I wrote my book alone with my faithful dog at my side. I read it myself and edited, edited, edited and when I couldn’t take it anymore, I gave it to two beta readers who were honest yet positive. Then I bit the bullet and self published. The frustration of agonizing over the plot, dialogue, pacing and characters was over! I was thrilled…until….
The new frustration settled in: Sales slowed so I changed my cover art. They’re holding steady now.
The next frustration came soon after: I’m still selling books, but I’m not getting any reviews on Amazon.com. So first, I wanted the book on there, then I wanted some sales, now I want reviews – is there no end to my demands as an author? It’s actually rather stressful, at least if you’re working in an office and doing a crappy job someone says something like “Hey, useless! Are you going to pitch in here?” or if you’re doing a great job you get compliments and maybe even a raise. If you’re an independent (indie) author, you’re in your office at 3:00 am wondering why nobody has left a review.
So you fret. Maybe nobody liked it. Maybe they’re too nice to give you a bad review. Maybe they were raised with the good old “if you don’t have something nice to say…” thing. So you sneak onto the discussion boards and type in the name of your book to see if anyone has posted anything there. When that proves fruitless, you lurk there, reading horrible, nasty things that people have written to each other and then your new obsession becomes: “PLEASE don’t let that person review my book!” So you shut down the computer and trudge back to bed, knowing that tomorrow you will check your sales, check for a review, and then no doubt discover that every frustration leads to a new one you hadn’t thought of yet.
These frusrtations are not bad things, they just require a cognitive shift. I have to stop waiting for feedback and just get on with it. Waiting is difficult, but I’m 32,000 words into a sequel already. If I wait for someone to review the first one, I won’t have the second one done in a reasonable amount of time. I have had to shift from deadlines for other people’s projects, to deadlines for my own. I’ll contine to flip on the computer in the middle of the night to check for reviews, but I’ll have to remember that there are people reading it, and for now, no reviews are good reviews.