Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Writing 101: The Worst Case Scenario

When I'm afraid of trying something new, I play a little game with myself. I imagine the worst possible outcome and I create an entire plan for how I would deal with it. I figure that if I have a plan for the worst thing, I can handle anything

It doesn't always work. Recently, I was blind sighted by a worst-case scenario I never saw coming. There is something worse than a one-star review from a reader...and it happened to me. 

The Worst of the Worst

Say what you will about Amazon, but at least it makes you write something if you're going to rate a book. Such is not the case with Goodreads, which allows readers to rate books all day without so much as a by-your-leave.

This, my fellow authors, is the worst-case scenario. You know the reader didn't like the book, and that's it. You don't know what they didn't like, or why, or even if they read the whole thing.

Doesn't give you much room to improve, does it? 

This is why it's the worst of the worst, because there's nowhere else to go. You can't learn from it or build upon it. You can't even figure it out unless you contact the reader and ask, an action I do not recommend.

It's truly the worst, but it's not the end of the world. You simply have to ignore it. I know that's hard (I know because I spend so much time staring at my own ratings), but that's all there is. It's a worst-case scenario, but it really isn't so bad.

And now that you can imagine the worst and you have a plan to deal with it, you can handle all the rest. Maybe it's not so hard to be a self-published author after all.

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  1. I sometimes look at the other ratings those people have given - in a lot of cases they seem to have given single stars to everything, almost randomly. You really can't take those personally - although, you shouldn't take any review personally, because that's how obsession develops!

  2. Great advice, Annalisa! Thanks for contributing.