Lillian's Blog

November 9, 2011

Are You Ready For A Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 11:24 pm

As a first time published novelist, the stakes are higher. Everything in the publishing process of my novel is new to me. Of course, I am a little relieved to know that I have a publisher who helps on their end. Yet, when the novel is out to the public especially to reviewers, I get a bit nervous. Do you? Many readers will be reading reviews and making their judgments before buying the book. Again, this just tells you, the stakes are higher as a first time published novelist.

Some authors take reviews very seriously. Others do not take it too much to heart. Many authors, such as myself, do both.

Each reviewer is entitled to their own opinion. Many of them are professionals at it. I guess, when reading reviews, you almost have to judge which review is worth reading. You can sometimes almost tell when they are straight on in what they write.

Am I ready for a review? In my opinion, like all published novelists, generally we have no choice. The only physical choice we have is either opening our eyes or keeping them closed. Which is the better choice, yes, opening our eyes. We want to see the reviews, yet we don’t want to either. It’s like going into a fitting room to try on an outfit you think is great and then waiting for an answer from your most trusted and honest people around you. You painstakingly want to hear the truth even if you love the outfit. I view book reviewers the same way.

Sometimes authors say to themselves that some reviewers should not write reviews. Yet, if many have similar opinions, then they are right in their reviews. Whether I agree or disagree with it, it says something. It lets me know and be prepared for my next novel.

Am I ready for a review? I am now.




  1. Hi Lillian. I can certainly apprieciate your apprehension and dread. Before your second book comes out, you might enjoy reading a very good book called The Gift Of Asher Lev, by the late Chaim Potok. The story is about a world-reknown artist. An Hasidic Ladover Jew, nonetheless, who paints. So his critics are many and sometimes hostile. The story speaks to my own anxieties over putting my work out there for anyone and everyone to critique and criticize and perhaps, praise.

    Some years back my old church published 500 copies of a 42-day devotional I’d written for our 50-some small groups. A lot of people reading this first real work of mine—a deeply personal work that revealed my doctrinal stands. (Believe it or not, not everyone in the same evangelical church holds the same doctrinal beliefs.) So I knew I’d rub some people the wrong way. Of course, my writing was also up for comment and critique.

    But backing up a bit…on that late afternoon, the second I’d dropped my manuscript into the slot of the then-closed printers office, my stomach balled up into roving, churning knots. I broke out into an immediate sweat. All that night I laid awake on my bed, dreading the opinions and facial expressions of those whom I knew would be reading it. Then, in the wee hours of the night, I knew it all came down to just one thing: did I trust the gift of writing that I believed to be from God? Yes. Then who was I really writing for? For me? Definitely. For others? Partly. For God? Of course. Then would He ever be disappointed with something I worked on with nothing short of driven excellence? Never. Then God is the only One with whom I would have to give an account. So, with that initial fear dealt with, these days when I put new work out there, it’s not so intense. I just go back to that first inner dialogue I had going on that night.

    Hope your next experience finds you less concerned over the opinions of other people who, as my dad used to say, “slip their trousers on one leg at a time too.” Do you like what you’ve written? If you are pleased, no one can steal that joy.

    Comment by Jennifer R. Hamilton — November 11, 2011 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

  2. Lillian, I can empathize with you as my brother and I have our first book at the printers as I type. Although about 2000 copies have been pre-ordered before the printing, I liken putting our first book out there like walking into a hockey dressing to get dressed. Once a person drops their pants or sends a book to a printer, it’s all out there. No pulling back. We’ll see how the reactions go but in the end, I totally agree with Jennifer. We worked hard on the manuscript and we hired professionals to guide us two rookies along the process to make our first attempt the best it might be. ….. all the best with your future works….Hal Couillard, Calgary, Canada.

    Comment by Hal Couillard — November 13, 2011 @ 7:06 pm | Reply

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