My new book, THE DARKEST FLOWER, is available for download a month early on Amazon First Reads as of today. It doesn’t go officially on sale until June 1st, and anyone who prefers to read a paper book or a library copy has to wait until then, but for all of May 2021, any Amazon customer can read—and review—THE DARKEST FLOWER. The reviews are the point, actually. They’re the reason for First Reads—to build up word of mouth to drive sales for the lifetime of the book. There will be a lot of reviews. They will not all be positive. I am ready.
The advice given to authors is always the same: Don’t read the reviews. Reviews, they say, are for readers, not authors. Don’t read them, don’t get offended by them, and don’t, whatever you do, engage with or argue with any review. It’s all great advice and I have no intention of responding in any way to a bad review. Share away if you hated my book. That’s your absolute right as a reader.
I’m going to read those reviews, though. I always do.
I love to write books and would write in any case, but I certainly wouldn’t go through the struggle to publish books if I didn’t want to share my writing with other people. If there were no reviews, publishing a book would be like dropping it into the ocean, vaguely wondering if any fish watched it sink. Reviews are proof that other people are reading my books. I’d be flat out lying if I claimed not to prefer the reviews that express a deep and abiding love for my characters, the story, the twists, and the writing.
But I like the bad reviews, too. After spending years writing and trying to get published, I’ve developed a pretty thick skin—hundreds of rejections will do that to you. Here are the reasons I read my bad reviews, and why they don’t bother me as much as they might.
After having said all that, now I’m worried you’ll think I WANT bad reviews. No, of course not. Please don’t go out there and TRY to hurt me, okay? My skin is thick but it is not titanium. Every author dreams of getting raves and tearful emails of adoration from readers, and I’m no different. Having a book go out into the world with my name on it is a big deal—and part of that deal is knowing that reviews are good and reviews are bad.
I hope you enjoy THE DARKEST FLOWER and post a review. If you don’t enjoy it, I still want you to leave a review. Thanks for reading.
THE DARKEST FLOWER:
LYING BENEATH THE OAKS: