Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water - being reviewed!

Just when you thought, as a writer, that you'd got the hang of dealing with rejection and found a way to cope with the nerve-wracking nature of public appearances you discover you must now also deal with your books being reviewed. Maybe this is why I was feeling calmer about rejection - it was time to move on to managing the scariness of reviews. Being reviewed - this is a phrase that strikes both fear and excitement in every writer. What's worse than a bad review? - No review at all. You've sweated ferociously over your manuscript, made it the best you can, sent it out and then heard that magic word - yes! But you discover that this is not the end of the process, it is only the beginning. Now comes the editing, the proofreading, the book design - do you love it or loathe it (I count myself very lucky on this score so far). And then the book launches and the worry starts all over again. Will people like it, will they get what you were trying to say, will they love the characters as much as you did and ultimately - will they buy it? And then, just when you thought it was all a bit overwhelming the reviews start coming in. You cannot make people review your books. You cannot make a reviewer like your book. You just have to sit and wait and see what they say and hope that the suggestion that even bad reviews sell books as people see for themselves if you got it so horribly wrong, is true. I have put extra chocolate and wine aside to help me through. So far, I am happy to report, I am getting reviewed and the reviews are complimentary. I have already posted the link for the Radio NZ review of The Were-Nana but this book has also been reviewed in Magpies Magazine, Reading Time (The Children's Book Council of Australia Magazine) gave it a starred review which is extra good, and it was also well reviewed in the November 2008 issue of Around the Bookshops with a 'good read aloud' tag. Jack the Viking was also reviewed and recommended in the same issue of Around the Bookshops, and is reviewed in Talespinner, a Christchurch College of Education publication and in the NZSA's NZ Writer's November e-zine. When I can link to reviews I will post these on the blog.

And hey Fifi, it was excellent to see you up in Auckland on the weekend. Please come and live here permanently. And your 'Velvet Honey's' are just stunning and i am saving up for one.


Anonymous said...

after the hideous stormy morning here and remembering sitting in the sun at the Viaduct, I considered the possibility- until I watched the weather report this morning that painted a bleak day ending in sunshine for Auckland too! Excellent stuff re the reviews and I am buying a copy for my viking nephew Agnar tomorrow! (may have to read it first and iron the pages flat after)
xx Fifi

Melinda Szymanik said...

Book ironing? this sounds like an another excellent diversion from writing!!

ps hope Adrian posted a good time for his swim