Romantic Novelists' Association

Hints & Tips For New Writers #17

12 June 2019

This month’s Hints & Tips is about the scariest of all scary subjects for an author – reviews! As a new writer these are particularly stressful, whether it’s a critique by a writing partner, comments from your agent/editor, or most terrifying of all, a bona fide reader review. With your first book you don’t have a marker to judge by so you genuinely don’t know what to expect. I was a nervous wreck, and it’s no use telling yourself that reviews are only words because as writers we all know how important those are. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can be really, REALLY painful!

So first of all, reviewers and bloggers do a really important job. They’re quality controllers, providing recommendations to readers and helping writers to find an audience. Since they read a lot their opinions are worth listening to and the good news is that the huge majority of them are genuinely nice, supportive and respectful of feelings.

Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Some reviews are so mean-spirited that you wonder if the person who wrote them realises we’re actual human beings with emotions. So naturally bad reviews are also the most memorable. They’re humiliating and depressing and can make you want to go and hide under your duvet with a tub of ice-cream, but they’re also an integral part of the job – pretty much inevitable at some point – so how do you cope with them?

In the meantime, have a wonderful June xxx


Jenni Fletcher is the author of six historical romance novels for Mills & Boon and a visiting tutor at Bishop Grosseteste University. Her seventh book, Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight, is out in July.