What is one of the hardest parts of being an author? Putting your book out there and waiting for the reviews to start coming in. It can be a risk, but sometimes those risks pay off.
I published my first book in 2010, and I now have 9 books published with 4 more to be released this spring. Waiting for reviews should be easier by now, right? I have definitely developed a thicker skin over the last four years, but it's still nerve wracking to wait for something you created to be judged.
When my publisher, Clean Teen Publishing, said they were sending Wicked Hunger off to Kirkus Reviews in the hopes that they would review it, I have to admit I was excited, but pretty dang nervous too.
My hopes that Kirkus would review Wicked Hunger were pretty slim. They get a crazy amount of books sent to them every month and there's no guarantee yours will ever be picked up. Wicked Hunger was sent off a month ago, and after that brief moment of anxiety, I kind of forgot about it since I didn't have high hopes it would get reviewed.
Last week when I saw an email pop up with "Kirkus Review Clippings" in the subject, I couldn't open it. I was insanely nervous. This was different than popping onto my book page on Amazon or Goodreads and checking to see if there were any new reviews. This was a major reviewing platform.
I was probably even more nervous because just the week before I had gotten a pretty negative review on Wicked Hunger from someone who had won an advanced copy of the book. I still appreciated the fact that the reader took the time to read the book and leave a review even though it wasn't for her, but that review was what was stuck in my mind when I saw the email CTP had forwarded me. Needless to say, it took me a few minutes to open the email.
When I started reading, I was bracing myself for a critical review. Kirkus is notoriously tough on books, as they should be. I don't think I breathed as I was reading. Luckily it was only a few paragraphs. When I finished reading the review, I just sat there for a few minutes processing it.
They liked it. They actually liked it!!
There were a few criticisms, which I was totally okay with, but overall the review was positive! Talk about affirmation that you know what you're doing as a writer, at least for one book! I was so excited that I had to jump on Facebook and tell everyone. The review hadn't posted yet, so I couldn't share it, but just being able to share that it was a positive review was enough.
That moment of panic when I saw the review clipping had vanished. Critical reviews have gotten easy to take over the years, and I've come to appreciate the fact that my books aren't for everyone and that's okay. I've always been proud of my books, and I have faith in my work. Moments like this, though, I have to admit I'm definitely going to sit here and bask for just a minute.
Okay, minute over. Revisions on Wicked Power, the second book in this series, are calling my name. Back to work!!
Want to check out the Kirkus Review for Wicked Hunger yourself?
It's now live, so here it is!!
(Feel free to share it with everyone you know!)