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Thursday, June 26, 2014

What I do with a negative review

Yesterday I received my first public negative review, and I'm still in self-nurture mode today.

On the one hand, I realize that the fact that I'm consciously breaking conventions and defying traditions isn't going to sit well with everyone who's already a fan of vampire romance/erotica.

In the Lilly Frank trilogy, for example, I've created my own vampire mythology that has ties to but is distinct from any other vampire lore I've encountered. This was purposeful; the purpose of vampirism is different in this trilogy - it's about safety, not sexuality - so I needed a different mythology to serve that purpose.

Another way in which the series defies convention is that Lilly's sexuality turns from passive to active quite early in the series. This is contrary to the convention in hetero romances of passive female sexuality, where basically all the heroine does is give in to the hero's desire. The conventional heroine submits rather than initiates, and usually after much protesting. Lilly, on the other hand, is often the one to initiate with Torren. She acts on her desire rather than submitting to his.

So yes, there's that. On the other hand, I feel sad to have disappointed a reader who liked Awakening but not the second book. :(

And on the third hand (because we're using Martians here, and they have as many hand as I need them to have in order to make my points), it's a really good thing for me to get honest feedback about what someone doesn't like about one of my books. Especially about the pricing! I need to know these things in order to do this indie author thing better.

In response to the feedback, by the way, I'm changing the price of Awakening 2 to 99¢ and will offer Awakening 3 at that price as well.

On the fourth hand, I don't want the fact that one person admitted to not liking my book send me in a downward spiral of self-doubt that prevents me from finishing the other two books I have in the works this year. There are people who DO like my work and want to read more from me. Yay for that!

And on the sixth finger of the fourth hand, even though I may not yet be as skillful a writer as I want to be and intend to become, I still believe in the story I've told. This is the most important thing.

P.S. One of the blogger's critiques of Awakening 2 was that it's miscategorized as erotica because there's not actually any penetrative sex in it. Watch for a future post on the definition of erotica to see why I consider the label to be appropriate.

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