I turned 40 at the end of February, and the event was anti-climactic. I didn’t feel the decay of old bones, or slight degradation in my eyesight. One more candle, and a wonderful family birthday party. I was spared the surprise, “this is your life” event that I’ve seen unfold for other quadragenarians.
My book turned 30 last week, which kicked off an exciting flurry of review activity. I had high hopes for the 30th review…looking for a reason to celebrate. The title of the review? “Wow…this book.” And not in a good way. A one-star 30th birthday review for The Jakarta Pandemic. The review was quite lengthy for Amazon, and had nothing good to say. The only positive? I could tell that the reviewer hadn’t read the entire book, probably not more than 30 pages. Needless to say, I was a little irritated. I wrote a nice response and let it go. Not everyone is going to like this book…or any book. Little did I realize that this would be the first of nine reviews written in four days. Thick skin? I would have felt better suited up in Kevlar.
Every time I checked Amazon, I cringed. I took two more solid hits, and then nothing but good reviews. I have been solidly impressed by the quality of people reviewing my book, and the readers that have reached out via e-mail. I frequently invite reviewers to contact me, especially if I see something that worries me (misunderstanding of meaning or purpose of my writing…not for pointing out typos). The reviews help shape future works, and revisions of the Jakarta Pandemic. I’m self-published, so I can do whatever I want with the book. I have a free-lance editor (who reviewed my book and responded to my request for help) working on some improvements as I type. These are all reader suggested enhancements, which will be available in new editions by mid-May (I hope).
Before I check Amazon for more reviews…Fridays always seem to be the biggest day for The Jakarta Pandemic…let me share with you an example of how not to handle a negative review. Read the string of posts, if you can. It’s cringe-worthy. Warning: Profanity.