Hi! I'm Becca Fitzpatrick, the author of the internationally bestselling HUSH, HUSH saga. When not writing, I'm most likely running, prowling sale racks for shoes (stilettos, please!), or enjoying one of life's many little indulgences: Ice cream, Veronica Mars, losing myself in a book, painting my toenails, or simply daydreaming. I do my best to update this blog as frequently as possible with news on upcoming events, tips for writers, and all things pertaining to my books.
10 July 2012
Here's my answer.
At some point during this past year I read an article (I think it was an article, it might have been a blog post—I don't remember) saying that all authors read reviews of their books, even if they claim they don't. I smiled and thought, Actually, I don't read reviews of my books. At least, I don't anymore.
When Hush, Hush first came out, I was wildly curious about what people were saying about my debut novel. It was such an exciting time for me. The book I'd been working on for six years was finally being published. I checked online retailers and book blogs for reviews. I Googled my book's title. I wanted readers to love the book as much as I did. As might be expected, some people loved it. Some people thought it was okay. And some people hated it. There were so many varying opinions about Hush, Hush, it was hard to know who was right. The people who loved it—were they right? The people who hated it—were they right? It took me a long time to realize it doesn't matter who is right. Our opinions aren't valuable because they're right—they're valuable because they're ours.
I read a handful of reviews for Crescendo, my second book. I don't recall reading any reviews for Silence. And I don't plan on reading reviews for Finale. If I'm going to judge my self-worth and my writing based on what other people are saying about me and my books, I'm never going to be happy. I'm never going to be satisfied. I'm going to be too busy worrying about others' opinions to do what I should be doing—which is trying to become a better human being. And trying to write better books.
I'm worried some people are going to read this and misinterpret my words. I'm worried some people are going to think I'm saying I don't care about reviews. That's not the case. Not at all. I love knowing people are out there reading and reviewing my books. I encourage readers to review books and share their opinions and insights. I'm grateful when they do. Because, as a reader, I rely on friends' recommendations. I rely on book-talk. I like knowing what people are saying about a story I'm contemplating reading. It helps me make decisions about what to read. It does me a great deal of good to read book reviews—just not for my own books.
The short answer to @lilyalbert's question is that I don't deal with negative reviews. When I'm writing, they aren't part of the equation. I write the best books I can, and while they aren't perfect, they're mine. They are my contribution. Writing makes me happy. I get so much joy from creating stories and sharing them with you.
That is what I focus on when I write.