Happy Tuesday, peeps. As the title says it’s all about cultivating that rhino skin today. I can see you shaking your head now. What on earth is Doris going on about now?
Well, do you recall me saying last week that you need a tough skin for this publishing business? Rhino…. Tough skin… see where I’m going with this?
Seriously, though, it’s true. What’s more, you might think you have tough skin, but, trust me, it’s nothing compared to what you need to stay the course in this business.
When I first started writing, I thought I had cultivated a pretty thick skin. You have to have one as the mother of a large family, I tell you. You would not believe the things folks think they’re entitled to say to you, just because you chose to have a lot more children than the average person.
Anyway, I digress. Suffice to say, I thought nothing much could faze me, and to be fair the endless round of rejections that comes with trying to get your first story published was hard to take, but I managed. Dusted myself off and subbed the story again. All the while writing the next one. I’m nothing if not determined.
Like I said last week, the day my first book was published was a real high, and I had no idea what was to come. For a long time I existed in a little bubble. I was very lucky that reviews were good, until I got my first one star-tear-my-book-to-pieces on Amazon.
I kid you not; I was stunned by the vehemence with which that person pulled my story apart. Things like shallow pnr, waste of money, etc. will haunt me forever. That thick skin, I thought I had…. Yeah, gone in a puff of smoke.
I cried, I wailed, I was convinced my career was over. It didn’t matter one iota other people telling me this was just one person’s opinion. She’d torn apart my baby, and I seriously doubted myself. I didn’t write a word for about two weeks, and I cried buckets.
It didn’t help that for a long time, that one star review was the only one on Amazon. Funnily enough it didn’t harm sales at all. That book did very well, and the vast majority of readers loved it…. That first review, however… yeah, I still shudder.
Since then, bad and downright nasty reviews, while certainly not the norm, do happen, but I’m much more philosophical about them. You’ve got to take the good with the bad, as it were.
Reviews aside, there are other things you need that rhino skin for. That beloved story that sinks like a stone, no matter how much you promo it…
Reader e-mails that leave you stunned.
A harsh editor.
Other authors being nasty…
You get the idea.
On the whole I found the romance industry to be supportive, but you always get the odd rotten apple that leaves you stunned, and shaking your head in wonder.
Developing that rhino skin has most certainly helped me from doing or saying something that I might regret later.
So, my number one advice.
Be a Rhino 🙂
Till next time, stay naughty, folks