I thought it was great. I thought it was stupendous; stirring; emotional; thought provoking and really phenomenal.
The first round of reviews said it was fantastic. My email box received testimonials confirming my beliefs.
Then, the reviews started to slide. Four's instead of Fives. Three's instead of Fours. What happened? Did I suddenly reach a more critical audience? Is it not all I thought it was?
Has it happened to you? Most likely, I think it's a little of all of the above.
The first adopters who purchased my book the moment it was released are probably the ones it was written for. The story is right down their alley and they loved it.
The simple fact that it was not free will filter out people who won't like it and people on the fence.
Then, I let some out for free for honest reviews, and I'm quite certain that the reviewers were being honest, but they did not go through the natural filtering process that comes when you pay for the book. Subsequently, the free book might attract some fence sitters who won't be as thrilled.
Then, I must admit, though it has some great elements in it, the way I personally tied them together may not be everybody's cup of tea.
All of us who call ourselves authors and place our works in public must prepare for a variety of responses. It's easy for us to crow about the great ones and turn around and mope about the poor ones.
What will I do? I don't have time to mope. I've almost finished the sequel. I'm moving on. I'll be getting a new editor and perhaps they'll have some suggestion to how it can be fixed, or even if it needs to be fixed. Should it be fixed? Maybe, or perhaps it should just be what it is. I certainly can't cater to every type of reader out there so maybe I just write my story and let those in the public who are inclined to share my point of view enjoy it.
Of course, I'd still like them to tell all their friends and join my fan club...