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  • Writer's pictureS. Jennifer Paulson

Should I look at my book reviews?

They say don't look at your own book's reviews. Because once you start going down that rabbit hole, it's hard to stop.

Yep. It sure is.

I immediately began having heart palpitations once I sent out Boomerang's ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). I just held my breath and waited for feedback on my debut domestic thriller.

Get ready, I've been told. Everyone gets trashed. That if they're truly successful, all writers will have their share of 1-, 2- and 3-star reviews.

So, of course, I'm starting to get mine.

I need thicker skin, I know. (I always have.) While my reviews thus far have looked fine and fair, I still felt the urge to explain ANYTHING that was questioned. And it sparked a blog idea in me.

Which some internet sleuthing quickly righted.

The general consensus? Don't do it.

Well put, Reddit peeps. And further sleuthing unearthed this piece, "Why authors shouldn’t respond to negative reviews," by Rachel Rowlands. Rowlands' article knocked some sense into my head. It's our emotions leading us down a potentially pothole-stricken path.

"A writer’s sense of self-worth is often tied up in their creative work," Rowlands wrote. "Responding when you feel this way can mean you respond in a bad way. Even with the best intentions, you can end up sounding catty, argumentative, and straight-up unprofessional."

Just reading this stopped me in my tracks. There would be no response or any commentary on any reviews. And I would just let it be.

Like I've heard others say, what people think of me is none of my business. So maybe I should stay out of it.

Now that we've got book reviews out of the way....Come say hi this weekend!

FSFW evening with stars
Join us April 5 for An Evening with the Stars in Viera.

Side note: I'll be selling and signing copies of Boomerang this Friday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Holiday Inn Conference Center in Viera during "An Evening with the Stars," a reader event hosted by Florida Star Fiction Writers. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, come on by. (Or even if you have a copy, bring it by and I'll sign it.)

There will be all kinds of fun, free swag and raffles to get in on in addition to being able to mix and mingle with nearly 40 authors. Plus, I'll be raffling off my own prizes with those who make a purchase. Learn more here. And see the list of participating authors there, too. Maybe there's someone else on the list you'd like to meet! (Check out a sneak peek of the reader event program here, too.)

A big hug: I owe ya

I am so touched by all of the support of my friends and family. Thank you to everyone who bought Boomerang, read it, reviewed it, raved about it and made me feel like maybe I'm on to something here.

One of the best moments this week? When I wobbled into my doctor's office to get my funky knee checked out  and my family doc of 25 years had his purchased copy of Boomerang there for me to sign! I wanted to cry.

Moments like these have been so uplifting. Thank you to everyone who has given me one. I appreciate all of you who've bought a book and are cheering me on.

People like you are why I love doing this.


Apr 03

Aw, I love that your doctor is even right there supporting you! How fantastic!

As to reviews, you have something there. I am in a book club and typically we don't all agree on the books we read. Everyone has things they like or dislike about novels for a wide variety of reasons. But getting those great reviews is a pretty awesome feeling.

I hope you have more 😍 than 😕. It sounds like you've received the perfect amount of 😱 too. Keep working it and good luck with your upcoming event.

Katherine Krige

S. Jennifer Paulson
S. Jennifer Paulson
Apr 08
Replying to

Thank you so much, Katherine, for all your support. I appreciate you taking the time to cheer me on. I wish you the absolute best in your journey as well. #authorsupportingsuthors #catchboomerang #boomerangbookbuzz


to my blog

Hi, readers! I’m S. Jennifer Paulson, a former journalist who has been pecking away at my debut novel for years. You know, in between work, helping my husband with his business, grad school and being a wife and mom. So, I’ll be sharing about the writing journey, as well as musings on everyday life — and the things going on around us — from the world of books to beyond. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on my journey to publishing my first book. It’s gonna be an interesting ride.

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