Back in 2016, after I’d finished my final draft of my very first book baby, I searched desperately for book bloggers that would be willing to review my book before its release. If I’d been smarter, I would have done a bunch of things differently. But I was at the very start of my career and just didn’t know what I didn’t know.
At that time, Colleen Hoover’s CoHorts group on Facebook was at around 7,000 members (crazy to think that now it has grown to nearly 80K) and there was a brand new thing called “Fan Friday” where you could host a giveaway. As a big fan of Colleen’s, and as someone who believes we have similar writing styles, I took advantage of that and shared a giveaway to receive an ARC copy of The Keeper.
I think about 50 people entered to win, and the winner was a woman who ended up writing my very first review.
I’ve never gone as far as to print this review out and frame it to hang somewhere in my office, but it’s something I should do, because WOW. She gave me 4 stars (4.5 if Goodreads would have let her!) and went on to praise both my writing style AND my editing. If you know me, you know how much that editing praise soothed my I-once-was-a-journalist heart.
It was the perfect first review, and I’ve been thankful for it ever since. Now that I’m coming up on the 5 year mark of publishing, I’ve decided I want to share it with everyone.
Now, keep in mind, I’ve received plenty of negative reviews over the years. Comments about how my storylines aren’t typical romance and how the behaviors of my characters are unrealistic or I’m too long-winded or there isn’t enough angst. The good news is that I’ve finally gotten to a place where I accept one beautiful, amazing fact:
I’m not for everyone.
But back then, when I was putting my writing out there for the first time, I’m so thankful and lucky that I was found by someone who enjoyed it. That very first review five years ago helped me keep a smile on my face when it would have been so easy to be terrified and let down and nervous and anxious.
So: thank you Jessica for your kind words to a brand new baby romance author. They made all the difference in the world 🙂