My Response to a Negative Review

I’ve been following advance book reviews from people who have read digital copies of my book, The Calm & Cozy Book of Sleep. I’m very good with criticism and understand that I’m not for everyone, not everyone will like me, and that’s okay.

There is a website that allows members to request advance digital copies of books that have not yet been released. Readers are then given the opportunity to leave an honest, unbiased review that gets posted onto their own site and on GoodReads.

I LOVE reading these reviews, and so far, they have been really encouraging. One review stood out to me that was partly good, but also made a comment that I believe was meant to be negative and slightly sarcastic.

Here is the full review:

This is a really beautiful looking book in terms of the cover and the illustrations/art inside, and it does contain sound suggestions on sleep hygiene... but unfortunately for me, it didn't contain anything particularly new or that can't be found with a simple internet search. Still, it might make a thoughtful gift for someone you know is struggling with sleep issues.

At first, I laughed. I was fine with it. Then, a few days later, I started thinking about what it was that this particular reader was hoping to find in my book. It brought up a few things deep inside my soul that I want to share with you now.

The part I want to address is obviously the part that said, It didn't contain anything particularly new or that can't be found with a simple internet search.

First, thank you to this person for taking the time to read and review my book.

Second, pretty much everything we read in a book can be found with a simple internet search! When it comes to an aspect like healthy sleep, that’s so incredibly important for every person on the planet, being a simple internet search away is a good thing.

Advice on sleeping well should be readily available with a simple internet search. Sleeping well should not take a series of secret or obscure techniques that only a few experts know and even fewer share.

You should not have to pay big money to take a course that teaches healthy sleep hygiene. All of this information should be free for everyone to access, and that’s why I give you all of my best stuff in my podcast and on this blog.

My book is a compilation of everything I’ve learned and experienced around sleeping well, plus some additional stories and resources, and it packages all of that into a beautiful hardcover book that is available for around $20. Yes, there is a price to buy the book, but I am not holding on to the BIG SECRET that will change your life, while holding out my hand waiting for you to pay me before I share it with you.

If people who already know all the best sleep techniques are still reading books on how to improve their sleep, there seems to be a disconnect between the advice and the reader.

This is why we still struggle with problems that have simple solutions. We know what we need to do, but we still aren’t doing it.

Why? It’s human nature. And usually, because we’re looking for what we consider to be a better solution that hasn’t yet been discovered.

Also, this person should seek medical advice and get a sleep test done. If it really is a matter of “I’ve tried everything and still can’t sleep” don’t read another sleep book until you see a doctor!

People think they want new, groundbreaking ideas, but if they aren’t applying the simple techniques that they know have been proven to work, would they actually apply the tougher ones?

The simple, but longer-term solutions are the best way to achieve the results we want, but we don’t want simple and long-term. Most people fail at the things they want because they’re constantly waiting for the new quick fix instead of committing to the long-term proven solution.

The honest truth is most of us already know what we need to be doing, but for whatever reason, we’re not doing it. What we need isn’t a new idea to try, it’s a reminder of that idea we already know about but haven’t yet tried.

I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so my book isn’t going to win the Nobel Prize for the most groundbreaking ideas about how to achieve a perfect night of sleep, but it’s going to be filled with simple and achievable techniques that anyone can put into practice at any time. And you may or may not have heard of them. But I promise you, they’re doable.

Healthy sleep should be reasonably attainable for everyone. It shouldn’t be difficult or expensive or reserved for people who have more time and money than the rest of us.

If you finish my sleep book and think, NONE of that advice was realistic, I’ve failed miserably.

Sure, it sounds fun to be told that I’m full of new ideas about sleep that no one has ever heard of or tried. But if people are able to realistically master the simple proven techniques, there’s no need to go looking for something new. You’re done!

And another simple truth - it’s going to take some time and practice to get it right. Your years of terrible sleep are not going to go away after quitting one before-bed habit. It’s going to take some time and patience. And you know what? That time is going to pass anyway. You might as well be that much closer to your goal.

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Spring & fall photos of Beth by Melissa McCallum Photography

Winter photos of Beth by Rae Connell Photography

Copyright Beth Wyatt, 2020