Monday, 23 January 2012

Book reviews & Ryan Gosling - yep, it's another new week in the life of this indie author...

OK, so here we are.  It's the beginning of another week, and I was up and out of bed this morning all ready to get stuck into finishing this first draft of Illusions of Love, the follow-up to my debut novel, No Matter What.  I had absolutely NO intention of blogging today, in fact, I had absolutely no intention of doing anything other that writing.  That was the plan, anyway.

However, I woke up this morning to find out I'd sold a handful of books overnight, including one in France, but I'd also had one 1 star review and one 2 star review for See You At The Show over on  Yep, with the good news came something to dent my slightly fragile writers' ego.

A couple of dodgy reviews a bad book make? That's up to you to decide...

Now, I know that you really can't please all of the people all of the time, that's impossible.  And anyone who thinks they can needs to get ready for a huge reality check.  But, no matter how much you may think you're prepared to receive that bad review, you never actually are.  Believe me, it hits you like truck, makes you feel slightly sick, and then - along with those feelings of dented pride and the need to go off and have a good cry somewhere - you also have those couple of hours of feeling like you just want to give up.  Oh, yes, it happens.  I've experienced it all in the past couple of hours since reading that very short review.

The people who left those reviews are more than entitled to do so, of course they are, but they both stated that they obtained the book for free (they would have downloaded it during the free promo last weekend) and so that makes me wonder whether, if they'd had to pay for it, would they have actually purchased it out of choice?  Or did they just do so purely because it was free?  I have no idea, but all these things go through your head as a writer when you read those bad reviews, along with a million and one other things - will those reviews put other people off taking a chance on the book?  Will they forever dent sales?  Or will people read them, take them in, but also check out the other 4 & 5 star reviews it's received on both and, then make their own mind's up?  I hope they'll do the latter, and the majority of people more than likely will.  

I'm not entirely sure these readers "got" the characters or the tone and feel of the book either, so maybe it just wasn't for them.  I know that I've certainly read books that I just didn't like yet others totally loved, so it really is all subjective in the long run, and as a writer I need to keep remembering that.

So, today I've experienced another learning curve on this rollercoaster of a journey I'm on because, I guess, a lot of readers don't realise that, as a writer, our books are almost like our babies, and when people criticise them in any way - even though that's their right to do so, and we expect it from time to time - it still feels like a kick in the teeth!  We get over it, we move on, we take heart from the positive comments and the great reviews and the love and support we get from other writer's and readers.  But it still hurts.  Just for a little while.  And, to be honest, I had over 6,000 downloads of See You At the Show over that free promo weekend and in reality, I cannot expect all of those 6,000+ people to like that book, can I?  So, maybe I should prepare myself for one or two more negative reviews to come, although, on the plus side, one person also left a 5 star review last week saying that they really enjoyed it, so with the rough comes the smooth... like I said, you can't please all of the people...

Anyway, that was the dodgy start to Monday morning dealt with (and getting it off my chest like this has helped to get it out of my system somewhat) but, despite that slight setback of a start to my week, I'd actually had a great weekend, a weekend which had spurred me on to get this first draft of Illusions of Love finished, and I'd even thought up some characters and a fabulous storyline for my next book, my Christams romance - I am SO excited to start writing that, I can't tell you how excited I am!  I'd also had a great review for my Tenerife-based romantic comedy, Too Much Trouble in Paradise over the weekend, so things were good.  Really good.

And on Saturday night I finally got round to watching a movie I've wanted to see for a while now - Crazy, Stupid, Love.  And it's a great movie!

So great, in fact, that even my hubby enjoyed it.  He loved it!  He actually gave it 5 out of 5 stars, and if my hubby loves a romantic comedy then it must be good!  However, he did admit that he wasn't sure for the first few minutes, thinking it was just one of those movies where the missus sits and looks gooey-eyed at Ryan Gosling all the way through... OK, he didn't say those exact words, but I could tell he was thinking it because for the first half hour I noticed him looking in my direction every time the lovely Mr Gosling appeared while I tried to look bored and pretend he was doing nothing for me (he was doing everything for me!), but in the end my other half says he would highly recommend this film.  High praise indeed from a man who can - at times - make Victor Meldrew look cheerful!

Ryan Gosling - competition for Bradley? He might just be...
Anyway, great movie aside, let's go back to the subject of Ryan Gosling.  Before I saw this movie, he actually didn't do anything for me.  At all.  Not one thing.  In fact, I couldn't understand how he'd ever won Sexiest Man Alive, whereas when Bradley Cooper won it, well, that spoke for itself.  However, as I watched this movie, I totally began to get the whole Ryan Gosling thing!  I have no idea why I suddenly began to find him incredibly sexy, but I did!  He looked HOT in this movie, believe me, watch the trailer and find out for yourself!  So, look out Bradley, you may have a teensy, tiny bit of competition on your hands now...

And do you know what?  Writing this blog today - and especially having a chance to look at pictures of the gorgeous Mr Gosling - hasn't half cheered me up!  So much better therapy than sitting downstairs watching Homes Under The Hammer whilst feeling sorry for myself!! ;-)

No, I think today has just been another speed bump, another lesson in learning to live with the ups and downs that being a writer can make you experience.  My skin is slowly becoming thicker, and I'm learning - as each week goes by - to take things on the chin and realise that this is a journey I put myself on because I wanted it really badly, and I still do.  A couple of hours ago I may have wanted to sit in a corner and have a good cry, but now I just want to get back to the writing and continue to do what I love doing.

The readers who left those reviews may not come back to read any more of my books, but I know that others will.  And those are the people I'll keep writing for. :-)

Oh, and if anyone's got any nice reviews for any of my books, please (PLEASE, yes, I'm begging you!!))  feel free to get them up there on Amazon/Goodreads!! ;-) You would not believe how grateful I would be...

Have a great week, everyone!


  1. Glad to see you got up and brushed yourself down so quickly. Somebody left me a 'one-liner' on Goodreads a while back and it hurt - but we've been very lucky so far. Focus on those that love your books - it's all you can do. We want more! :) xxx

  2. I tweeted a link to an article this morning, something along the lines of 10 Bestsellers with more than 80 1 star reviews. Books like Twilight (obviously), The Help etc are all listed.

    It's not about everyone liking your books, because that's impossible. it's about the right people connecting with your story.