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Guest Erin Knightley: Facing Feedback (and other fears)

Hi, Ruby sis Anne here, and I’m so pleased to welcome Erin Knightley back to the blog! We met at RWA Nationals last year, and since then I’ve watched her gracefully navigate the path to published authordom. Welcome, Erin!

A year ago this month, I was a guest with the Rubies in celebration of being a Golden Heart Finalist. And can you believe it—I’m here now to celebrate the impending release of my debut novel! If that’s not a whirlwind, I don’t know what is. 🙂

In less than a week, I will literally be able to walk into Barnes & Noble, pick up my book from the shelf, and try—unsuccessfully, I’m sure—not to run screaming through the store yelling, “IT’S MY FIRST BOOK!! LOOK, I WROTE THIS!!”

Ahem.

Is it exciting? Heck yeah—it’s one of the most exciting rides of my life.  To know that your work will soon be in front of hundreds . . . thousands . . . millions?? . . . yeah, thousands of eyes is beyond thrilling. But as time marches toward June 5th, when my book will at last be available to all and sundry, a funny thing seems to be happening. I went from ecstatic, to thrilled, to excited, to nervous, to scared out of my ever-loving mind.

That’s right, I said it. I’m *terrified.*

All these months that I’ve been telling every person on the planet that my book was forthcoming? Yeah, now that it has gone from months away, to weeks away, and now days away, I find that I desperately want to call them all and say, “Oops! My bad—I don’t have a book coming out. Juuuust forget I ever said anything.” [Insert innocent whistle here]

I’m not kidding.  In the aforementioned scenario, when I run through Barnes & Noble screaming like fool, what I didn’t say is that I also hope to round up every copy, buy them myself, then take off for the hills before anyone has the chance to judge me.  Because let’s face it: They will judge me.

Fact: Not everybody is going to like the book

Greater Fact: The ones that don’t will feel diabolically compelled to plaster their opinion all over Amazon and Goodreads

Fact: I will try not to read these reviews

Greater Fact: At some point my willpower will crumble like a day-old cookie, and I’ll read them all in one tear-filled, chocolate-binging evening, culminating in me in the fetal position on the couch while my three dogs exchange worried glances

Fact: I can’t do anything about what people will think of the book

Greater Fact: You know what? That’s okay.

As all the scary scenarios played out in my head (“If they had negative stars to give, I totally would have!”), I finally asked myself why it is that I write.  What compelled me to put pen to paper—make that fingers to keyboard—and begin spinning a tale. Why did I spend years working on my craft, pursuing agents, swallowing rejection [read: getting teeth kicked in by the Big R], submitting to contests, networking like a fiend, and dealing with the realities of deadlines, edits, and reviews?

Because I had to.

Because there are stories in me that I have to write. There are characters who I must give voice to, and plots I must develop. If I’m away from my computer, my fingers positively itch to type. It’s in my blood the way music is in a musician’s soul, or art is an artist’s passion.  I don’t just write—I’m a writer. It’s who I am, no matter what a disgruntled reviewer says, or how few stars are clicked.

I may be a big ole ball of insecurities right now, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter if there are those who don’t like me. I love what I do—tears, sweat, and all—and I will always be proud of reaching for my dreams, regardless of success.

And you know what else? Some people are going to like my books. In fact, I must remind myself that many already do. If I’m lucky, some are even going to love them. And while I will try for all I’m worth to avoid the mean-spirited reviews that are sure to come, I’ll also be living for the day when a fan looks me in the eye and tells me they read my book and loved it.

And that, my friends, will make everything worth it.

You know what else makes it worth it? Having made friends with so many of the incredible women and men of the romance writing community. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive group of people around me. You’ll let me be as neurotic as I need to be, give me a hug, then promptly give me a good kick in the rear. 😉

So tell me—what’s your advice for handling bad feedback? Be it reviews, rejections, or contest losses, what are your strategies for getting through the bad stuff on the way to the good?

