What If You Get a Great Review?

So you’ve written a book. You’ve published it (whether traditionally, publish on demand, joint venture, or self published). You finally have this thing that you’ve been working so long and so hard on in print. If you didn’t before, you’ve probably realized by now that the true work begins after your work comes out in print. You’ve probably also figured out or have been told that one of the most important ways to establish your credibility as well as the credibility of your book is to get it reviewed. This includes reviews in publications (both on and offline, local and beyond) as well as on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Reviews? Oh no! You mean that I have to put my work out there for people to actually rate? The short answer is: yes. Despite having gone through all of the trouble to get a book completed and published, I have spoken to many authors, especially new ones, that are afraid of a bad review. Every time they send a query to a reviewer or send a copy after being answered, there is a certain level of fear that seems to be building about what that reader is going to think or write about this project that comprised blood, sweat, and tears.

I have noticed many articles and blogs on handling a bad review, but I think the biggest problem is the emotional worrying. Authors are asking themselves the wrong question. It’s time to change that line of thinking. If you want to inspire confidence from others for you and your work, you need to have the confidence first. So ask yourself, “What if I get a great review?”

Okay, stop laughing, I’m serious. Before you put that book in the mail to send to a reviewer, ask yourself that question instead of its opposite. Think about how you’ll feel when that person puts in writing how great your book is and how much they love it. Imagine them reading it, being called down for dinner by their spouse, but they are simply unable to put the book down as it has totally drawn them in. Picture them showing your book to friends or other reviewers that they know and telling them that you are an up and coming bestseller.

Why do this? Simply put, there’s nothing you can do once you’ve sent the book to a reviewer. Worrying about what they are going to write is just going to cause you stress and drop your own self-confidence. By changing the direction of your thinking, you have a much greater ability to “mail and forget”. If you are allowing yourself to believe that you have a great product, you will naturally radiate that confidence in person as well as in your inquiries. If someone’s first impression of you is a good one, they’re far more likely to give your work a chance than if they see doubt in you.

Above all else, keep in mind this saying:

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

Mike Saxton