So, the first bad review of Wiped! Life With A Pint-Size Dictator has come in. It's shocking, I tell you. S-h-o-c-k-i-n-g! Of course, I'm joking.
(I promise this is not a sales pitch to buy the book, although you can pre-order it now at amazon.ca, or amazon.com....)
Anyhoo, getting reviewed is a, well, it's a tricky - make that make-me-want-to-put-my-head-over-the-toilet-and-puke - kind of thing.
It's also kind of a funny and very surreal experience (after that feeling of wanting to puke phase passes. Luckily it does after a good run on the treadmill. Then it does become funny.)
I called The Fiance at work. "Well, I probably got one of the worst reviews EVER," I told him, as I changed into my gym clothes. The Fiance asked what magazine the review was in. I told him. His response?
"Um, what magazine? Is it Canadian?" he asked. The Fiance, a very smart and well read man, had never even heard of the magazine. Which I thought was super cute.
"Are you surprised?" The fiance asked. "Please tell me you're not suprised that you got a bad review?"
"No, I'm not surprised," I said. "I just wasn't expecting it for another month."
And that's the truth. I expected bad reviews but since the book doesn't officially hit book stores until the end of March, I was kind of hoping I had another four weeks before I had to think about any of it.
I am friends with a handful of authors, all who of course, upon publishing a book, have dealt with the "bad reviews." In fact, even in a glowing review, if there is one line that criticizes something in their book, that's the part they fixate on. FOREVER.
Getting a book review is kind of, well, it's like life.
You could have abosolutely everything going for you - a roof over your head, a job, even a beautiful, healthy child - and you end up fixating on the things you think suck in your life - like you weren't invited to a party, you think your thighs are too fat, that that guy didn't call you when he said he would.
Canada is a very small country. Most writers know each other, or at the very least have shared a cocktail or two.
One author I know, who is very much into the literary scene and has been for years and years, always ends up getting reviewed by friends, which is what happens when you live in Canada.
Or you get reviewed by people who hate you, even though they don't really know you, which is just as unfair (I know, I know, LIFE is unfair.) But that really IS unfair. (I know, I know, Life is really unfair.)
Anyway, this author I know ends up getting mad at his friends (even in an overall glowing review) if they criticize one little part. Which I get. I mean, friends are the ones who are always supposed to support you, right? Then again, book reviews are supposed to be objective, right?
Anyway, this author decided to stop reading all his reviews. Or so he says. Maybe he really doesn't read his reviews.
Generally though, writers are a very insecure bunch and our egos bruise easily and we're sort of self-destructive and nothing is more self-destructive than reading reviews, especially if they're bad. Hey, it gives us something new to moan about to our friends for a couple days. And writers really like to moan, because it's a way to procrastinate.
It's very wise, I think, not to read reviews of your own book. But how do you not? You need will power, which is something that the empty box of Oreo cookies I ate last night at midnight will tell you I just do not have.
Anyway, do you mommy bloggers read book reviews?
I'll admit the only book review sections I really read are in the New York Times and also People magazine. I think that's how I found out about Heather O'Neills book, Lullibies for Little Criminals, which you should definitely pick up. It's a great read.
Here's what it comes down to.
You get a good review and you get good sales.
You get a good review and have bad sales.
You get a bad review and have bad sales.
You get a bad review and have good sales.
You may as well go to Vegas and put that $100 on red. Books that have gotten slammed do amazingly well. And books that get raves sell like shit.
I think to find a reviewer who would "get" and be open to someone like me would be very hard indeed. I mean, how many other writers in Canada write openly about getting knocked up in a drunken state? (Trust me, I know a lot of babies are made that way.)
I mean, middle-age men wouldn't exactly get where I'm coming from (My obsession, which all women go through while pregnant, about their growing ass, and then my obsession with getting back into my pre-baby clothes) neither would anyone who takes life too seriously (Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself...)
And, my god, if I have to read one...more...time...about how I think I'm the only woman to have given birth....(Don't all women who get pregnant for the first time kind of feel like they're the first ones to ever have gone through it? That's why, when you get pregnant for the second time, you're so much more relaxed.)
Wiped! Life with A Pint-Size Dictator is my experience going through the first two years of life with The Dictator. There are some serious issues, how people at work treat you differently, post-partum, how your relationship changes, along with some humourous moments (cheerios stuck on my ass, my hair falling out.)
Wiped! is not meant to win any nobel prizes or awards for writing. And I didn't write it with reviewers in mind that's for sure.
I wrote it for modern gals who are thinking about having a baby, who already have a baby or toddler, who can laugh along with me at the good times and bad times (of which there are many,) those who wonder what they're missing out on (or not missing out on) and who would enjoy a light read in the bath, on the beach, on the bus, in our constant sleep-deprived states.
It's meant to be light-hearted and fun and hopefully people will walk away thinking, "I so know what she means." Or, "I've so been there, done that." Or, "Oh, no! Is this what's really in store for me????" Or, "I told you honey, I'm not going crazy. It happened to her too!"
Life is too short to worry about reviews, good ones or bad ones. Luckily, I have a tredmill at home. And a never ending supply of Oreo cookies. After fifteen minutes of running, or Oreo-binging, I feel just fine.