Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When Readers Throw Tomatoes, Make Tomato-Flavored Lemonade (or something like that...)

Hey there, indie writer, I'm talking to you: You have it bookmarked don't you? Oh come on, you know what I'm talking about. It's ok, we're all friends here. You can admit it. You check your Amazon reviews just a little too often, don't you?

I know. I totally, totally know. And I know that intense feeling of anticipation that comes each time you see that little number next to the stars go up. Another review! How many stars? What will it say? Do I dare to read it? Do I have the willpower not to?

The good ones are just that; good. But the bad ones. Oh, the bad ones. No matter how much you prepare yourself for them, they can still sting. And once they're there, they're there for everyone to see. Ouch.

Today I came up with a little exercise for coping with these reviews, and I thought I would share with you, my fellow indie. No, I'm not talking about picturing the not-so-nice reviewer getting gum stuck in their hair, or finding themselves standing in the checkout line behind the lady who has the coupon that doesn't work, or something else equally harmless yet aggravating. But that works, too. (Kidding.) (Mostly.)

Here's the exercise: Think of a book you loved. Any old book will do, but it's more fun if it's a really successful one. Got it? Ok, good. Now find it on Amazon. And read the one star reviews. Yep, if the book has been out long enough, they're there. Even for that book. And if it's a really, really successful book, there might even be thousands of them.

You know what the difference is between those bad reviews and your book's bad reviews?  That author isn't reading the bad reviews. That author is busy writing more books!

Shouldn't you be, too?