Leave a comment for one of TWO chances to win! Here’s how it works: 

  1. Everyone who comments will be entered in my Sealed with a Kiss blog tour giveaway! Prizes include signed books, lots of fun swag, stationery, a custom iPhone case, and gift cards from Starbucks and Amazon! For details, click HERE. Drawings will be made June 15th!
  2. You’re already a winner! If you’d like a signed bookmark (or more – just let me know how many!), simply say so in the comments section, and I’ll send post haste! Offer good for the first 40 requests per blog.

*Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can contact winners, or email me at erin@erinknightley.com after commenting if you don’t wish to list publicly* I’ll ship anywhere in US, Canada, or Mexico

Bio: Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science.  It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn’t any fun at all.  Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina. Find her at www.erinknightley.com, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

MORE THAN A STRANGER

AN UNCOVERED BETRAYAL

When his family abandoned him at Eton, Benedict Hastings found an unexpected ally in his best friend’s sister. Her letters kept him going—until the day he had to leave everything behind.  Years later, Benedict has seen his share of betrayal, but when treachery hits close to home, he turns to his old friend for safe haven….

AN UNWANTED ATTRACTION

After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger, she finds herself torn between her dreams…and newfound desires.

AN UNSTOPPABLE INTRIGUE

Despite his determination to keep Evie at a distance, Benedict cannot deny the attraction that began with a secret correspondence. Yet as they begin to discover one another, the dangers of Benedict’s world find them, threatening their lives, their love, and everything they thought they could never have…

92 responses to “Guest Erin Knightley: Facing Feedback (and other fears)”

  1. Hope Ramsay says:

    Wow, it’s a slow day at the RSS blog. I can’t believe I’m the first commenter.

    Well, welcome Erin. I love your cover!

    I will give you another truth. When you sit down to write the second book that’s under contract you will have a crisis of confidence. I don’t know of any writer who hasn’t. You’ll start thinking that any day they will figure out that you are a fraud.

    But you’re not. And the only thing that really helps to to win through to yourself is writing. I went to a retreat not too long ago with a number of musicians and writers and all of the musicians kept saying that the music always pulled them through any adversity. That they had to sing (and song-write) to wellness and balance.

    I’ve been at this for just a short time myself, and I have come to see that the only way through is to write myself whole. I try to ignore the critics because, really, they don’t matter. All that matters is stringing words together. If you can find that Zen space in your writing, you’ll do just fine.

    Chocolate also helps.

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    • Hi Hope! Thanks so much to you and all the lovely Rubies for having me here today 🙂 And I agree – the cover fairies were VERY good to me!
      You are so right about that second book – which coincidentally, I just turned in the edits for yesterday. After spending years on MORE THAN A STRANGER, having only months for the second one was a big shock to the system. But I love your advice: write yourself whole. Stringing those words together reminds me of one of the greatest, most sage lines in all of movie history: Just keep swimming 🙂

      As for the chocolate: I’m all stocked up and ready to go!

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  2. Terri Osburn says:

    I love this blog. I’m a first time GH finalist and already have that “What if they figure out I’m a fraud?!” feeling. And the “Now people expect my stuff to be good. They’re going to be so disappointed!”

    As I keep saying. The writer brain – who needs crack?

    I love the premise for this book. Congratulations on the whirlwind and I’ll keep my eyes open for this one on release day. Was this the book that finaled last year? (Sorry if I should know that already.)

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    • Hi Terri!

      BWAhahaha – who needs crack, indeed!

      Big congrats on the GH final – that’s wonderful! Yes, MORE THAN A STRANGER is the book I finaled with – it was my first book period! THanks so much for stopping by, and good luck in Anaheim!

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  3. Melody May says:

    Erin- here is my advice on bad feed back go to your friends and family that have supported you throughout the journey. They will tell you that those people don’t know what they are talking about. And if that doesn’t work I always turn to my BFF’s Ben & Jerry. They have gotten me through some difficult times. I know that you will do well. Have fun on your whirl wind adventure.

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    • Hi Melody!

