So there's this book I wrote called Not Your Hero.
The main character, Sam, received mixed reactions. Some loved him, some hated him. Why? Because he wasn't perfect. He didn't cheat, but he might as well have. Do I expect everyone to love each of my books like the precious babies they are (that was sarcasm), hell no. I don't like every book I read, I don't fall in love with every main character. No way do I expect that of my readers.
My fear that more and more people would hate the book, would hate him, had me questioning if I should even keep it up for sale. It'd be better off if I just pulled it, right?
It was my second book and I wasn't prepared. I wasn't ready for the negativity. I'd only seen great things at that point and I was just so... sad. My excitement faded away, and I questioned EVERYTHING.
But with the help and support of some amazing friends, I kept it up. I moved on and I stayed away from reviews.
Recently, I decided to get a new cover for Not Your Hero. One where more people could use their imaginations and decide for themselves how Sam would look. (Isn't it pretty?!) I love it. SO much.
With the new cover, I wanted to put a little more effort into promoting it, since I completely stopped out of fear and insecurity.
Well, when you promote a book, you want to have as many reviews as possible. I had a takeover scheduled on Facebook, and normally I don't gift copies of Not Your Hero, but I decided to for this event.
Let me back track first, though. Takeovers are a promotional tool in and of themselves, but that was also something I cut back on... pretty much stopped, actually. I have given away HUNDREDS of copies of my books (like most authors). I never asked for a review. I never hounded a winner. I simply stated I'd like to know what they thought when they read. That's it. (How will I ever get better if I don't know what people like and dislike?) And pretty much every single person who won a book replied with: I'll let you know what I think or I'll leave reviews.
Very few... like maybe five percent followed through. I'm not mad about it. It just is what it is. Maybe they didn't like my book and didn't want to say anything. Maybe they just didn't want to leave a review. Maybe they forgot... life is busy, right? I understand. It's totally cool.
Anyway, I regress.
So I decided to gift a copy of NYH to a winner for said event, and she said she'd leave a review. Well, I checked Amazon today, and saw I had a new one pop up, and what do you know. It was from her.
I'm not making a big deal about the fact that I got a review. What I'm so... emotional about is the content of the review.
This is why I write.
This is why I'm glad I didn't pull the book.
This is why I thank God I didn't give up.
This is why I love this book.
The characters aren't perfect. They make mistakes. Hell, nobody is perfect.
While reading, I understand that people like to live in a fantasy world, I like to pretend I'm in a fantasy world when I read, but I also like to write about real people... real emotions.
And it's not always pretty or perfect or wrapped in a bow.
So ya know what, I've come to accept the fact that people don't like him. I like him. And women like this reviewer like him. And I like making people happy, so Sam is sticking around, stubborn guy means too much to me to see him go.