Recently I received my first 3 star review. Actually, I was anticipating it. No one can expect to please everyone or as I like to say,”you can’t make people love you.” Having said that I was still crushed. Like most people, I want reviewers and readers to like my book and in doing so I want them to like me.
I took a deep breath and read the review. The reviewer was kind to me. She did say she would read book two. She had issues with several segments in the book that didn’t ring true to her. I guess essentially saying she would have written them differently. I can see her point and I wish I could tell her I did that deliberately. Many things are to come in the series and this is essentially a link to what is to come. It is a reflective point in the future books where you look back and say, “oh, now I see that.”
I learned a long time ago that you can’t explain some things away. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to persuade someone to see what you are trying to say, it just won’t happen.
Let me share a funny story with you about not explaining things and letting go. I was in graduate school working on my PhD. I was working two jobs, going to school part-time and trying to finish that *&^*)$%^ PhD! To say I was stressed would be an understatement. The only thing I had to look forward to was a birthday trip I was taking to New Orleans with my three best friends. About a week before the trip, my stress triggered a flare up of a herpes simplex sore on my lip. You know those ugly blisters you get on your lip caused by having the chicken pox as a child. Pretty much the same thing as shingles and often called fever blisters. Painful, ugly, swollen, and sore as a bear with a sore paw. All I wanted was to get rid of it before my much anticipated trip. I called my family doctor and he called in a prescription for anti-viral pills that would make it go away faster. I drove to the pharmacy to pick them up. I didn’t want to go in. I didn’t want everyone staring at me so I went through the drive up window. The sore was on the right side of my lip and I was facing with the left side of my face to the window. Perfect. No one would see my big old sore. A sweet older woman came to the window. I told her my name. She retrieved my prescription and came back to the window. She looked at my name and then said. “My goodness, you have a birthday coming up. Any special plans?” I excitedly told her about my upcoming trip to New Orleans with my best friends, the NOLA’s. She leaned out the drive thru window and into my car. She handed me the prescription and then whispered to me. “You’re going to need this in New Orleans.” She winked at me. I was horrified when I figured out what she was talking about. The same medicine that would help my herpes simplex blister was also the same drug that was used for the sexually transmitted form of herpes. My face went red. I stammered and stuttered and I drove off. Quickly. I stopped at the stop sign. I wanted to go back through the drive through window and explain to her that I didn’t have “that kind” of herpes. I wanted to tell her we weren’t going to New Orleans to do what she thought we were. I wanted to tell her I wasn’t the kind of person she thought I was. I turned my car around to get in line and tell her. Then I realized that she would never believe me. Never. Not in a thousand years. The harder I would try to explain, the more she would think she was indeed right.
I let it go. Even in a small town where I would assuredly run into her again, I had to let her think what she would. Instead my friends and I laughed about it during the entire trip. Every time we would see a man they would look at me and say, “worthy of the medication?” To which I would respond, “There isn’t enough medication for that to happen.” That trip to New Orleans with my NOLA’s was one of the funnest times of my life and most of it due to the herpes story. We laughed about it everywhere we went. We still laugh about it.
You see where I am going with this don’t you? It doesn’t really matter at the end of the day whether it was 3 stars or 5 stars. I can’t make the reviewer change her mind and I don’t want to. I just want her to read my next book, and one after that, and the one after that! And I want her to give me whatever stars she thinks. I hope I earn a 5 star review this time.
Even the book reviewers get flack about giving 3 star reviews. A lot of them consider a 3 star rating a really good book. Mollie Kay Harper who runs the Tough Critic Book reviews blog (I am a fan BTW), posted this recently on Facebook. “My ‘three stars are good, dammit’ t-shirt is on backorder.” Haha I love it. She was not my 3 star reviewer, but I would wear her t-shirt with pride.
So here it is. Give me my t-shirt. I earned it! Just read my book(s) and give me some stars.