Saturday, March 19, 2011

Penelope's Advice To Authors Who Don't Like Beeyotchy Reviewers...

I think this backlash against reviewers is getting a little bit out of hand.

Here's some advice for authors who don't like nasty reviews.....

That book you've been working on? The one that's 397 pages long? Researched, edited and filled with your blood, sweat and tears?

Don't. Publish. It.

That's right. Take the whole thing, and stuff it under your bed, with the dust-bunnies, and those big, fluffy, hideous slippers from Target. And leave it there.

Because I have news for you. If you're gonna get your book published, people are gonna read it. Some folks will love it. And some folks will hate it. And some folks will review it.

Some reviewers will be kind and gracious and lovely and gently suggest that the author "might want to work on her POV changes which were slightly jarring to the reader."

And some reviewers will be snarky-ass beeyotches from hell who think your hero is a metrosexual pansy-ass. And worse.

If you're going to get your book published, grow a pair.

A really, really big pair.

This business is not for the faint of heart. Just ask any sculptor, or painter, or poet, or motorcycle designer, or anyone who is in a creative field and puts his or her stuff out in the public. Some people are nice. And some are not.

Quit yer whining, and belly-aching, and complaining, and threats, and intimidation, and judgments about reviewers who are "doing it right" and "doing it wrong," who's "professional," or "unprofessional," or just plain mean.

Get your ass in the chair, and write your book. Own it. Believe in it. Take the good with the bad.

Here are your choices: Live in a shack in the mountains of Vermont, write your books on an old-fashioned typewriter, and keep your manuscripts hidden away from humanity. Or....send out query letters. Put yourself on the line and open to rejection. From agents, from publishers, from reviewers at RT magazine, from Joe Schmo Reader at Amazon.

Look at it this way. If one person reads your book, and likes it....that is a very cool and amazing thing. Chances are that more than one person will read your book and like it. You have created something that entertained, touched, evoked, aroused, tortured, made a difference. So what if someone else didn't like it.

Some folks think Picasso is a God, and some people think he's a hack.

If you've decided to become a romance author, suck it up. Criticism is part of the job-description.

Reviewers are no different than anyone else. Nor are authors. Some of us are nice and some are blunt and some are honest and some are ass-kissing groupies. It would be a boring world if we all had the same opinions, and expressed them in the same way.

And for those of you who think I'm being harsh, I'm an author, too. I've gotten bad reviews, bad ratings, been given advice such as "You'll never get this book published," "You really should take the Christmas out of this story," and "Readers don't like bearded heroes." It made me work harder, it made me more determined, and it made me realize that....yep, some readers don't like bearded heroes. They shouldn't read my book. They probably won't like it.

But some folks do.

Enough with the mud-slinging, reviewer-dinging, sad song-singing. (High fives all around for that one! Woo!). Let's just get back to writing books, shall we?