- Say one of my readers' most frequently asked questions is if I’m going to write about X and Y. I answer this on my website’s home page and FAQ section, my Facebook’s About and FAQ page, and I have it on my newsletter’s header and footer. Now, a reader emails me. Am I going to write about X and Y?
I answer: Yes, I am. Hope you can wait for it. :)
I don’t berate the reader for asking the question because honestly, why should I? In the end, readers are why I’m able to do what I love. Readers who cared enough to ask about X and Y are readers I want to stay with me forever. So, yes, if I have to type the same answer over and over, it’s cool. You won’t ever hear me complain about it.
- Say one of my readers write to me asking if I could please change the ending of Book X because it hurt too much. Say one of my readers ask if I can just write about X instead since I write too much about Y, which bores her to death.
Well, one thing I won’t EVER say is that since it’s my book, my rules. I won’t ever say MYOB. Because readers writing something like that means I did my job. I made them care. I made them feel. Granted, it’s not exactly what I wanted them to feel, but I’d rather have readers hating my work than having them damn it with faint praise.
- Say a reader writes to me, saying she’s absolutely disappointed with my latest work. It was shitty. It was boring. It was anti-feminist. It was gross. It was THE worst book on the planet, and I should be ashamed that I ever wrote it. She loved all my books except this last one.
If I feel that silence is the best answer, then I opt for silence. I can't blame a reader for feeling the way she does. It's her right. If I've known the reader for some time, then I apologize that the last one's disappointed her or made her feel whatever, but I also tell her I hope that she'd still read my next one and maybe I could win her back then. I say these things because I do mean them.
Every reader you have as an author is precious, and I never let myself forget this. I never let myself forget the time I had still been unpublished and I'd have killed to even have just ONE reader (who isn't related to me) reading my work and liking it.
As an author, one of my personal philosophies is to live and let live, write and let review. I can't control what other people say about me or my work, but I can control what I say and do.
Before I react, I try to think about where the reader's coming from. I think about where I came from when writing what I wrote. Lastly, I remind myself that at the end of the day, no matter what people say about me or the books I write, I'm still lucky to do something I love.
When I remind myself of this, when I let myself recall how much my life has changed because of how my books have found homes in other people's shelves, Kindles, and smartphones - all the negativity just disappears.
I remember that life's good. Today may be shitty, but tomorrow's another day, and there's always a new book I can write that could make readers happy. :)