that are not descriptive in a manner that is the norm for romance novels.  I actually have a hard time calling Singleish a ‘romance novel’, it’s more contemporary women’s fiction, or ‘Chick-lit’.

So mom reads it.  Tells me she loved it.  Tells me she laughed throughout almost the whole thing.  Can’t wait for other people to read it.  But…too much sex.  WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  Seriously?  In my mind, I heard “why did you just re-write 50 Shades?!”  I heard the negative, but seemed to dismiss the positive.  I have to not do that.  I have to stay strong.

So, here we are at 7:18AM EST, and in 40 hours and 48 minutes Singleish will be published.  And I’m thrilled, I’m biting my nails, I’m so happy, I’m scared to death.

This is fun!

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