Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A word about reviews

A work of art is usually pretty close to the heart of it's creators. Most of us who write, want to make a living, but most of us also want to create something special, something that others will want to read again and again. Unfortunately, not everything we create is wonderful. I don't know a writer out there who hasn't wanted to change something after a book has been published. Nothing is perfect no matter how much we want it to be. it. Sometimes it takes us a while to discover our own imperfections. Not so with reviewers. They can usually spot problems that we writers (and even editors who also end up close to a project) miss. Consequently, authors get bad reviews. It's just the way of the world.

So, what to do when you get a bad review?

Suck it up...

In other words, keep your mouth shut! If you must comment, if anything, be gracious. Thank the reviewer for their time, and move on. Bitch about the review to your family & friends if you must, but then move on to your next project. Try to use any constructive criticism to improve your next work. If there's nothing constructive in a review for you, forget it. Your job is to get work out into the world, not to worry about one opinion. Yep, that's right, a reviewer's opinion is just one opinion. We always hope reviewers will love and recommend our work. We hope all of our readers will love our work too. Some might. Some might not. You just have to get used to the fact that public criticism isn't always fair. But, one way or another, you DO have to learn to deal with it, at least if you want to survive in the world of literature, art, theatre, music, or any other art form. It's part of the business, just like rejection is. Media, whether it's internet media or print media has some great advantages and some serious headaches. My first publisher always told me that any review is a good review no matter how bad it is...it gets the word out.

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