A couple of weeks ago I started giving away Tropical Spice, the first in my Second Chances Series on Smashwords (see links below post). It’s a fun story that has sold less than 100 copies since its release. I needed a little bit of exposure, so I thought, why not. Within a week, iTunes had picked it up for free and not much later Amazon was price matching. What happened afterward was very interesting. Suddenly I was getting ratings on iTunes of 4 stars or better. In the last two weeks, the ratings have gone between 4.5 and 4 stars, ending at the time this is written with 116 ratings at 4 stars. But even more interesting are the written reviews on iTunes. I’ve only received two so far and neither is flattering. I’m trying to thicken my skin against such negative feedback, but it’s still hard to accept. My ratings with Goodreads were similar to iTunes. With 17 ratings I have close to a 4 star average. And out of three written reviews, two loved it and one hated it, which leads me to believe the majority of readers enjoyed it. Only a few hated it, but those few wrote in to tell me why.
“While the book was well worded, the characters were just awful,” one said. And another said, “Pepper had absolutely no will power and Nico was so domineering.”
Okay. I can see how someone might view the characters that way. After all, both had issues and part of their emotional conflict and growth throughout the story were to overcome those issues. Also, I think the story is a bit different than most contemporary romances, in that I originally wrote it for Harlequin’s Desire line. If you know anything about the line, those stories are more of a fantasy—you know—rich powerful alpha males and the women who love them, which is how I describe the book. Harlequin passed, though “there was much to love.” According to the rejecting editor, my voice was too chatty for their line. Rather than toss what I believe is a really good story, I decided to self-publish, which led to the give-away promotion.
I read an interesting article recently about how bad reviews can skew people’s opinion to the negative, even when they liked something. However, positive reviews can’t convince those who didn’t like it to change their minds. This idea is alarming because so many of those who hate something are quick to bash it, while those who love something aren’t as vocal and even if they were, it still might not have as much impact on perception as the negative. I’ve always tried to be mindful of the damage words can do. I remember one thing my mother told me early on. If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything. Her advice is certainly worth considering in today’s crazy media.
Unfortunately, no author can please everyone. The best advice I ever received about writing came from a romance author, Elizabeth Beverly, who spoke at my local RWA chapter. She told us to get arrogant about our work and that we’re not writing for the readers who hate the way we do it, but for those who love what we do. Her advice has become my new mantra.
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win an e-copy of Winter Interlude the first book I published and the first book in the California Series.
Do you remember your mother telling you when you were little that you’d never meet Mr. Right if you were spending all your time and energy with Mr. Wrong? And what about the book out a few years ago that created such a hoopla with the single crowd—He’s Just Not That Into You?
The two main characters in Winter Interlude either didn’t heed their mother’s advice or haven’t read the book. Now, add into the plot that the two in question are enemies who regularly run into each other, given their current relationships. Paul Morrison, a hunky, blond, financial planner, has been putting time and energy into winning the heart of Kate Winter’s best friend for almost as long as Kate, a strong willed antiques dealer, has been dating James Morrison, Paul’s brother.
The sparks start to fly when the two get stuck together for a three-hour drive to the mountains and years of misconceptions about each other are slowly being wiped out. It is in the confines of the BMW that the two begin their journey, taking them from being mortal enemies to lovers.
Winter Interlude tells the story of their adventure—of how they finally find love. Kate and Paul’s story is the first one in a series of four friends caught in a time warp. They can’t move on because they are stuck on their idea of their perfect dreams. But sometimes life works in mysterious ways and they are all forced by circumstances to change.
Winter Interlude – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008OYT28A.
Links to Tropical Spice – available for a limited time for free. Keep in mind if you do decide to download it for free, it may not be your cup of tea. If so, please don’t drink it—or in this case, read it. And if you like it, a few kind words go a long way.
Smashwords – http://bit.ly/XDgqKR
Amazon US – http://bit.ly/RMgda3
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/Vvuith
iTunes – http://bit.ly/Yi6WUC
Kobo – http://bit.ly/RMgda3