You see, two weeks ago, out of the blue, I landed in the hospital for a full week with a severe pan colitis attack. One moment I was running around NYC without a care in the world, and the next, well, I wasn’t. The scary thing is that there is still no real diagnosis, except that I couldn’t eat or drink and the only thing keeping me going for days on end was IV fluids. It was one of the most disgusting, painful, and frankly, frightening experiences I ever endured and needless to say, there were some pretty dark times. I watched my skin dry up before my eyes, my weight plummet, and now even a full week out of the hospital, I’m not back to where I was and the doctor said it could take two to three weeks more to feel like my old self and stop holding my stomach when I walk. Sigh… (I am getting better every day though, so there is light at the end of this tunnel). But, back to the topic of this blog.
You see, right before I was admitted to the hospital, I’d just completed a Book Bub promotion for my novel THE HUNT FOR XANADU. The promotion went well and I sold a nice amount of books, so I was expecting some reviews to come in for that, along with the sequel.
Well, when I got out of the hospital and finally had the energy to turn on my computer, I decided to pull up my amazon page, and, lo and behold there was a new review for The Hunt for Xanadu. A brand new spanking 2 star. Here it is if you’d like to read it: “This is one of those rare instances where they probably need to make a movie to appreciate this book more poo. Unfortunately the descriptions were hard for me to imagine and found myself glazing over certain areas of the book. This seems like a movie that turned into a book.” Yes, it actually says the word “poo.” I wish they were able to edit themselves so I actually could find out what they really meant to say.
Now, in my previous, “un-fighting for my life author brain” I would have freaked out and been so upset by this two star review. Now? I looked at it, and still look at it, and it’s like it has absolutely no impact. I sort of shrug and say, “Meh, sorry you didn’t like it…” and move on. Truth be told, I kind of like the review – the book should be a movie and I’m still happy the person bought it and took the time to read and review it. Come on, not every book has all 5 Star reviews… it also gives my novel some sort of weird validation. Still, the hope is that people will take the time to write a review, even if it is only a few lines.
So what I want to leave you with is this. Yes, bad reviews hurt your feelings and impact your rankings, but they mean nothing. Not in the scheme of life. It’s someone else’s perception of a personalized piece of your work, just like artwork, choice of clothing, food, home decoration, anything subjective. Let it go. Read the good reviews. Relish in them. Maybe find something relevant in the bad review to take away, but don’t dwell. At the end of our days no one is going to be bringing up our two star reviews at our eulogies. They’re going to bring up all the wonderful glories we brought to the world. I promise you that.