      I’d say that is excellent advice, indeed. Sometimes I have the tendency to want to hide when I get bad news hits me, but I think you are absolutely right – after all, isn’t that what friends (and family) are for?

      And btw, Ben and Jerry are DEFINITELY considered my friends 😉

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  4. Liz Talley says:

    Congrats, Erin!

    I think contests prepared me pretty well for the criticism that comes with having your baby “out there.” From contests I learned there were readers who liked my work, readers who loved my story, and fools, ahem, other readers who thought I sucked. That’s it in the nutshell – not everyone thinks you’re brilliant.

    So, outside of one particular review which I felt was another author being a meany pants and trying to steer readers away from me, I take it worth a grain of salt. Being professional means not worrying about everyone else – just controlling your end of the process, which is creating the best book you can. You cannot control the reaction to that book. Once you allow that to permeate your brain, sink into your skin, and become your outlook, you see reviews as part of the world you inhabit as a writer.

    Congrats again on your whirlwind 🙂

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    • Hi Liz!

      Man, sounds like that jerk reviewer really was a meany pants! Well, phooey on them. I think allowing myself to be okay with the bad reviews will be key. After all, no one is universally loved.

      And you have a point about the contests. I didn’t think about it, but it was a good way to ease in to not-so-delightful comments WITHOUT the public forum. Another reason to be love contents!

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  5. Annie @ UTC says:

    Hmmm my advice? Just ignore it. I know it’s tough to do when you’re work hits close to home, but that kind of attention on the negative is unhealthy and probably won’t do anything but down your mood.

    I would love a signed bookmark! I also have a blog, http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com if you’re interested in distributing those bookmarks.

    Thanks,
    Ann
    alltherhage AT gmail DOT com

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    • Hi Ann!

      It’s great to see you here! Your kind comments about my book were so lovely. And yes – when it comes to the bad stuff, that is really the advice that will probably keep me most sane 😉

      I’ll get you a pack of bookmarks in the mail soon. And thanks for the offer- you’ve got a great blog!

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  6. Kelly S says:

    Hi Erin – Congratulations! The book sounds like it will be a great story! I wish you much success.

    As for feedback, I’m going to go with something a coach said to me about advice as I think it can be applied to criticism too. Advice, feedback, criticism – treat them all as gifts. Not every gift we receive is a desired item. Some get returned or re-gifted and some are perfect for us. So, listen (or read) what the person says. Judge for yourself whether it applies and is in line with your goals. Regardless, say thank you. Then either accept it as a gift or throw it away or shelve it until you have a garage sale. Basically, don’t trust that everything anyone says is right for you now.

    Hope your release day is a happy one!

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    • HI Kelly!

      Thanks so much for the well-wishes 🙂 I love the gift analogy – great idea! A simple concept: some will be right for you, and some won’t.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Fiona Druce says:

    Hey Erin!

    I’m not published, yet, but this is what I do when I receive a harsh critique. It may not be nearly as painful, but it’s at least something I plan on building on, lol

    1. I remember how much I enjoy my characters and the story

    2. I remember that there are tons of different kinds of authors out there. Nearly as many as there are types of books people like to read. “Nearly” being the operative word.

    3. I remember that there are those who *do* like my work.

    When I get a particularly rough one, I chat up someone who I know is respectful (especially if they liked my work). Not to talk to them about the issue. Not to get compliments… but just to hear something nice to replace the negativity.

    I always take the critique (or in your case, review) into consideration and last but not least:

    4. I remember that my audience isn’t everyone. It never will be. No human has the entire world as an audience. My audience are the people who enjoyed the book. Those that don’t? Eh, it didn’t work for them. There are those whom it worked for.

    This helps especially since I write comedic Romance which is definitely not for everyone. :p

    Anyway, long story short (too late): You write for you, not everyone else. You’re just kind enough to let us in on it and let us enjoy it with you. 😉

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    • Wow, Fiona – I feel like I should print that list out! Well said, and good advice. With such a professional approach to your writing, I’m certain you won’t be ‘pre-published’ for long!

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  8. Lisa W says:

    Yay, I’m so happy your debut is coming out! (and just in time for my bday..its on my list so we will see if hubby gets it) I have really enjoyed reading about your journey through your blog. Bad advice? Vent to your friends in person, not online. As someone who reviews books I personally don’t bash on an author b/c its that authors hard work but every book doesn’t please every person so you have to do your best to ignore it. Have some wine with some friends and vent a bit so you feel better and just be positive.
    I would love a couple bookmarks!! tigger_time2 at yahoo dot com

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    • Hi Lisa!

      First of all – happy birthday!! I can’t believe I’m on someones’s birthday wish list – that totally just made my day 🙂 I’ll be happy to send some bookmarks off to you.

      Very sage advice, the venting in person thing. I agree that we must be careful what goes into the electronic void…plus, there is nothing like a real live hug from a real live friend!

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      • Lisa W says:

        I meant to say bad review, not bad advice, lol. My bday is the 6th so it is a perfect gift for me 🙂 Love new books and debuts! Our electronic world is great but it can turn around in a heartbeat and be a pain~

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  9. Congrats on your impending release, Erin! It sounds like a great read!

    Feedback. Reviews. Ugh. I’m one of those people that feel compelled to read them all. And take each and every one personally. I rant to my awesome best friend/CP, who gives me a hug and a shake and sets me back on the right path. And then I remind myself that the only thing I have control over is the writing. So, I try my best to bury myself in the next book! Easier said than done some days, but it really is the best cure all.

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  10. Monikarw says:

    Hello, Erin 🙂 – I would be a wreck if it was me in your shoes so, I can only say I understand. But, also, I’m sure it will be just great 🙂 I can’t wait to read this book & love it! – For rejection, there’s nothing better than chocolate, of course. But, also, surround yourself with people that you know will support you & love you no matter what! ; ) They help A LOT!!! LOL 😀 ..Wish nothing but the best to you! *mwah* and Thanks again for listening to me 🙂 lol – monika_restivow(@)yahoo.com

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    • Thanks, Monica – you’re such a sweetie 🙂 You’ll be happy to know that I have already stocked up on the chocolate, and I’m also hoarding the sweet comments I get from people like you.
      Thanks for stopping by, and best of luck in the drawing!

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  11. Hey, Erin. I don’t have any advice for you on the reviews, since I’m not where you are yet. Already I’m seeing reviews crop up and OMG I am friends with those authors, and for their sake I want the reviews to glow. So I’m probably going to be nuts over mine when they happen. Because, like you, eventually I’m going to have to look. Although maybe I’ll have my friends look first and tell me if it’s OK or not.

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    • Now THERE’s an idea, Ashlyn! I think maybe hubby should read first…and maybe paraphrase the bad and wax poetic over the good! Hmmm – I wonder if his engineer brain would be up to the task?
      Oh well, no matter what, I have great friends like you to keep me from getting too down (or too full of myself, lol!)

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  12. The book looks so good!

    I handle negative feedback differently depending on how much I respect the person giving it. If the person’s opinion to me matters a great deal, I’m more likely to listen to them and try to address their concerns. If I don’t respect their opinion and I’m stuck receiving it anyway, I can get a little more irritated and defensive (internally) about what they say.

    I totally agree with Lisa on the handling privately, though. I feel so terrible for those authors who go off the deep end and rant online for the world to see. So unprofessional. Everyone gets criticized. Unfortunately, writers have it particularly hard, I think. Reviews about our work are encouraged and solicited en mass and in a very public arena.

    anna (at) annabentleytremaine (dot) com

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    • Hi Anna!

      Oh yes, nothing makes me cringe quite like an author blasting her critics. I made a commitment to myself never to address negative reviews or comments personally. And I agree that the source of the feedback makes a difference.
      Speaking of feedback that comes unsolicited, I recently got an email from a reviewer telling me they liked my book and to check out a review. All I’ll say is that if that was a reviewer liking a book, I’d hate to see one were they hated it!

