We’re all obsessed, writers. We look for book reviews and count the stars and worry about the comments and why someone can seemingly love everything about a story and then just give it 2.5 stars. As though the reviewer has a very limited budget of stars in their pocket that he/she must ration and parcel out miserly.
Enter the internet. No longer does a seasoned review writer sprinkle the star dust. Now we must endure the ravings of (say) the disgruntled student who must read the book for a novel study. In fact this year a library student in the thick of exams felt compelled to open a book reviewing blog in which she reviewed nothing else but crush. candy. corpse. She didn’t have time to read the whole book, what with a
thesis due and job applications, but still she launched a new blog specifically to diss the first chapter which admittedly she skimmed. In it she accused the author, me, of being lazy. Really.
I wonder if the ranting reviewers understand that a disgruntled author could potentially track them down and tp their house. Or worse. I know, I know, writers should just ignore reviews and write from the heart.
Unfortunately another writer showed me a website called Bookmanager which shows sales rankings. A new form of self flagellation. Chapters/Indigo lists which stores carry my books and how many. Book by book I could follow how they sell and where. Googling can show me which libraries stock it. Couple that with the news that a potential publisher for my newest work is looking at
sales to determine whether they will make an offer and probably what that offer will be as though the past is a reliable predictor of the future. This next novel may prove my blockbuster. Or not.
The challenge for us perhaps is to step away from the Internet and remember our own inner sense of worth. Excuse me, I’m going to shut down now and go write something amazing.