Reader Reviews

Reader reviews can be hard to take. For one thing, sometimes the review isn’t about the book, it’s about Amazon. Or the delivery timing. Or stuff way beyond the control of the author.

But sometimes, the reader simply doesn’t like something about your story.

When I wrote Scales of Justice, I was excited about how the story turned out. I thought I had a fairly rich character set, if not my stoic and secretive protagonist. My antagonist had legitimate reasons for why he is the way he is. And of course, I had cowboys and dragons. What more could you want?

Well, according to one reviewer, quite a bit.

A lot of negative reviews can be dismissed. There’s no accounting for taste after all. But sometimes the review is spot on with the critique. And this time, I took a bullet between the eyes. The reviewer’s remarks were pointed and correct, and I wanted to crawl under my desk and vomit. Then wallow in it.

What they said wasn’t bad. It wasn’t hurtful. But it did hurt. Because if I had been a better storyteller, a better writer…those things couldn’t have been said.

Some of you helped me with the story, and I appreciate it. But I guess there’s something to be said about having more eyes on the pages. Critique partners might have been helpful, or maybe giving more time before publication for a few trusted sources to continue sounding off and letting me know what was wrong with the story.

Unfortunately, the reader did it for me.

Next time, I’ll do a bit better.

I hope.

How about you, fellow writers? How do you respond to feedback which isn’t stellar?

-JDT-

The Cover is Finished!

Well, I’m pleased to announce the cover to my newly finished novel is now ready! It turned out really nice, if I do say so myself. I think it will be easy to read, and it holds up even when reduced to a tiny thumbnail, so the web site shouldn’t cause any problems.

Now, all I need are a few hundred thousand downloads.

Honest and truly, I have no idea how to promote this thing. I think this time I’m going to have to go to the Kindle forums and introduce myself, then try and see what happens. I’m also not going to dawdle in getting started on the next on either. I have to have work out there to be found if I want to…well, be found.

So, stay tuned! The night before I hit the publish button, I’ll unveil the new cover here (and then you’ll know what it’s called, because believe it or not, the book’s not titled “WIP”) and on my fiction blog.

How was your weekend? Did you enjoy it, have a good time? It’s way too hot here, but I still had a GREAT day. My kids are so awesome it makes me all weepy.

-JDT-

Finally Finished It!

Well, I’ve finally done it – I finished my WIP!

On Sunday I put off my procrastination (ha!) and got to work on that last, pesky chapter of edits to complete my novel. It’s the first full-length novel I’ll self-epub, and it’s ready to go at long last!

All I have to do now is create a cover for it and then begin the long process of getting it uploaded to the KDP and into the Kindle Select program. It will be exclusively for Kindle for a time, but eventually I’ll make it available for Nook and other formats as well. (The Kindle Select program is a ninety day commitment to exclusivity.) Of course, I really can’t say I’ve gotten much but sample downloading from other venues, but maybe that’s my fault. Somehow. I dunno.

Anyway, it’s done! Complete! And I’m so relieved.

Now, onto the next one…

What’d you do this weekend? Have fun?

-JDT-

Time to End It

Well, I’ll be putting “The End” on my WIP finally this weekend.

No more excuses, I’ve lazed about for a full week knowing I had one final chapter to edit. And then, it’s on to make the cover. I have to actually brush up on my Photoshop stuff and see about making that part shine. I’ll be sending an ARC out to anyone who wants one and is willing to leave a review on Amazon for it.

Of course, I don’t really need to send out ARCs. The book is going to be free for the first 90 days of its life while I enter it in the Kindle Select program. Still, it would be nice to have some positive (at least, I hope they’d be positive) reviews on the book when it debuts.

I never really know how much time or effort to put into getting something ready for publication. I’ve seen mistakes in almost every ebook I’ve ever read. I’ve seen mistakes in almost every print book I’ve ever read too, whether legacy or self-published. So, there are going to be things I miss, I’m sure. How perfect do I need this to be? Hm.

Well, I guess time will show. I have a few more things to do first anyway, so there’s really nothing to do but finish the unfinished tasks, which I intend to complete this weekend.

It’ll be too hot here to do anything else.

How ’bout you? Plans for the weekend?

-JDT-

…and then I just stopped…

I don’t know why, but I haven’t felt like doing much of anything at night when I get home except vegging in front of the TV. So, that’s what I’ve done.

I’m so close to finished on my novel – only 2604 words left to edit! – and yet, I can’t make myself get it done. For one thing, I didn’t sleep well on Sunday night. I ended up getting up at five Monday instead of my usual time. I got to bed earlier on Monday night to combat the fatigue, but then I woke up with a strange, almost unidentifiable ache near my shoulder blade. WTF? So I got up about ten minutes before the alarm then.

I couldn’t really concentrate, either. After the morning rush was over I sort of slumped and cruised through my day. I hope I don’t have another weird bout, but I’m due for some ibuprofen to relax that back spasm and see if it will help me sleep through the night. Without pain.

I’m relatively stress-free right now. At least, I think so. So I can’t figure what’s up with the poor sleep (and weird dreams!), and the back issue is just…weird.

I’m hoping tomorrow I can finish that novel, or at least do some of it. I mean, how much self-sabotage do I need to inflict on myself here?

Anyway, I’ll let you all know how things go next time I talk atcha.

-JDT-