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  13. Congratulations on your release, Erin. Whenever I get a bad review on one of my books, I try to read two or three of the good ones to remind myself that those who weren’t crazy about my book are a very small minority

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  14. catslady says:

    This is my first time here but it looks like a wonderful blog. I have a horrible time letting things go but I’m working on it. Reading is the one thing that lets me forget everything else. Lovely cover and congratulations.

    catslady5(at)aol.com

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  15. Lisa says:

    Hi Erin!
    I’m so excited for you and can’t believe your release day is just around the corner!!! 😀

    I so related to this post even though I’m not published, a finalist, or anywhere near being published and/or a finalist. I’ve only recently started my first WIP and taking this whole writing thing seriously, and I’m aleady a big ball of neuroses and insecurity! lol I have had friends/authors who have agreed to read and critique what I have but I am terrified, downright terrified to show them my work because I know how rough it is and how much work needs to be done on it. Plus, part of me is also thinking “What if they hate it and think ‘she’s horrible, this sucks, and she has no business writing or calling herself a writer. And why am I friends with her anyway?” But I have to constantly remind myself this is normal, every author goes through it, and constructive criticism and feedback is invaluable, so just suck it up and do it. Writing is tough and you need a thick skin!

    My advice, for whatever it’s worth lol is to do what you’re already doing. Keep it in prespective, and accept that not everyone will like the book and that’s ok. (Though I know I’m gonna love it! :)) I would also say, even with a bad review, look and see if there’s something you can take away from it if it’s a thoughtful critique and not a full out flame. Maybe there’s something you can take away from it to use and improve for your next ms?

    Can’t wait to finally meet you in Anaheim! 😀 It’s been so fun getting to know you via Twitter these past few months. 🙂

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    • Welcome to the land of writer neurosis, Lisa! LOL, I don’t know anyone who didn’t panic at the thought of someone else taking a look at their work for the first time. And let me tell you, that first bit of criticism is tough, no matter how constructive. But it is so worth it in the long run. The book you see now is MILES apart from the first draft, which was chock full of newbie mistakes!
      All that aside, I’m sure your work is wonderful!

      It’s been a delight to get to know you as well, and I’m thrilled that we will finally meet in Anaheim! Good luck in the drawing, my dear 🙂

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  16. Leah Weller says:

    Congratulations on your first release! I am wishing you all the very best in it’s success. 🙂

    Being a reader, I’m not sure what advice to give you as far as everything goes. In life we all face bad things. It’s how we deal with those things that set us apart. Take it all in, the good and bad, and process what is important and let the rest go. You can tell if someone is giving an honest review be it good or not so good, and if someone is just out to nail you to the wall. Those with the nails are the ones who need to be left behind.

    I cannot wait to give your book a try. Benedict and Evelyn sound like they are going to be a treat to read. I’s love a bookmark also if you have one to spare. 🙂

    leahweller@bellsouth.net

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    • Leah Weller says:

      Good gracious! That would be “I’d” like a bookmark…. LOL!

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    • LOL – I don’t know, Leah, I thought the ‘I’s’ was cute!

      Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello, and I definitely think your advice is sound. Good luck in the drawing, and I’ll get that bookmark to you very soon!

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  17. I’m so excited for you, my Starcatcher sister! What a thrill to see you pop up in my Reader this morning.

    I don’t have any advice on dealing with bad reviews. Sadly, I’ll probably be in the “binge on chocolate and curl into a ball” camp.

    I would love a bookmark, though … if it’s not too late.

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    • Hi Arlene! Lovely to see another Starcatcher here 🙂 Of course its not too late – I’d be delighted to send you a bookmark! Are you going to be in Anaheim?

      Glad to know I’m not alone in my chocolate and ball camp, lol 🙂

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      • I will be in Anaheim … now that I’ve gotten a taste of Nationals, I have a feeling I’ll try to go every year — even if I go broke trying. 😉

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  18. CateS says:

    Big time congratulations on your debut release!! Enjoy!! I’m only a reader, but my advice is tried & true… you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.. So unless there’s something construcitve.. and more than just once… just ignore and figure that the reviewer is just not a happy camper that day..

