Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Typical...ouch!

Rejection...by Jamie Hill

According to Wikipedia (so it must be true) : The word "rejection" was first used in 1415. The original meaning was "to throw" or "to throw back". Makes sense to me.

Every author has a tale about that first rejection. I've told my story numerous times...an outrageous, 120K manuscript and 27 rejection letters...I barely knew what I was doing back then. That book didn't get published until I knocked it down to a tight 60K.

Instead of rehashing that tale, today I'm going to talk about reviews. Obviously the word rejection shouldn't go hand in hand with the word 'reviews', but occasionally, ouch. In my defense, I've received many more good and decent reviews than negative ones. But those first few bad and so-so comments stuck with me.

There was the man (I'm picturing a middle-aged, paunchy man) who didn't care for my first romantic suspense novel and said it read like a romance novel intended for women. Huh? Excuse me? He was obviously not my target audience.


Some reviewers haven't liked my sex scenes, thought the supposedly sexy dialogue was cheesy, and didn't think I'd rounded out my characters enough. These are all points other people/reviewers have loved about my writing, which goes to show taste is subjective. An early reviewer rated my story in an anthology very low, suggesting it smacked of incest because my ghost was acting promiscuous in front of her ghost father.

Oops. My ghost bad. Okay, that one's not available anymore.

A while back I opened my email to another review. I'll share the last line with you.

It is short, which made it easier to get through and fans of the author’s writing may enjoy this story, as it’s typical of the writing and plot of her offerings.

Typical. Ouch.

One of my critics said, "That's just not the type of book I like to read." (I hate to break it to you, Mom, but that's the kind of book I like to write.)

Fortunately, there are people (and reviewers) who like my work and seem to get what I'm trying to do.

Some of my favorites include:

The talented Jamie Hill creates a story of romance and suspense that is both sensual and realistic. 


A short story that will have readers seeing the light that is Jamie Hill.
 

Jamie Hill is at the top of her game with her new release and I look forward to reading more from her in the future!

 

Bottom line for me...rejection sucks. It stings, but I try not to sweat the small stuff and take joy where I can find it. The 'light that is Jamie Hill' line brings a smile to my face every time.


Find all my titles here: http://www.jamiehill.biz/ and if you've enjoyed something I've written, please leave a review on Amazon. 

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0044DJ9TM

Go ahead, make my day.


~ Jamie






19 comments:

  1. With book descriptions and the opportunity to read a sample of a book, I always wonder why anyone ever reads a book that isn't there "type" and then knocks it for not being their type!

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    1. Great point, Ann. When tags indicate romance, the blurb tells a tale of love, why does someone pick apart a book when their ignorance keeps a person from seeing the obvious? The same for griping that the book is too short, long, etc, when that information is clearly displayed in the description. Oy Vey!

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    2. Yes, that review by a man really made me laugh. Who did he think I was, John Grisham??? Thanks for stopping by Ann. Jamie

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  2. How true...the light that is Jamie Hill. I love when people GET my stories. I recently received one for Destiny's Bride that indicated the reader couldn't believe a woman would go off with an Indian without thoroughly searching for her missing husband. Let's see...I mentioned many times that she wished she had paid attention to the way they traveled....his ranch was miles from where they came and an area unfamiliar to her. Winter was fast approaching and she had no food or supplies to sustain her, and she'd just spent weeks nursing an injured Indian back to health and he refused to leave her to certain death. Plus she suspected she was pregnant so she wasn't only thinking of herself.. I guess no matter how hard you try to explain things, there are always people who can't see the forest for the trees. Still, I see no reason to leave snarky remarks and devalue someone's work because of my own opinion...too bad everyone doesn't share that outlook. Yep...those "typical" reviews get to me sometimes, no matter how I try not to let them.

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    1. Hey Ginger, I've gotten many comments on the characters in my 'A Cop in the Family' books smoking. Holy cow, they're fictional characters! Some people take things way too seriously. It's not like I was writing for children who might try to emulate them. Sheesh. LOL Thanks for checking out the blog. Jamie

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  3. I think we can all relate. It amazes me that readers who don't like romance books read them and then leave bad reviews. The good reviews definitely make up for those.

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    1. Hi Roseanne, thanks for stopping by. I agree, romance readers should really know what they're getting by reading the blurb and other reviews. And while we try to ignore them, reviews do affect us, both good and bad. :) Jamie

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  4. Yes, your blog post strikes a chord. I learned to live with editorial rejection a long time ago (okay, I'm dating myself!) but some of the reviews are still a bit hard to handle. I'm learning though to let them run off my back however. The era of the Amazon consumer reviewer has sure changed the nature of today's reviews, hasn't it?

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    1. Hi Sydell, I agree. This blog post is a reboot from a few years ago, when the only reviews we got were from review sites. Now every reader has the platform to be a reviewer, which as we know has it's good and bad points! Thanks for stopping by. Jamie

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  5. Hi Jamie,
    Great post. I can relate to everything you have mentioned. My path has been very similar. I think to be an author these days when there are so many "experts" around, you need to have the hide of an elephant.

    Cheers

    Margaret

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    1. Hi Margaret, Yes, a thick skin does help. It's easier said than done to ignore reviews completely. But I try. LOL Thanks for commenting, Jamie

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  6. Yep. Thank heavens for the shining reviews. The few low scores I received were from readers who didn't check the genre before reading the book. Since I cross genres, some think my sci-fi is too romancy, while others think my romances are too sci-fi for them. Hello! It's sci-fi romance. Fortunately, my loyal readers think it's just the right balance. I don't have that problem with my medieval fantasy..

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    1. Hi Vijaya, thanks for visiting the blog. I'm sure you do get some readers who don't 'get' it when you cross genres as you do. But you're right, your medieval fantasy covers leave little room for questions! And the bottom line for me is the romance, which weaves through all your books so nicely.

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  7. Rejections and bad reviews are all part of climbing the author's ladder. Learning to deal with both does not take the sting away, but does help you become objective. If you are lucky enough to get a letter from an editor rather than a form rejection, take note of what is said. If they have taken the time to write to you then something in your work caught their attention. Bad reviews are like bad hair days. They happen. Drink wine, eat chocolate, slam a door or two or whatever is your go-to pick-me-up and keep writing. I don't mind betting there are more readers out there that really love what you write than not.

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    1. Hi Victoria, I'm much better able to handle both rejection and bad reviews these days than when I first got into the business. Just have to keep perspective about how unimportant it really is! But it is nice to have a few really great reviews tucked away to remind oneself that somebody, somewhere, really enjoyed something you wrote! LOL Thanks for visiting. Jamie

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  8. I've learned to ignore reviews both good and bad. They are the opinion of one person and I'm not sure what they have to do with sales. Rejections are interesting. When I began writing in the dark ages, editors seemed to be helpers. The first book I sold was revised 16 times on the advice from various editors who gave me a course in writing I really value. The book sold on the 17th submission to the first editor who had rejected it.

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  9. Reviews are part of the business, but I'm with Janet, and ignore them especially from Amazon and Goodreads. Those sites allow too many vicious trolls.

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  10. Yes, best not to read them. Every time I do and find a crummy, snarky one, I annihilate several packs of cookies in order to sugar it all better.

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  11. I try not to read them at all except when I want some good ones for a promotion, and then I'm very good at visiting the 5* and ignoring the 2*. Having said that, I did learn a couple of useful lessons early in my career by taking note of a reviewer's opinion but that was because it was thoughtful not insulting.

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