Hello, readers and writers!
This week I’ll be focusing on how to deal with the reactions from readers when you write something taboo in a romance novel. In my first novel, No Expectations, I had received mostly positive feedback. Many readers enjoyed the taboo of the stories, but there have been others who did not, and sometimes they will make themselves known and heard.
What’s the first thing you should do?
Breathe. It’s okay. Someone didn’t enjoy your writing or the premise of your story, and that’s okay. Choosing a taboo topic was a risk you knew all along, so now you are reaping the consequences as well as the benefits of choosing that topic.
What should happen next?
If you can, respond to the reviewer. Do not be negative in any way. They are allowed to feel the way they do about your writing, and that’s okay. Using the bad publicity as an opportunity to show how forgiving and compassionate you are as a writer will make a difference in how you are viewed as a brand.
Here’s a list of how that response should go:
- Thank them for taking the time to read, or even attempt to read, your novel.
- Tell them you understand their frustrations/concerns, and reiterate them in a way that makes it clear of why you truly do understand their displeasure with your novel.
- Rectify the way you are viewed in their eyes by either suggesting another novel you’ve written or say you hope they’ll give you another try in the future.
What happens after that?
Nothing. Wait for more positive reviews to come in. In the end, they should outweigh the negatives. Choosing a taboo topic means you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s reasonable. Expecting everyone to love your work no matter what isn’t realistic so moments like this will continue to pop up in your writing career. Be prepared for it.
Thank you for reading!
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