I write to be read.
I often say my stories are my children. I labored and suffered to bring them into being. They are my darkest dreams, my secret fantasies, my vulnerabilities, laid out for everyone to see. In other words…
I’m sensitive about my writing.
Given that, I should take the advice that I’ve often found myself giving to others in the past: DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS
Just don’t. No really. If you have the fortitude to just not look, I highly recommend it.
I, however, do not have that fortitude. I read every single one of them.
So how does a delicate flower like me cope with people kicking my baby?
Accept that it’s impossible to please everyone.
When I get a bad review and the difference is a matter of taste, like they say the story had too much sex or too little sex or the wrong kind of sex, I can shrug it off. Maybe they think my MC is an asshole or my FMC is too whiny. Fair enough. Just because I love my characters doesn’t mean everyone else will. No story is loved by everyone. There are even people who dislike the works of Shakespeare. Shakespeare!
Fix the things I can.
If I am getting bad reviews for something like typos, I look over the story again and try to find them. If I can’t, I might hire someone for another proofreading. The wonderful thing about e-publishing is mistakes like that can be fixed. And if the issue with your book is technical, you can and should do something about it.
Realize that some people are just crazy.
Some of my negative reviews are like “ewwww, gay people” in a book called Boy’s Name & Other Boy’s Name: A Gay Romance. *headdesk* Others are personal attacks. Those I ignore because they aren’t about me, they are about the person writing them. Why should I stress over things that have nothing to do with me except that I was in the crosshairs of someone having a bad day?
So that’s how I keep my head up through the onslaught. I’m sure it also helps that the majority of readers like my stories which gives me the warm fuzzy feeling one gets when their mom puts their drawing on the fridge. (I’m clearly an approval junkie. Time to call the psych ward.)