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    • CateS, I’d say that advice is succinct, to the point, and perfect 🙂 And what do you mean ‘only a reader’? You’re an author’s best friend!

      I’d love to enter you in the drawing – be sure to send me your email address to erin@erinknightley.com if you don’t want post it here! There are so many prizes, it will be hard NOT to win!

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  19. Anne Barton says:

    Erin, thanks for being here with the Rubies! Just reading your post and thinking about those first reviews gave me butterflies, so I can’t imagine how you feel on the brink of your debut. You have a great support system and lots of fans already, so enjoy the moment!

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    • Thanks so much for having me, Anne! I’m honored to be able to call someone as talented as you a friend (Hello miss 3 time finalist and Golden Heart winner!!) I can’t wait to cheer you on in Feb when your much anticipated book hits the shelves 🙂

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  20. Julie Brannagh says:

    Erin, I’m still waiting for that “runs screaming through the bookstore, waving my book around and telling anyone who will listen to buy it” moment. (I’m sure the local PD is, too.) I know one thing, though.

    Don’t read your reviews. Protect the work. In other words, keep doing what you’re doing. There will be people (the vast majority!) who love your books and can’t wait to get them. There will be a select few who couldn’t do it themselves, so they live to make those that DID second-guess themselves and their talent. Ignore them.

    The Starcatchers/FBURebelz will be along shortly to put the smackdown on the mean people, because they suck.

    Enjoy every minute of this. You worked hard for it, you deserve it, and how often in life does anyone walk into a bookstore and pull their own book off the shelf for the first time?

    Celebrate HUGE!
    Julie

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    • LOL Julie – I can always count on the Starcatchers / FBURebelz to have my back!
      And yes Ma’am! *salutes* I plan to savor this incredible moment all I can, no matter how nervous or scared I am! I can’t wait (and neither can the PD) for the day you run screaming through your local bookstore 🙂

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  21. Amy Raby says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming release! I look forward to reading it!

    I am worried about the psychological impact of negative reviews too (my book doesn’t come out until next year), but I will remind myself that even “The Hunger Games” has 228 1-star reviews on Amazon. And they made that one into a movie.

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    • Great point, Amy! I’ll admit when I got my first less than glowing review, I popped over to Amazon and looked up my favorite book. Sure enough, there were 1 and 2 stars aplenty. Must keep that in mind!

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  22. Cindy vonHentschel says:

    Findng another “new” author for me to read, exciting! Congrats on your release!!

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  23. anon1001 says:

    Congralations on your book!! Good luck!!
    alysap@yahoo.com

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  24. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, Erin! What an adorable post!

    Thanks for being open and honest about how scary success can be….though judging by your voice here, I think you’re going to have LOTS of people loving this book!

    And the blurb has totally sold me….I’m going to pre-order on my Kindle the second I get my hands on it.

    I love pen-pals-who-fall-in-love-in-the-flesh stories!!!!!! Can’t wait!

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    • Hi Elisa!
      I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post 🙂 Sometimes you just have to put it all out there, and you feel better for it. Thanks so much for the pre-order – I hope you love it!!

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  25. I get to practice living with rejection/negative feedback at the day job, so I’ve learned a few things even tho’ I’m not published. The main thing is to do what you think is right, do the best job you can — in your case, write the best book you can. Once you’ve done your best, there’s nothing more you can do, and the rest of the world just has to deal with that. (Although avoiding negative reviews sounds like a winning strategy, too.)

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    • Goodness Nancy – sounds like a stressful job! And I think you are right: all I can ever do is try to write the best book I can. Thanks so much for chiming in!

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  26. Kim Law says:

    Erin, so lovely to have you here again! And OMG…I can tell you’re going to be a great success just from your voice in this blog post. You are highly entertaining!!! So yeah…DO NOT worry about those that don’t like you and feel so inclined to shout it to the world anywhere they can, because I’ve no doubt you’ll have TONS more who do love every single word you put down!!!

