When Stars Die has had mostly favorable reviews, but it has also had some not-so-favorable reviews, but they were written in a way that was very considerate of my feelings and had some valuable criticism. While I may not agree with it currently for When Stars Die, I think the advice is very valuable for the sequel, Stars Will Rise.
Let us begin.
1. If you are not a published author, I advise you that once you are published to take into account every bit of criticism you receive through your reviews. I told myself I was never going to read my reviews, but, well, Goodreads changed that, and it’s like it’s impossible to not see your reviews on Goodreads, especially when you’re curious about how many people have added your book. But I have read the reviews, and while some of them stung slightly, they were also very valuable. While many seem to like Amelia, a few think she falls flat. Even though I may disagree with this, I can work extra hard on the protagonist in the next novel to ensure she doesn’t fall flat. Others think the book also starts out on a slow pace, and I can see that, but the pacing doesn’t seem to have affected their overall enjoyment of the book. However, I am going to use this criticism for the next book to ensure the pacing is faster.
2. If you are a published author and haven’t yet read your reviews, I would.You want to become a better writer, don’t you? Oh, certainly your editor can help you become a better one with each book you write, but editors are human too, and if you’re working with the same ones, they eventually get used to your style of writing. Readers, on the other hand, are a mixed bunch who will likely never get used to your style of writing. Many of them who offer constructive criticism are doing so objectively, and that constructive criticism can really help you develop future books. IT WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER!
3. Criticism is inevitable. It isn’t just inevitable from your publishers and editors and whoever else works on your book, but it’s inevitable from readers. Those who take the time to write a review deserve your attention. Take each one into consideration, and please, please, please, use it as a stepping stone to further your career. I think the more authors consider the criticism from their readers, the better they’ll become. I see a lot of authors stagnating in the quality of their writing because they don’t seem to consider the criticism they’re given, so each book they write has roughly the same ratings: 3 point something. Try to strive for a 4 star book. Or a 5 star book. When Stars Die is currently sitting at 4.21, and I hope it either stays that way or rises, but if it doesn’t, I want to ensure that Stars Will Rise is even better and is a 5 star book. Or at least a 4 point something.
4. Appreciate the criticism you are given. I greatly appreciate the people who took the time out of their day to read my book and review it. Even if it was okay for them, or they couldn’t finish it, I still appreciate that they read it and wrote a review. I don’t ever want to get to the point as an author where I’m jaded when it comes to writing and taking criticism. I want to make sure I am grateful for every little thing that happens in my career. I am grateful for every review written, every interview I’ve done, every reader comment on my book, and even my Amazon ranking (which I’m doing my best to stay away from. I just accidentally saw it when copying and pasting my book cover from it for an interview).
5. This one doesn’t have much to do with criticism, but I think it’s important nonetheless. Do not get obsessed with your Amazon ranking. If you can, avoid it entirely. First books, on average, sell about 500 copies. I don’t know how many books I’ve sold. All I know is that when I checked my ranking a few days ago, I was sitting at the 400,000 mark. Now I’m at 180,000 and am ranking somewhere in the 1,000 for either paranormal or romance. And, as I’ve said, I accidentally saw this. I was not deliberately looking for my ranking, but it nonetheless spurred my confidence. All you can do as an author is keep writing, keep seeking interviews for your book, and, if you can, pay people for book blitzes if you’re not into the whole e-mailing everyone for an interview and such. I am currently having Juniper Grove Book Solutions doing a book blitz on my release day. I am also having a three hour promo release party that I won from Lady Amber. Along with my AEC book tour, I should receive some fairly good publicity. I do not mind spending money to make money on my book. I see my first book as a promotional book. I’m also going to have another book blitz at the end of this month from YA Bound. And I think I’m going to continue seeking monthly blitzes to keep my book in the know. I am certainly having a large book blitz once the e-book comes out. So I am doing all I can do to get my book out there, so stressing about the Amazon ranking is absolutely pointless. Do all you can do and do not look at that dang ranking. MANY FIRST BOOKS OFTEN DO NOT SELL WELL, SO WHEN PEOPLE LOOK AT THEIR RANKINGS, THAT DETERS THEM FROM EVER WANTING TO WRITE. DO NOT LET THIS BE YOU.
***In Other News***
When Stars Die will be in a store. I found this out through Shannon Thompson’s blog. Fluente Designs will be holding this book in store, so if you live in Tullahoma, Tennessee, I suggest you check them out!
As I’ve said, Juniper Grove Book Solutions will be doing a book release blitz on October 22nd, the day of my release.
At the end of this month, YA Bound will be doing a week-long book blitz of When Stars Die.
As I’ve said above, Lady Amber will be hosting a three hour promo blitz for my novel, When Stars Die, on the release day. It will be held on Facebook, and I hope all of you will participate. I will be giving away two signed copies of When Stars Die, as well as a few e-ARCs. There will also be other prizes, so it promises to be a lot of fun. I will keep you updated on all of this.
You can add When Stars Die on Goodreads. It’s been getting some adds everyday, which is pretty thrilling because it means people are finding out about my book somehow.
You can also order it on Amazon, which I totally recommend doing so. The physical copy is beautiful. It is a matte cover, so the feel is very nice.
And, last, I have a Media page on my website, which contains all my interviews and guest posts, and a review or two. I am going to have a splurge of interviews and guest posts coming at the end of October and early November, so it will sort of be a mini book tour, and I’ll keep that scheduled.
That is all I want to say! I’m eventually going to start scheduling daily posts, hopefully once my mental health begins to balance out.
5 thoughts on “My Reaction to Constructive Criticism from Reviews”
Good advice. Still working on #5 personally.
Criticism can be so hard to take! I enjoyed your post and rethinking how I let criticism affect me and how instead I could view it and learn from it.
A great post. I agree with you 100%.
Reblogged this on WANDA S. PARYLA.