Thursday, August 22, 2013

Survival of the Fearful

I am no stranger to rejection. (I'm talking writing here, not personal. That's a conversation for another day.) Some of my work received negative reviews, although - thankfully! - not often. But I'm about to do something I've never done before. I'm standing on the bank of a murky swamp that may or may not be full of lurking alligators. I don't know. I can't see. It scares me. Kind of like...publishing my very first ever collection of stories. An ebook collection. On my own. (Okay, my husband and the tortoises are helping, but you know what I mean.) Gulp. 

The ebook cover is cooking. I've chosen most of the stories. I'm working on some new ones, too, so there'll be a few surprises as well. The rest of the pieces are slowly falling into place. Hopefully, in the next month or two, my flash fiction collection will set sail across that swamp. Little. Alone. Nervous. 

How do I keep it afloat in churning waters? How do I keep it from being snapped at, devoured by, swallowed up and disappeared by bigger creatures? How do I keep it safe?

Or can I? Do I just have to let it go, knowing I did the best I could? That I armed it, empowered it, with whatever I had to give? If I shade my eyes and peer across the water, will I see it land safely? Survive? Thrive? 

Some of you have already done this or something similar with your work, and I applaud your bravery! If you have any to spare, could you send some my way? I'm open to advice, too. And alligator repellent.

What do you look for in an ebook? If you weren't looking for a collection of flash fiction at that moment, what would make you stop and notice one? The cover? The book description? The price? Pure whimsy? 

20 comments:

  1. Reviews are so subjective by nature. I remember reading about Seinfeld how how his show's idea was PANNED by all the studios that he shopped it to. It only takes one to believe in your work and that can change everything :)

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    1. I didn't know that about Seinfeld! Who knew "a show about nothing" would become so huge, right? :)

      And I love this - "It only takes one to believe in your work and that can change everything."

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  2. It is scary, I can only agree. But most worthwhile things are scary. Go for it! As to what I look for, personally I do like an intrguing title if that's any help...

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    1. I'm glad it's okay to be scared. :) And thank you for the reminder about how most worthwhile things are exactly that = scary.

      I'm pretty sure the collection's title will be one of the story's titles, one that I think encompasses the greater theme. But we'll see!

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  3. Awesome! Good luck with your collection. I bet it will be phenomenal.

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  4. Congratulations!
    Never stress about the negative reviews. They will happen. Just understand all that meant is that person wasn't your target reader.
    I admit cover art is what draws me in first.
    Do the best you can and do everything in your power to send it out properly. Some things are just out of our control.

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    1. Thanks, Alex - I appreciate your comments, especially about how some things are just out of our control.

      I'm excited to see what the artist is going to come up with for the cover! :)

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  5. Go for it! Sounds very exciting. And I usually find books by indie authors from recommendations or hearing about them on people's blogs.

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    1. Thank you! Good point about recommendations and learning about titles on blogs.

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  6. Congratulations on your e-book! How exciting for you!

    I agree with those who've written not to stress over negative reviews. A review is just one person's opinion--and you know what they say about opinions.

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    1. I do know what they say about opinions - hee hee! :)

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  7. Oh my gosh this is so exciting!!! I can't wait to get the book for myself. And I guess before I get too far ahead I should also say I can't wait to see the cover. :)

    I agree with others about the negative reviews, I am definitely no expert in dealing with them but I do think you just have to let it go. And I would be willing to be that your collection won't get any anyway. ;)

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    1. Julie, thank you so much! Your comment made my morning. :)

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  8. Congratulations!!! I've not attempted that murky swamp yet but I've read your writing and I love it. I can't wait to buy it.




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    1. Thank you, Jai! I am extremely lucky in that I've gotten to see so many writer friends take the plunge first - so inspiring! And I've got my wonderful husband helping with a chunk of the technical stuff and all around support. :)

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  9. Cool. Can't wait to read it.

    I've never self-published anything, but everyone says, don't read the negative reviews. I think I'd find it hard to stay away from though, I'd be too curious, even knowing it'd make me feel bad. But I also realize that the most popular of books have negative reviews too.

    If I'm browsing through Amazon, the cover is probably the first thing that grabs me, but the title would be too. That's what's going to bring me to read the description.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to stay away from the reviews, but I'll see.

      I definitely agree about the title. I hope mine will pull you in enough to read the book description! :)

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  10. Covers are really helpful, but they don't sell me the book. The little blurb about the stories is the seller for me . . . but sometimes having a good cover helps get me to read the back of the book. I think that "good" covers are fairly straightforward, not too complex, and easy to see from the tiny pic on the screen (if at amazon). That's advice I've been given, so I'm just passing it along . . . even though I don't always follow it. :)

    And I'm sending you super courageous thoughts!!! You can do this!!!

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    1. I receive your super courageous thoughts with much appreciation! :)

      Sometimes I wonder if it's not the chicken-or-egg thing - does the cover make me read the description or does the description make me study the cover? :)

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