Surprised at my own nonchalance

So, The Weeping Empress has been out for a few months now and it’s garnered 40 or so ratings/reviews in various places – Goodreads,,, B & NSmashwords, Library Thing, Shelfari. Most of them have been really good.

I shouldn’t be surprised. I worked hard on it. I took my time. I hired professionals to do what I couldn’t and knew enough to not even try. I didn’t put it out in the wild until I was certain it was the best book I could make it at the time. I acknowledge that if I wanted to keep sifting and pruning and tweaking for a another few years it might be a better book, but I rather think there comes a point when you just have to call something finished. I did and people seem genuinely pleased with the results.

But, as is always the case, there have been people who don’t like it. I recently received my first poor review. Let me assure you in advance that this post will not be a pop at those who dislike The Weeping Empress. I appreciate every single review, even the bad ones. Granted I wish everyone loved it and I only ever had to encounter praise. I have a small mental cry every time I see a rating below 3 stars, but I then come back read it again and learn what I can from it. If it’s just a rating with no review I agonise over it for a bit longer wondering what the reader didn’t like. But that’s about it.

What surprises me is that I have never found myself angry at a review or rating. I’ve read a lot of forum posts about authors behaving badly to reviews and I always thought I understood why. I thought, “yea I get that I’d be mad too.” But I haven’t. The primary emotion I’ve found in myself when reading a bad review is embarrassment. No matter how many five star reviews I have, when reading a bad one I am forced to face the fact that I presented to a reader a book they thought was subpar. That’s a sucker punch to the pride. It really is. But to my own credit within minutes of closing the tab I move on and forget about it.

This is really the point I’m seeking to make here. I’ve been surprised at my own emotional distance from reviews. I suppose I’m proud of it too and maybe this post is just stroking my own ego a bit. The Weeping Empress is the first substantial piece of work I’ve offered up for open assessment. Even though I had faith in its quality, I spent the first few weeks in pessimistic suspense fearing that the first reviews would come back jagged, serrated blades of hatred. They didn’t and I was able to relax. I check for new reviews most days and when I see my numbers go up I have a cheeky grin and move on. When the numbers go down I frown and move on. I expected to take things a lot more personally and I’m really glad that I don’t.


If, by chance, you are interested in giving The Weeping Empress a chance I notice that the bots have the Kindle version discounted to a dramatic £0.49 and $0.75 in the USA. Nook hasn’t quite caught up, but at $0.99 it’s still not bad. 

5 thoughts on “Surprised at my own nonchalance

    1. Sadie Post author

      If you’d seen me on the kiddie’s bouncy castle over the weekend you might not have thought so, but yes I’m rather proud of my own lack of angst on the issue. Though it’s probably exceedingly bad form to say so myself.

  1. Lee

    It’s hard not to take reviews personally, but I also think it is important to remember that people have different tastes, and not every book will suit every reader. Some times readers just pick up the wrong book (for them).

    1. Sadie Post author

      Yea, that’s just it. I’ve been really surprised at how inclined I’ve been to simply look at the few bad reviews I’ve received as just that. There has been far less emotion involved that I expected. Granted, I haven’t received a really harsh one yet or one that seems to attack me personally. We’ll have to wait and see how I feel about them.

  2. Cancem

    If necklines like that were still in style, I’d never even THINK about plsaitc surgery.But here’s a woman who knows how to work an early 20th century look like nobody’s business.(p.s. I can only imagine what Empress Alexandra Goodday would’ve been like on prom night in 1918. Hot Stuff, for sure.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *