You may have heard that my novella released last Tuesday. It was a bit of a surprise–I thought it would release later in the month, but I was happy to jump on the promotions bandwagon to get the word out.
And the word got out!
When I first admired the post on Amazon, Appalachian Blessings was ranked #675 among free downloads. Probably out of 676 books. By Saturday morning it had climbed to #24 among ALL free downloads and was #3 in Christian romance. Let’s just call that gratifying.
PLUS, seven lovely folks had posted very nice reviews recommending the novella to other readers (and I only know two of them!). VERY gratifying. And potentially ego-inflating.
But then it happened. Over on Goodreads someone gave Appalachian Serenade–my baby–a two-star rating. GASP!
But wait. The reader simply said it was short, corny, and too tame. Well, actually, that’s pretty much true. It IS short. And sweet, Christian romance can come across as corny. And it’s most definitely tame–no car chases or passionate embraces here.
So I checked to see what books this reader typically rates highly and she definitely has a preference for racier, grittier reading material including the notorious Fifty Shades of Grey. (She also loved Into the Free, so she has good taste there.)
Which got me to thinking about how whatever we put into our hearts and minds sticks with us. We consume media at every turn–horrific news stories, television that portrays all kinds of extramarital sex, Facebook bunnies and kittens alongside what’s basically pornography, movies with extreme violence, country music with uplifting lyrics followed by a cheating song–it just goes on and on.
So this reader didn’t much like Robert and Delilah’s tame little romance. Here’s the thing–she read it. And I like to think there are some positive, Godly messages in that story. And now it’s in her head. And maybe, some little piece will make its way to her heart just when she needs it.
Not everyone is going to love my stories. But I hope LOTS of people read them and find an echo of something God whispered in my ear reverberating through their souls. Now THAT would be way more gratifying than any rating or review.