My First One-Star, My First Book Signing, and My First Author Checking Account

sign outside

Bad news first (or is it?). I got my first one-star review. I know most authors would say to shut up about this fact, but I feel I’ve somehow become even more legit as an author. When we write our books, we know that not everyone will like them. We can’t please everyone all the time…from storyline to writing style, we’re as different as can be and we attract different readers.

I was pretty geared-up for that eventual one-star, and now that it’s arrived, I find it sadly anticlimactic. There was no name-calling involved, no misspelled, over-exclamatory remarks…somehow I feel it could’ve been more spectacular. But I digress…the point is that I got that one-star, and I’m good with it. I’m sure I’ll get more. I’ve worked so hard to get here, I’m not about to let some one-stars deter me.

How do you move on past this, you might ask? Some authors refuse to read one-stars in the first place. Some look at it as if the person might’ve eaten bad sushi that day. I think I’m somewhere in the middle: I read them, acknowledge that my book wasn’t for that person, and then try to focus on my other star rankings and reviews. But if you want a few laughs about thoughts that run through an author’s head upon reading a one-star, here’s a recent post on Writer Unboxed that had me chuckling.

Secondly, I had my first author signing at my hometown library–the very library in which I checked out every Agatha Christie and Daphne DuMaurier book on the shelves. Here’s a pic of me and the head librarian, who was head librarian when I was a child/teen as well. I had such an enjoyable time chatting with her about many things, including other West Virginia indie authors. And she liked my book!

Myra me

Finally, my husband set up my first author checking account, so Amazon funds can go right into that instead of getting tapped into (more like tapped OUT)  in our regular account. Along a similar vein, I took out a P.O. box to maintain some semblance of online anonymity. As I explained I needed a P.O. box that I wouldn’t really use to my postmaster, I got some weird looks. I then followed it up with “I’m an author,” and that clarified EVERYTHING, as he quickly handed me the forms. 🙂

All in all, it’s been a week of firsts. The nice thing is that I was ready for all of them…ready to take those steps. Every day I’m thankful for this indie journey, thankful for you readers and supporters, and thankful to be an author.

book signing

****How about you? Any firsts happen to you lately? Hoping it’s good firsts all around! If you’re an author, how do you deal with one-stars (or rejection)?****

17 thoughts on “My First One-Star, My First Book Signing, and My First Author Checking Account

  1. Heather, you describe your journey becoming an “indie” author, but really a debut author is a debut author of any breed and you’ve been such an encouragement and teacher for me. May you continued to be blessed.

    1. Elaine, thank you so much! I’m hoping the distinctions will start resting less on whether you’re indie or traditionally published, and more on what you’re writing and who it’s reaching! I’m so thankful for YOUR support on this journey!

  2. I loved reading this! So true about what a reader likes. My best friend and I are both bookaholics and we have two different reading likes. It’s great fun to discuss books with each other. I pray you continue to be blessed and see that 1 star as a building block.

    1. Susan–I have a friend named Susan, too, and she’s shared all kinds of great books with me. I think the wonderful thing about friends is that we know what each other WOULD like. If we read something that might get a 3-star in our mind, we could probably think of people we could recommend that same book to, who love that kind of writing/setting/whatever and would probably give it 5 stars. To each his/her own! Thank you for commenting today!

      1. Yes, that knowing what the other reads is great! You described it perfectly. I have friends I have passed books onto that weren’t my thing and they loved it. I feel good knowing I helped that author find another fan. (I’m all about feeding starving authors, lol)

  3. First for me? Well I finished my first draft of the third novel in my War Within series last week. This week is editing! Great to hear about your signing at your home library; I’ve been meaning to get up to Ottawa and go to my old home library and see about placing my books, doing a signing would be awesome there too! Thanks for the motivation. 🙂

    PS. I’m reading God’s Daughter right now.

    1. Glad you’re reading it, Nathan, and hope you enjoy! And great job on finishing that first draft…that brings a huge sigh of relief, I know. And those home library signings are so rewarding…like you’ve come full-circle. I’m sure yours would be glad to schedule a signing for you! Thanks for stopping in today!

    1. Grin…I’m not saying it was easy by any means, though! You just never know what to expect…what will come under fire, so to speak. I’ve seen some pretty scathing one-stars, but usually they seem a knee-jerk reaction to something. This one wasn’t so bad…but it’s never fun! Here’s hoping you never get one. Some people don’t!

      1. It just meant they weren’t your target audience, and when that’s the case, maybe it’s easier to handle? I know someday I’ll end up with them because I’m hearing that I write edgy CF–which is so odd because I’m very conservative myself.

        Anyway, hope the writing is going well. Can’t wait to hear when you have another book out.

      2. Yes, Sally, so true. I realize my writing/genre/whatever isn’t for them. And on that “edgy” thing…hm. I find it interesting that God’s Daughter gets called “gritty” a lot, but I think that’s in comparison to other CBA histfic, not to ABA histfic. So I think it depends on which style book the reader is comparing yours to. I, for one, am most interested in “edgy” Christian fiction–not in terms of graphic stuff, but in terms of topics. I figure the Bible handles some serious topics, and that’s what we have to deal with in life, so why not read/write about them? But that’s me. I know some people like lighter reads. Don’t worry–your books will find their readers who love them!

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