This week or next marks a significant step for me. On Saturday I posted a copy of my short story collection to a reviewer who specialises in providing critiques of self published and small press writing. I’ll admit, I’m really nervous about it. I’ve had some feedback already from people who have read either the collection or individual short stories and overall the response is fairly positive. I have one 2 star rating on Goodreads, but I’m fine with that, not everyone is going to like my writing. My essay on Bukowski generated 16 reviews on Amazon a few years ago which split the audience right down the middle: 9 five star reviews, 1 four star review and 6 one star reviews. And I’ll always remember doing my A Level English course where we had three different teachers – two of them consistently marked my work at around 70-80%, and the other just as consistently gave me 50-60%. I wasn’t doing anything different for him than the work I was submitting for the other two… Luckily enough, the examiners sided with the higher markers, but it was a lesson in subjectivity.

The big problem is that this is more of an editorial review than a standard customer one. It will carry, probably, a bit more clout and it could sink my sales if it’s really negative. I wouldn’t want it to be any less than truly honest, and I welcome constructive criticism – I don’t think I’m the complete writer, I’m a work in progress and no matter who you are there is always room for improvement. Whatever happens I’m going to have to take it on the chin, I know that, and it’s important to get some reviews on the go as I’ve struggled so far to generate many. But I can’t help but be a little bit anxious about it. Fingers crossed and all that…

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