Sunday, May 6, 2012


Many writers know the joy of acceptance, that feeling of exhilaration when you open the letter (or these days, the email) offering a contract. And, it is probably safe to say there are few writer’s not familiar with the feeling of rejection that accompanies a publisher's letter that begins, "Thank you for your consideration of <insert publisher here>. However, at this time we do not feel <Insert your title here> is a not a good fit." You know the rest. But there is 'The Other Rejection.' And its feeling is even worse than the first. The cause? When a reader posts negative comments on a sales or reader site.

Whether you are a new author in the glow of their first release, or are multi-published with a dozen books in your portfolio, even if it is not a professional review, it is easy to take negative remarks personally. Your fingers itch to leap onto the keyboard. You give in, and your reply to the one who dared insult your work flies into cyberspace, possible laced with words like idiot, brainless, illiterate.

Stop       Step back from the keyboard. Do Not Hit Return.

The names may vary, "flamers" or "trolls" are common, but the attitude is the same. These are people raring for a fight and will make any type of negative statement to start one. On a blog or forum, they might hijack a discussion or make negative and challenging statements to a number of different people. It's best just to understand that this is probably a person with a whole lot of time on his hands and who enjoys watching the fray he creates, especially other people's anger.

 Whether it is a teenager searching for attention or a shock jock agitating for fun, either way, responding to their 'boring' with 'book is intriguing, exciting" just encourages them to talk back. And before you know it, a war of words you can't win has started.

The recommendation to resist the impulse to counter the troll's cruel words is not given flippantly, and putting it into practice can be challenging. There is an old saying, "One 'oh shXX' wipes out all the atta boys." Instead of the "Keeps me awake, couldn’t get to sleep until I finished the book" that you've heard since the book's release, the commenter's "boring" echoes and echoes and echos.

Deep breaths. You didn't send that first email, the war hasn’t started. And if it does, well, your retaliation, or more accurately called a calculated response, can be always be done later. Instead of firing the first shot with a fiery, explosive email, create a list of actions that you can take. There are ways to defend yourself without firing a shot.

On a personal note, regarding rejoicing. Although the old year may end in flames, a new one can start with unexpected accolades. Nothing improves an author's attitude than when a reader takes the time to leave a comment stating how much they enjoyed the book, thanking the person who directed them to it, and ending with a statement of intent to buy the sequel. That recently happened tome with my debut fantasy, Windmaster.

I hope my sharing helps when you log into your Amazon author page, or Goodreads, or wherever, and see a reader has posted a comment that hurts. Tell yourself it is only one person’s opinion. Reinforce positively with you have studied your craft, worked hard, and done the best you could.

Trolls don't always win in fairy tales or in real life .

About Helen. A published author, feature-story writer and correspondent, Henderson has also written fiction as long as she could remember. Her heritage reflects the contrasts of her Gemini sign. She is a descendent of a Pennsylvania German/Scot and a Czech--a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer. This dichotomy shows in her writing which crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the realm of fantasy, she is the author of the Windmaster series.

Join her on journeys through the stars, back to the past, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination. The trip begins at or . First stop Dragon Destiny coming May 2012 and Windmaster Legacy, coming June 2012.

Helen Henderson
Stories that take you to the stars, the Old West, or worlds of imagination

Dragon Destiny
- For hundreds of years, dragshi lord Branin and his dragon soul twin Llewlyn searched for their intended mates. Broch vowed to marry the dragon lord, with or without his willing cooperation. Everything changed the day a wistful thought touched Branin’s. Coming May 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment