Waiting for reviews can drive an author bonkers.
Case in point: When APPLE OF MY EYE went live on NetGalley, I was a bundle of nerves. What if they don’t like my book? I’ll be ruined by one star ratings before I get my feet off the ground. What if they think it’s just okay? That’s not enough. What if they don’t want to read it at all and I’m stuck in the land of 0 reviews?
First off, I admit that I’m a bit of a worrier. I can give you the worst case scenario for pretty much anything in two seconds flat. So, take something as important to me as a book I’ve been dreaming of for years, and I’m bound to be extra maniacal.
Apple was on NetGalley for a whole two days when I started checking Goodreads obsessively. I felt I was exercising good control if I waited an hour between checks. Each time I held my breath as I waited for the screen to change, a picture of tension as if the results had the power to forever change my life.
I was really lucky in that my first review came within the first week the book was on NetGalley. It wasn’t what I’d hoped for, but it also wasn’t terrible. Everything the reviewer said was good, but in the end it was given 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3.
Ugh. I wanted a 5. I needed a 5. I wasn’t ruined, but I wasn’t saved either. What exactly was I? What did this mean? If I don’t get some fives soon… What if I’m just mediocre? If the next rating is lower…
This is what happens to an author when a book is released into the world. Okay, maybe all authors don’t dangle this far over the edge of sanity, but I’d venture a guess that plenty do. Our books are our babies, created from a spark of idea and built on for months or even years. We love them and we want you to love them. For our books to succeed, we need you to love them.
To date, my obsessive worrying is unfounded. Apple is sitting at 4.33 stars on Goodreads, 4 stars on Barnes & Noble, and 4.5 stars on Amazon. Not too shabby.
Today my second novel, THROW THE KEY, hits NetGalley for it’s review term. I’m far from confident, but I’m not a basket case either. This time, I’m taking the review process for what it really is. In reality, good or bad, reviews are a wonderful thing. They either affirm the work I’ve done or clue me in as to how I can do better for my readers next time. For readers, gone are the days when you have to depend solely on a killer description to know if a book will be worth your time. A glance at the reviews quickly lets you know if the hype is warranted. It’s a win-win for both reader and author.
I very much appreciate every review a reader takes the time give. If you’ve read and reviewed my work, thank you so much! If you read my work and haven’t left a review, I’d be grateful if you’d consider doing so.