    And how very exciting…and yes, terrifying…for you to have your debut so close to coming out??? I’m scared for you! 🙂 But that’s only because I’m starting to feel that kind of terror myself (debut 9/18 of this year *gulp*)

    As for your question…here’s my most recent example…write pages for proposal, send to agent, she calls the next day and they stink. Write synopsis of another book (shooting for a totally different proposal), she emails back next day, strike two. Oh, and the blurb for the second book in that proposal? Yeah, strike three. So what do I do? (Because I know she’s totally right.) I call my brainstorming buddies, whine and moan about how I’m a has-been already (before my first book is even out!!!), mope and complain that I’ll never get it right again, and then call an emergency meeting to HELP ME COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT WILL WORK!!!! Oh, and I send a whining, I’m about to jump off the cliff email to my agent so she can also call me and stroke my ego to remind me I’m not all washed up yet. *sigh* (And just to let you know so you don’t worry I’m still hanging onto the edge of that cliff…I then have a middle of the night golden idea, then an even better brainstorming session, try again, and finally it’s something the agent loves.) Ah…the life of a neurotic writer 🙂

    Congrats on your debut! Can’t wait to see it in B&N myself!!!

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    • Oh man, Kim – September will be here in the blink of an eye! Thanks so much for the lovely compliment on my writing. It makes me feel better that people seemed to have enjoyed today’s post! And I’m totally laughing (with you, not at you!) about your story. Man the neurosis runs deep with us! Glad you got it taken care of though!

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  27. Kanya says:

    Nice post, Erin! My advice for you would be to always to your best. Some people may not like your work, but there’s nothing you can do about it. If you really have to read bad feedback, do it with a glass of really good wine and chocolate!
    Congrats on your release!
    Kanya 😉
    kanyachhetATyahooDOTca

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  28. Karin Anderson says:

    I try to take bad feedback as a challenge. Use it to fuel your drive to make your works better. Sometimes we take bad reviews and feedback too personally…we need to take a step back and look at it as constructive criticism.

    In the end, when we make them better, we can say, “Hey, that feedback helped me push my works to the next level.”

    Karin
    AquarianDancer at gmail dot com

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    • Hi Karin!

      Yes, that has been a learning process as I became a professional writer: NOT taking things personally. I’m getting better, thank goodness, but I still have a way’s to go! And it always helps for me to remember how much better my writing was after my crit partners had a field day with it.

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  29. Susan C says:

    Criticism is just one person’s opinion. True it can make or break you, but it is how you handle it that is important. If you go hide in a gallon of chocolate ice cream then you agree with what they said. If you go right back and rewrite everything you have lost your own vision. Now if you contemplate what they said, listen and learn from it then you can work any type of criticism into your favor. Grammar and punctuation not withstanding. Unfortunately there are rules about that.

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    • Hi Susan 🙂 Hmm – how about if I listen and learn with a bowl of chocolate ice cream? Seems like a good tradeoff… 😉 Thanks so much for your comment, and for stopping by to join us today!

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  30. LilMissMolly says:

    I met you at RT and you were so nice. I’m really looking forward to reading your book!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

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  31. bn100 says:

    Congratulations on the book! I think it helps to know whether the feedback is useful or not and to try to use it if it’s going to be helpful.

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  32. Lyla Dune says:

    Congratulations, Erin!

    I’ve been reading some reviews of your soon to be released and from what I’ve read – it’s all been good 🙂

    You’ve been given some eloquent advice about weathering bad reviews.

    What comes to mind for me is from a bumper sticker my hippie friend used to have on the back of her jalopy: Mean People Suck –

    Maybe when you read something snarky about your book – you can just say that out loud to yourself. Mean People Suck – It feels good to say it, especially when you get your neck all into and everything.

