This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jenn will give away one backlist book at every stop for one lucky commenter, and she and Wild Child Publishing will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.
The very first publication I tried to promote was a POD book I’d written in early 2000 before I knew what I was doing as far as publishing was concerned. At the time, I was so excited that someone wanted to publish my book that I didn’t take the time to learn about the business. My first mistake. Being young and internet friendly, I thought I had an edge on other writers out there because I belonged to online groups and communities way before Myspace was a glimmer in Tom’s eye. When the book in question finally came out, I went on an internet spamathon. I hit up all the groups I belonged to and even some I had only just joined so I could promote my book. I was nice and friendly, telling the group members how excited I was to publish my first book and included the blurb, excerpt, and buy links. I must have spent two days posting to about 30 different places. I figured the sales would go through the roof, you know, because my family and friends would buy the book too.
Guess what happened?
I got slammed.
Not only did most of the group and community members call me out for joining the groups just to promote, they ripped apart my blurb and excerpt right in “public” for everyone to see and obviously didn’t buy the book. Mortified is the only word to describe how I felt.
I promptly took everything down, apologized to a few of the groups that I had belonged to, and crawled into a hole for a while.
But then something else happened.
One of the group members contacted me. She was very nice, honest, and helpful. Her first suggestion to me was to find a writer’s group. It was the best advice ever. I wish I still had her email address so I could thank her properly, but it got lost in the shuffle long ago.
The second thing that came from all of this was realizing that said book was pretty bad. Some of it was my fault, some of it was editing. Either way, I knew I had so much to learn about writing be it the process, submitting, editing, and/or dealing with publishers.
I took the advice and criticism to heart, joined a writers group, did hours and hours of research online, and eventually learned the correct way to promote without making an ass out of myself.
I think that first, extremely hard lesson helped me develop a thick skin rather quickly. I tend to be defensive when confronted, but when it’s online and it’s already there and you have to actually take the time to write a response back, it gives you moment to reflect and absorb what was said in the first place. Mostly everything the people in those groups said about my writing was true. It was crap. I freely admit it. One cannot get better if they don’t learn from their mistakes. I’ve learned.
I learned that everyone has an opinion. If the negative feedback is constructive, I’ll always listen. If the negative feedback is based on style, well, there isn’t much I can do about that. If the negative feedback is hurtful on purpose, I’ll just curse at the screen, take a deep breath, and then let it go. Being mean just to be mean is something I’ve dealt with for many years, so I will always take it for what it is, bullying.
Negative feedback can be a blessing in disguise too. As a writer, we are sometimes too close to a project to see the whole picture clearly. Editors, publishers, reviewers, and readers can all give valuable negative criticism if done correctly. And, as weird as this may seem, I can’t wait to get some more of it in the future. While I know you can’t please everyone all the time, honest and helpful negative feedback will only make me a better writer in the future.
About the Author:Jenn’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.
Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.
Find Jenn online at
To protect her family and find a killer, Felicia “Lucky” Fascino assumed her adoptive father’s identity and joined the network of moral assassins to finish the job he began. Eliminating the man responsible for murdering her mother has consumed her for the last five years. Completing the job is the only way Lucky and her family can return to a safe and normal life. Lucky’s uncle, Stephen Chambers, hasn’t come close to tracking the killer. He announces he’s stepping down as her handler to concentrate on the investigation and names Elizabeth, his daughter, as successor.
Keeping secrets is a family trait, and Elizabeth’s addition to the business tests Lucky’s ability to maintain the pretense that the job doesn’t affect her despite the fact that all network hits are hardened criminals. While keeping her family at arm’s length, Lucky begins to feel the weight of her career choice and reclusive lifestyle. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic hit man during one of her jobs turns into a provocative and dangerous affair. Distracted by the secret trysts with Kenji Zinn and mounting tension within her family, Lucky starts to make mistakes that threaten her livelihood and almost claim her life. When her family is targeted, Lucky must make several rash decisions she believes can save them and preserve her own sanity.