I like your book…
I read a lot, and I read a lot on Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and other SM sites. I read a ton of books and really need to update my Goodreads. As I do, I find that my perspectives change a little, and sometimes a lot. I try new avenues and sometimes abandon, periodically revise old avenues.
Selling books can sometimes be a challenge. Even though I write across multiple genres, a book has to fit its reader. I know many authors who slam their books down someone’s throat, looking to assert dominance and take over the world with their prose. Those books, even if bought, are lost as the reader simply sets them aside and does not read them, destroying the idea.
I also know many authors who think their books are beyond reproach. Their writing is so good everyone must like it, and if someone does not, they react poorly or worse with antagonistic arrogance. Despite the books potential positives, the thoughts will be lost, and the potential power will be gone.
Rule 1: You cannot MAKE someone like your book.
This is tough because it is born out of so many hours. Writers are sometimes lost in their effort and forget that everyone has different experiences. This does not mean your book is bad, should not be read, or should be set aside. It means we are individuals, and in the process of being individuals, we sometimes see things differently. What I see as a major wonderful inspiration may well be pure “poo poo” to someone else. As authors, we need to set that aside and go on.
I have heard numerous stories that no one should ever hear. An editor sends comments back to a writer with multiple problems and misspellings and is criticized because the writer did not want critique; they just wanted someone to read their book. I have also heard a plethora of nightmarish experiences from people who read a book, and we antagonized, attacked, berated, bombed, screamed at, or otherwise treated less than fairly for not liking a book or writing a bad review. My solution has been if I read a book I do not like with less than 100 reviews, I don’t leave a review. It may not help an indie author, but it is better than having to burst their bubble or create unnecessary angst for readers that might like their book. I will, however, happily offer my opinion to them if I know them and explain my thoughts as to why I do not like the book or where I see flaws. I will happily listen and hear their point of view, but still, my first impression will hold on as a reader alone will only see that impression.
I have had many good reviews, but one of the fun reviews I had was with a bad review who happily said the book was not for him and went on. Too many tough-talking people. Ooops. I have also had one weaponized review where someone who did not like my sister wrote a bad review as an affront. Even though anyone who read the book would know they had not read one word, a person reading the thought would never understand.
With that in mind, if you are an author, you are terrific, you wrote a book, stop there, and remove ego.
Your success or failure relies on finding your audience, not changing people’s minds to see your point of view. Face it right now, every person is different, and trying to bend someone to your will is like washing a cougar in a waterfall while you are covered in Mr. Bubble. Everything will slip away on a whim, and you might end up with a scratch or three. Find your center, keep writing and enjoy the people who like your books. I know I do.