    Write on! 🙂

    Lyla

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  33. Dee Feagin says:

    First, congratulations on your first book, and the honor it earned. I hope that is the only the beginning for you. Second, my thoughts on reviews: I discount any from Amazon and Goodreads on the grounds that those people are not “dedicated” reviewers; i.e., people who actively read books for a purpose (All About Romance reviewers, for example) and when I read a review I want a balanced, coherent and thoughtful report. I may not agree with the reviewer’s grade after I read the book myself, but I appreciate intelligent writing wherever I find it. Third, I applaud your determination to write despite the angst it requires. Good luck!
    quiltlady44-bks2@yahoo.com

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    • Thanks for the congrats, Dee! And you are right – there is a world of difference between those casual and professional reviews. I should remember to always consider the sourse.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  34. Shannon Johnson says:

    I imagine the bad feedback would be horrible like telling me one of my kids was ugly (they are not they are beautiful of course!!!) I think keep in mind it is one persons opinion (well maybe more but they are still only one person at a time)!
    shannonjean14(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. Catherine says:

    Dear Erin,
    congratulations on your new book. I can’t wait to read it and I know it will be a success.
    cat21159@yahoo.com

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  36. Zeee says:

    Congrats on you first book! I’m neither published nor have a written anything, save for school papers that make me cringe when I read them now, but I totally get what you feel. It is scary to read negative reviews to your story – especially when you’ve really worked hard for it.

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  37. @CapeFearLibn says:

    I think that writers need to have an especially thick skin. My advice would be to borrow a line from Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return…Say to yourself, “I never did mind about the little things.” And reviews and negative feedback or criticism are just little things in the big scheme of things.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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  38. lori meehan says:

    Erin like you said in the blog not everyone will like the book. And that’s ok! Think of it like people: you like someone, you don’t like them. They like or dislike you. That’s what makes the world go round. Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone was the same? Bad reviews or criticism is like water off a ducks back , just let it roll off. Your water proof. Almost like bullet proof. Lol.
    lorimeehan1@aol.com

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    • Great advice, Lori 🙂 I only recently came to grips with the fact that some people just aren’t going to like you (in the real world) – I guess I need to transfer that to my writing world!

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  39. Robin D says:

    Your book looks great! I know it’s hard not to be affected by a negative review, but I would say it just means it wasn’t the right type of book for that person – but I’ll bet many many more will love it! And all your books to follow! I just looked at the description on Amazon and I can’t wait to read it!

    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  40. Joy Gifford says:

    I Love the Blog Tours and all my Favorite Authors too….

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  41. Angelia Schubert says:

    Congratulations on your debut release!! I a reader and i can’t wait to read this book. My advice is let someone else read the reviews.

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  42. Megan says:

    Congrats! I think with all things you have to take the bad with a grain of salt. I always think, when someone is really rude to me or are just generally mean, that I don’t know what is going on in there lives right now. Maybe they have a really sick relative in the hospital or they found out they are sick. Maybe even they were cut off on the interstate on the way to the supermarket. It could be anything. I just appreciate all the people in my life that do love me and know that a strangers opinion does not matter.
    megy_pooh@yahoo.com

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  43. Diane Sallans says:

    So wonderful that you’ve gotten published! My advice would be that if a comment is rude or nasty it probably doesn’t have any redeeming comments so ignore it & feel sorry for that person – they probably have a lot of issues. Other people may honestly be trying to point something out, so consider those & decide if it fits your style. But son’t compromise your writing voice to try to please everyone, that will never work.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  44. Linda Mc says:

    I’m so happy for you on the release of your debut novel. As for those reviews, just remember that probably many of those people posting those reviews say they want to write a book, or could write a better book, etc, but in reality they have never even tried. They don’t know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. So,if you read them just think, “I’ve got a book on bookstore shelves, so screw you!” That’s my take on it anyway. 🙂

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  45. awww, i think it’s totally understandable to be apprehensive about the business side of writing and the feedback!

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  46. Jess W. says:

    I cannot wait to read your book! Congrats!

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  47. Thanks for joining in the blog tour fun, everyone! Winners will be notified by tomorrow (June 16).

    Good luck, and Happy Reading!

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