One of the ways a new book gets known to the public is for book reviewers and others to bestow their blessings or their curses or, even worse, their ennui. By reviewers, I don’t mean just official book reviewers/critics for media outlets, print and electronics.
These days anybody with a smart phone and opposable thumbs can opine instantly about anything.
As I await the hardcover and trade paper release of our new novel, “Deadly News,” on Aug. 23, I think a lot about how one should react to a bad review. Odds are, there may be a few. Or a flood.
I’ve consulted with my secret panel of experts on what to expect. Here’s a summary of their advice, on how to react if our novel gets a major thumbs down.
First, do not cry. There’s no crying in book review-land. Even if an outraged reader whacks you up side the head with a hardback edition of “Deadly News,” don’t show any signs of pain. And never, ever rub the bump.
Just pick up the book and autograph it for your assailant. Sign it this way: “To [his/her name here). Don’t ever change, love, Carlos Danger.”
If a snarky co-worker offers an unsolicited review of your book while guzzling a five hour energy drink in the break room, ignore her until she leaves the room, then mix Elmer’s glue in with her Greek yogurt in the fridge.
Our secret experts also were unanimous in their advice that we should put all our deliveries of newspapers and magazines on “vacation hold” until the end of the year. Bad news isn’t so bad if we never see it or hear about it.
One expert had this gem:
“If you’re bummed out over a bad book review, go to the supermarket and look at those checkout-line tabloids. See those pictures of ‘glamorous’ movie stars without makeup? Notice the secret camera shots of topless aging actors and actresses in thongs cavorting at Cannes?”
The point is, compared to those exposé articles, I’d probably get off easy, even if there should be a bad review or two of Deadly News.
So, steeled with the wisdom of our secret panel of experts, we’ll be active between now and Labor Day telling people about the book, signing them for buyers and getting to know some of you.
On Sunday, Aug. 25, we’ll be at the Eagle Eye Book Shop in Decatur, 2 - 4 p.m. It is a fine book store with trophies and many fans to prove it.
On Thursday, Aug. 29, we’ll be at the great FoxTales Book Shoppe in the historic district of Woodstock. That wine and sign event starts at 6 p.m. The team of women who own FoxTales does a great job of putting authors and customers together in a friendly, fun atmosphere.
If you can come see us there, remind me to tell you how the FoxTales Book Shoppe got its name.
We’ll also be part of the Decatur Book Festival Saturday, Aug. 31. Come see us at the Emerging Authors venue. We’ll speak briefly about 10:45 a.m.