Dealing With a Bad Review

Some people will really hate your book.

Some people will really hate your book,

So today, I got a three star review. That might not seem so bad, but the review had almost nothing positive to say. I’m in no way trying to call that reviewer out or focus on the review itself, only to call attention to the fact that it’s hard to deal with a bad review, especially when you may disagree what the person said.

For instance, if they say, “Bob’s sister was Mary, not Jane! That’s a serious consistency error!” you’re not allowed to show them to page 58 where you introduce Jane and Mary as Bob’s sisters, plural, and throttle them until they take back your two-star rating. It doesn’t work like that.

People will find creative reasons why they didn't like your book.

and they’ll find creative reasons for why they hate it.

In a perfect world, people would only read books they liked, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. People will read your book and not like it. It’s inevitable. They’ll read your book because they liked your cover then complain that they don’t like the genre. They’ll read it and hate it and speed through it just to finish and then complain that your story felt rushed. The only way past is to just get over it.

There will always be critics.

There will always be critics,

Harry Potter has tons of bad reviews. 50 Shades of Grey has tons of good reviews. One review either way will not make or break your story. Some people just aren’t going to like your story. It will be too sexy for them or too fantasy or your character’s name will remind them of their ex. Whatever it is, it’s not a big deal. They aren’t your target audience.

You will always have fans, though.

but you will always have fans, too.

First, you need to remind yourself: You wrote a book. That’s a big accomplishment, so good on you. At least you wrote it and got it out there.

Next, ignore the bad reviews. Look at all the nice ones you’ve gotten. Focus on the positive, not the negative. Every time a review is even slightly critical, I think about the one fan I have who requested to buy my book before it was published and has nothing but good things to say about it.

Your fans will always have something nice to say.

They’re the ones you’re writing for,

Lastly, remember that you can always take it back. If your book gets only bad reviews, maybe it isn’t ready for the world. You can take it down, do some serious rewriting, and then release it as a second edition. All the reviews, good or bad, will be wiped clean. You can have a fresh start.

So just move right past the bad stuff.

so just move right past the bad stuff.

How do you handle a bad review?

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7 thoughts on “Dealing With a Bad Review

  1. Sorry to hear you got a bad review. However, like your post stated, it’s just one of those things you need to keep your chin up and keep moving on. You can always learn from bad reviews–some of them might be helpful, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this guy. There are just some people out there who are too blunt for their own good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s really brave that you’re managing to stay positive. I haven’t really had a ‘bad’ review yet, although I have had a couple of three-star reviews and even a four-star reviews that highlighted things I didn’t do well, but they were still from a positive standpoint (they all presented it as ‘this is what could’ve been better’ rather than ‘this is what was bad’). I guess it’s only a matter of time until someone gives some feedback that isn’t helpful at all, but I’m honestly just happy people a reading my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I had a who slew of bad reviews, I’d be less positive, but so far, the positive outweighs the negative. Plus, there’s a random review calling my book a literary revelation… while I’m 99% sure it wasn’t written by someone who actually read the book (though I have no idea who it would be) it’s still amusing to see :p

      Liked by 1 person

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