I’ve been very fortunate that most people ( or those at least who have contacted me and commented pubically ) have enjoyed reading my book, Can’t Swim Can’t Ride Can’t Run. It’s brilliant when someone says how much they enjoyed it or how much it has inspired them, that was something I never expected at all when I wrote it. I spent hours worrying that it was crap, Em and my friends like Andy H, Dave, Viking, Min and Loon who read completed chapters were probably sick of me worrying about it. So it was a huge relief when it was well recieved and reviews were favourable.
In terms of sales it has far surpassed my wildest dreams, and although I still don’t know an exact sales figure ( I will this month when I get my first royalties statement ) it’s not in the hundreds as I’d hoped for but the thousands. It’s been the No.1 triathlon book for most of 2011 and in the top 10 sports biographies in the UK charts. All things I’m really chuffed about.
Books are subjective, what one person loves another one will hate. Look at the Da Vinci Code, one of the top selling books of all time, it’s like marmite, people thinks it’s wonderful or it turns their stomachs. So it’s inevitable really that some people just won’t like what I’ve written.
At one stage it would have deeply bothered me that someone I’ve never actually met would not like my story. “Cliched” “Disapointing” and “predictable” probably aren’t the worst words that could have been used, and so far there is only one 2 star review, I’m not niave enough to think that others won’t be addded. As I said at one time it would have bothered me, now it doesn’t, life is way too short to worry about them. I guess the situation with my mam being ill over Christmas taught me not to sweat the little things.
And personally I never buy a book based on reviews left by others, I buy a book because it sounds interesting and I want to read it. I may read the reviews afterwards, just to see what others thought. I’m sure that there are many out there that actually do base their purchases solely on reviews, and hey if that works for them great.
I’ll always read the reviews that are posted on Amazon, I won’t reply to reviews on Amazon, kind of an unwritten author rule, so I’ve been told. I will however always reply to people that contact me directly by whatever medium. Being an author has given me many wonderful opportunities that I never thought I’d experience and one of them is meeting/talking to some truely inspiring people. It’s great.
So hey I’ve got some bad reviews, I’m not pissed off, I am honestly sorry that they didn’t enjoy my book and I do wish that whatever they read next they enjoy but I’m not losing sleep over it. It’s not a popularity contest.