This almost sounds like the title of that movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” But this has to do with a message a reviewer left in my inbox this morning. “I’m sorry. But it’s just not for me.” She was referring to my Upper YA/New Adult novel, A Life, Redefined. This comes after months of putting off a promised review. And now, not only will there be no review, there was no reading of the novel either. She didn’t even finish it.
Was I upset about this? You might think I would be. But, nah. That’s okay. A Life, Redefined is a tough novel. The heroine is seventeen, but the issues she deals with are heart-breaking, raw, a bit over-the-top. Or is it? I venture to say some teens out there live lives far more challenging than Rowan’s. Maybe this reviewer did too and that’s why she couldn’t read the novel. Who knows? There could be many reasons why she didn’t like this novel, but I’ll never know because she didn’t tell me.
One of the first things I learned in this business was that you can’t please everyone. Even the most acclaimed best-sellers get poor reviews (or a refusal to review?). C’est la vie.
A Life, Redefined has received numerous 5 star reviews, some 4 star reviews, one or two 3 star reviews and one 2 star review. Now I can say that it also falls into the category of, “I refuse to review because it’s just not for me.”
A novel should provoke, shouldn’t it? Get your thoughts going; your emotions revved up? If you accomplish this, though, you are going to find readers who do not like what you’ve written. Some are going to be down-right nasty and say your place on the earth should be revoked. Others, like this reviewer, will be honest and tell the truth. I’m okay with that and wish her all the best.
I’ve written posts before about how tough this business can be. You must have a thick skin. You must let things roll off your back. Otherwise you won’t succeed.
I haven’t achieved the level of success I would like, but I’m not quitting. If I did, I wouldn’t even have a chance. Now I at least have that.
One thing that helps set me right when I’m distraught and ready to throw in the towel is posts from other authors telling of the struggles they’ve been through as they maneuvered through the publishing world. I cherish these honest posts and that’s why I’m writing about reviews and the business again.
We’re all in this together. If I get a bad review (or no review at all) and if how I handle it helps someone else, then all is well.
Cheers, ya’ll. Tracy