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It's A Harshmallow World
You just wrote your book and you’re looking to get some good reviews. You contact several magazines and publishing companies to review it as well. Last but not least, your looking to promote your book and you do so in what you thought was a safe place to do so. You wait about a week and then check your e-mail awaiting to get some great news and notice you got a good amount of responses back. Your excited and your smiling away and you click on the first e-mail and your expression turns immediately and your jaw drops to the floor. The first e-mail is from a reader who you sent your book to for review, they gave your book one star and they didn’t like it at all. Your upset but you brush it off because you still have a few other e-mails to read, another reader, a magazine and publishing company and an e-mail from the group you promoted in. You open the last reader/review e-mail and while their review is better than the first person’s they too didn’t like it, two stars. You open the e-mail to the magazine company and rather then thank you and decline your request the call you out and pick apart everything that’s wrong with your book and why you even dared to contact them. The same thing goes for the publisher although they finish off the e-mail with, keep up the good work as if they even believe that and really want you to, they’d rather you jumped off a cliff or at least stopped writing altogether. Finally, you’ve had it your about ready to turn off your computer but you have one last e-mail, the promotional group. You open it and they tell you your book sounds interesting but you posted it in the wrong spot but they aren’t mad and they have placed it in the proper spot and they have told you a few people would like to review your book. You smile and realize your back to where you started..
So there’s a big question here but which is it? Did you jump the gun too quickly or is it a harshmallow world? To be blunt, did you put your book out there too fast or have people in the world of books become mean and cruel? Well I cannot answer that question for you personally as we are all different but for the sake of this post let’s go with both, you rushed it and people harshin the ole mallow. You know your book is solid, heck you checked it, had it checked and made all corrections and things you needed to do before publication. You sent it to places you felt would be accepting to it but clearly beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Look, we all face that dreaded rejection and how you take it is entirely up to you but when it’s one rejection or thing wrong after another, you cannot help but question whether or not your work was rushed. Don’t get discouraged it happens to the best of us. The best thing to do is to look at the e-mails as constructive criticism. Take any good they had to say and work from that, if they didn’t have anything nice to say just move on and realize that, that is their opinion and not everyone is going to like your work. Also be more assertive and picky about where you post, make sure your work is ready and your ready as well. Also remember, people and the times have changed. People are a lot more blunt these days and while some may be right about some of your work others are just down right cruel and like to be straight forward and get a shock value in bashing others. Not everyone is like this but again it is safe to say it could be a bit of both, your rushed your work out there, you may have picked the wrong people and places and yes people these days have nasty opinions of others.
What do you do about all this? Well I already told you what to do if your work was in fact rushed. Just take a step back, look it over and relax. Fix anything that needs fixing, consider making the changes anyone may have suggested and look into promoting places and giving out your book to reviewers whom you have a better idea of. Chances are if they didn’t like it, as harsh as they were there’s a good chance you missed something on their page about what they want and what they like. So next time make sure you see if your book is something they will like or look at other reviews and promotions and see how they write them. If they are too real or harsh for your liking then go look elsewhere. You also do have to remember that not everyone is going to like your work but you also want to feel comfortable when submitting. Now, as of what to do about people who are just downright cruel and mean these days? Say something nice or don’t say anything at all. No seriously. If you feel you have to say something then just thank them for taking the time to review your book or getting back to your e-mail, do not under any circumstances try to plead your case and defend yourself. While a little won’t hurt it’s best to just not engage them at all because it’s just not worth it, plus in the event you want to go back and submit to them later, you can’t if you made certain comments and they took it the wrong way, they wont want anything to do with you. You really shouldn’t comment or respond to any review good or bad, as much as you may want to respond to it to defend yourself think about it before you do, it’s best if you don’t but if you do be as on point as you can and don’t draw attention to yourself seeming needy and defendant. Remember, these people are cruel because that’s just how they are, that’s their opinion and you’re probably not going to change it.
The best thing to do about all of it is as I stated earlier, take the good and the bad and throw the ugly away, the ugly is not going to help you, this is the comments that are just aimed directly at you with no means of support. Sit down, strategize, brainstorm and look into writing those who you feel will enjoy your work and what you post. Surely you cannot know who will and who wont but if you go over things you can get a better idea of if they will like it more than those you’ve already attempted to engage. Have the mentality of I don’t care what anyone says and also I don’t in fact care what anyone says regardless of if a work does in fact need work or not, it is a harsmallow world and you can’t please everyone. Just know that they think what they think and do what they do and you think what you think and do what you do.
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