Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The lure of reviews

I have been soliciting reviews for Disciple, Part I on Goodreads, and I've gotten a few nibbles, sent out a few copies. Didn't expect someone to read and review so quickly, though. I saw the "1 review" indicator on my author dashboard and...

When I set out, I told myself I wasn't going to read any reviews at all. Because I've heard the same horror stories of nasty reviews, authors shooting off at the mouth and destroying their reputations. It's ridiculous to think that everyone who picks up Disciple will love it. There's bound to be someone who finds it -- I don't know -- pretentious or twee or whatever. Gratuitously graphic.*

But I clicked before I could think. And then I read the first half before I fully realized it. So I might as well finish, right?

So much for resolutions. I am weak. It was a nice review, too, so I'll probably be weak until I hit a nasty one.

The only good can of worms to open.
Photo by stef~, on sxc.hu.
This is a whole 'nother can of worms, because my main character, Kate, is a sixteen-year-old girl. Somebody is bound to think "This is a YA book" at some point and then be horrified as the plot developments of Parts II - VI roll by. I'm sure I will be hearing about that. DISCIPLE IS NOT AIMED AT THE YA MARKET. Though teenaged readers are certainly welcome. I don't think that sheltering teens from the ugly real world does them any favors.

p.s. Tomorrow I'll be doing the Next Big Thing meme/bloghop over at Disciple of the Fount -- and there will be a big announcement! Though if you go over there now you'll probably notice the new tab and figure out what it is for yourself.


Stephanie said...

Mmm … can of sour worms. <3

And no, not YA (as in the marketing category). I wouldn't even peg Part 1 as YA considering the tone and realism of the world Kate inhabits.

Which reminds me, I need to get my own review up. ;)

E.J. Wesley said...

Think you bring up an excellent point, L. Category goes beyond age of the protagonist. Ender's Game is thrown into YA, and I don't think it's a teen book at all. Your story sounds too mature for that market as well (as in content, not as in 'over their heads' ... your reading comprehension and processing mileage may vary).

I think there's a home for everything right now, and I hope readers find you and take the story as you meant it to be taken. And you're right to brace yourself for negative reviews. They just happen, and you could put "THIS IS NOT A TEEN BOOK" right on the front cover and people would still walk into it blind, and slam you for being too racy for a teen book.

L. Blankenship said...

@EJ -- I read an interview where Madeline L'Engle said she didn't know why people labeled "Wrinkle In Time" a children's book because she didn't write it for children... but I've always thought that was a good thing people gave it to kids to read, actually. Pushing one's reading envelope isn't a bad thing.

I agree, it's amazing what people can overlook and then be indignant about.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I'll be sure to pick up a copy and review it Ms. Blankenship. It sounds right up my alley.

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