Updated: Jan 18
noun a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge "Every reader is entitled to their opinion of your book--whether they've read it or not."
You thought about it. You slaved over it. You finished it. And, by cracky, you published it. Then you wonder, "What have I done?"
It took me 25 years from when I first conceived my debut novel Flygirl to see it published. The book was inspired by actual unpleasant events I experienced during my professional flying career. In that sense, it was very personal to me.
But it was never my "baby." I didn't feel the kind of attachment to it that one might to a child or a favored relative or pet. I remember thinking, "Here we go. Bring on the haters!"
Fortunately, they must have been walking or had car trouble, since it took them almost two years to arrive. I recently did a world-wide promotion to celebrate Flygirl's second anniversary. It began on a Wednesday.
By early Thursday morning, I had received a terse one-star review from a reader in the UK which read, in part, "I don't think there is anything to recommend about this book." Ah. Sorry you wasted your 99 pence.
I suspect this reader never finished the book, and maybe didn't read past the first few pages before deciding it wasn't for them. And that's just fine.
I wrote Flygirl because I wanted to tell the story. I published it because I wanted to share the story with others. There was never a moment when I assumed everyone would love it.
That's my message to all of you would-be published novelists out there. Yes, you are making art. Surely you've seen a painting or photograph you didn't care for, or picked up a book you couldn't finish. We are all entitled to not like something. Some readers won't enjoy your book. It's not the end of the world.
I feel compelled to add that this review was one of 110, so it didn't effect my 4.4 star rating. I guess there's that.