One of worst things for a new author to encounter is negativity from sources a person would expect to be encouraging. Those dreaded words, ‘but its not’. Major downer that a person has to learn to ignore.
My stories were trashed, unread, by my parents because they were not detective/mystery or memoires. This meant they were trash and I was wasting my time when I could be doing something more productive, which meant so much to me.
No doubt, if they were still alive, there would be something to derogate in my professionally published works because they would still be trash, not being detective/mystery or memoires. I let it go a long way back, knowing this was a battle I would never, ever win.
This brings me to an important point. Everyone likes something different in their reading choices. Thank the stars for that, or we would just have five or six published writers. Also bear in mind the ordinary reader does not always know what genres will fit in with their preferences and will trawl hoping for a good hit. Sometimes this pans out and sometimes it doesn’t. It is regrettable when someone doesn’t read the blurb and the first few chapters before purchasing and then find they don’t like the genre. It happens. Most will cut their losses, but some will leave a scathing review. These only reflect on the reviewer, not the work. Other reviews of people who have liked the genre and enjoyed the story will show up the sour grapes for what they are. And no, I haven’t had one yet. I will bet I will.
I’m glad you decided to write about this. Every writer needs to be prepared for negativity. Much of it comes from the people who should be supporting you. Family members will tell you they won’t bother to read your work because they don’t like to read, or they don’t like the genre, or they don’t have the time. Their eyes will glaze over when you talk about the book you’re so excited to have written. Friends will say, “Well, if it’s self-published, that doesn’t really count. Anyone can self-publish.” It’s hurtful to have your work discounted by the people you care about–way more hurtful than a bad review from a stranger. When you write your first book, you expect your loved ones to be almost as excited as you are, but that isn’t always how it works out. So, what’s the solution? Develop a thick skin and keep writing. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.
It is always a tough call when a family member is negative. The important point to remember is that they still love you even if they don’t think they will like your book. Bear in mind this might change when it takes off and their friends start to comment on it. On the other hand, they might be like my parents and have their preferences chiseled in stone. It doesn’t matter. People out there, that you don’t know, could never know, will like it. For every negative comment, there will be at least six people curled up with your book, totally enthralled. You will never know who these people are as they will probably not leave a review. However, they will turn up when your next book hits the shelves. Think about this and not the negativity.