I am actually NOT speaking specifically about a bad review of my work. I happened to see a tweet fly by in my stream this morning from Jane Litte (the other half of the powerhouse team that puts on DABWAHA every year) of Dear Author where someone had apparently accused her of killing authors’ dreams.
@jane_l If an author allows one of your reviews to kill their hopes, then they weren't much of an author to begin with.
— Kait Nolan (@kaitnolan) August 14, 2012
Because, y’all, it’s true.
Bad reviews happen. They can be hurtful, insulting, and make us want to do bodily harm. As a rule, I have mostly stopped reading reviews because the poor ones put me in a very dejected frame of mind. But there are still some I read (usually book blogger reviews). I’ve been fortunate that most have been quite positive. But not all. Jane reviewed Red after DABWAHA. Sarah (of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) loved it. Jane didn’t.
And I wasn’t upset by that. Because Jane’s review was well thought out, clearly laid out what did not work for her, and gave me plenty of food for thought about areas where I can bring more to the game. It was not insulting. Am I proud of Red? Hell yes. It was the best book I could write at the time.
The next book will be better. And part of that is because Jane gave some really excellent constructive criticism that made me want to deepen my work and make it stronger.
If that isn’t your ultimate response to bad reviews (and I mean legitimate ones, not the troll-tastic ones), then you are absolutely not cut out to be an author.