The good, the bad, the ugly – by Sharon Cullen
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The other day a few fellow authors and I were talking about reviews—the good, the bad and the ugly.
Of course we all gloat about the good reviews. We spread the word and pat ourselves, and each other, on the back. And that’s what we should do. We work hard to put a good book out there. We pour everything we have into the pages of those books and when someone says they like it, it’s a relief in a lot of ways.
But what about the bad reviews?
I remember the first few “bad” ones I received. It takes a lot out of you when you read a less than glowing review of your book. You get a hollow feeling in your stomach and your throat closes up the tiniest bit.
But there is a positive side to bad reviews. A well-written and well thought out review that pin points exactly what the reviewer didn’t like is a golden nugget to me. I’ve grown a thick enough skin and have been around this block long enough that I can put my personal emotions aside (okay, I sulk a little then put my personal emotions aside and consider what the reviewer said.
And nine times out of ten I end up agreeing with the reviewer. I keep all of my reviews but the bad ones I don’t have to refer back to. The bad ones I remember because they’ve all taught me something and they’ve all allowed me to grow as a writer. I’ve changed my writing, tweaked characters and plots based on what reviewers have said about past books in order to make the characters more real, the plot more interesting.
Praise is good. I mean, come on, we all love a little praise now and then, but for me a not so glowing review is better.
So what do you think? Have you ever taken constructive criticism and run with it? Or did you let it get you down?
Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romance, The Notorious Lady Anne (on sale now) and The Infamous Lord Blythe (available fall 2013). She’s also published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance.
Her other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.
If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.
Order Sharon’s books here
Nicholas Addison, celebrated captain of the Blackwell Shipping Fleet, has agreed to take Mrs. Emmaline Sutherland aboard the Pride and ferry the raven-haired beauty across the Atlantic on what he imagines will be a routine trip. But when the ship is attacked by pirates, the seemingly innocent passenger is revealed to be none other than the infamous marauder Lady Anne, whose name strikes fear in the hearts of sailors everywhere—and whose seductive wiles commandeers Nicholas’s affections.
Lady Anne, a legend of the high seas, has spent the last eleven years plotting revenge against her father, the owner of Blackwell Shipping. She’s targeted the Pride in hopes of plundering its captain’s company secrets. But beneath her fierce courage and bitter determination, Anne has the delicate heart of a woman—a heart that cannot help falling for Nicholas. Now Anne must make a difficult choice: bring down Blackwell or surrender to love.