So… I have a bit of a confession. It’s something no author should ever admit to, but, well. I’m going to admit to it right now. Ready? Here goes:
I read reviews of my books.
Like, all of them. Or all of them I can find. Meaning if you have written a review of something I have written, there is a 99% chance I have read it. I have really strict self-imposed rules about how I respond to reviews–which is to say, I almost never do, even if they’re glowingly positive1–but I do read them. I know I shouldn’t… but I do.
This also means I read negative reviews on my books, because… I am a horrible masochist, I guess. Something like that. Or I believe in that thing about self-improvement, and sometimes reading about why people really hated a work can help me make the next one better. Sometimes. Sometimes the bad reviews are the equivalent of “ick teh gheys”, in which case why are you even here bro expectation management it’s a thing yeah? But other times I learn something.
I learn something, and then I go and cry in a corner for a while. And then I go and read one-star reviews for books way more famous than mine in order to cheer myself up.
- Incidentally, if they are glowingly positive, then let me know about them! My main exception to my no-responding-to-reviews rule is positive reviews that have been specifically brought to my attention by their authors. So, yanno. Tell me when you write nice things about me! [↩]