How to Handle Differing Opinions of Your Writing

The first thing people in the publishing industry tell you when you’re getting ready to publish for the first (or hundredth) time is to grow a thick skin to criticism. The truth is no matter how amazing your writing is, there will be some people who can’t see the genius. Some won’t even try. Then again, some people will get it. Hopefully, a lot of people. Here’s a list of reasons that people might not connect with your masterpiece.

  1. People are mean. It happens. Sometimes, people will give a bad review because they’re jealous, they hate sunshine, or they’re having a bad day. No matter why it happens, they woke up and decided to write a scathing review. It’s not a good idea to jump to this conclusion unless they don’t provide any evidence for their negative opinion.
  2. Not their genre of choice. This isn’t your fault as an author. There’s nothing you can do about people buying a book they shouldn’t and leaving a bad review.
  3. The plot contains a ‘triggering’ element for them. A trigger is something that invokes a strong negative reaction. Some people go into panic attacks when reading a rape or abuse scene because of a previous experience. The sad part is there’s nothing you can do about this, either. Trying to write to please everyone will wind up in ‘safe’ writing, which pleases no one.
  4. The reviewer doesn’t connect with your characters. All right this is a little tougher to hear. As any writer will tell you, those characters live in our hearts and minds, not just on the page. They’re the last thing we think about at night and the first thing in the morning… come on! It can’t be just me. Anyway, this critique perplexes authors of every type. This could again be personal preference, but that thought does little to soothe the author. So, look at your overall reviews. What do most people say about the characters? Do they find them likable? Relatable? Yes? Then you can disregard a few differing opinions.
  5. The editing leaves something to be desired. I’ll admit this complaint is the worst for me. Why? I’ve gotten it on a few of my books. Whenever I see it, I cringe. Because I may not be able to control how the reader will react to my characters or plot, but the editing is on me. The product is a direct reflection of the author, and I’m a perfectionist. An e-book author might have the opportunity to change this, but the review will likely still be there, and it’s very difficult to get someone to read it again and reconsider. To prevent this, have more than one editor look at it, in addition to your beta readers. And after all that? It won’t be perfect. But you’ll get better the next time. That’s the goal, after all.

What are the worst reviews for you to get as an author? As a reader, what are your deal breakers in a book? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Mine (1)Blurb:
From the moment Steve Michaels met actor Zack Greene in the men’s room of a press conference, the director knew his snarkiness mixed with angelic features, excited him. What he wasn’t prepared for was the vulnerability underneath the hardened exterior. And he really wasn’t prepared to fall in love.

But they did.

Zack needed some positive press and a second chance after getting out of rehab. He found the director of Ben’s Life, the series he planned to audition for. Steve helped him within a loving structured relationship.

Follow Zack and Steve as they face the challenges of work, family, injuries, and pasts together as they redefine family.

Warning: Contains spanking, Light BDSM, Dom/sub relationship, and two men who can’t get enough of each other. Vol. 1 includes Casting, Action, Cutaway, and That’s a Wrap. E-book Paperback

Casting: FREE- Steve Michaels had one goal for the evening: drink just enough to get through the press conference in promotion of Ben’s Life, the new television series he’s directing. Plans change for him when the seedy producer of the show zeroes in his seduction efforts on Zack Greene, the bad boy of the moment. Now, Steve has to make sure Zack doesn’t sue.

Instead of finding the hardened bad boy he expected, Steve finds a vulnerable man whom life has beaten down. Can Steve help build him back up with a loving structured relationship? Find out how being cast in right roles enriches their careers and lives. Smashwords