The problem with a bad book review is accepting it as truth. It’s not. Seven things to keep in mind when reviews don’t go as you’d hoped.
Do you have a book review problem?
Someone gave the book you spent months (or years) laboring over a one or two star review. The world has stopped spinning, and all you can think about is that you’ve failed. The review is going to cost you lost revenue because readers won’t buy your book. It’s completely unfair. The reviewer should have said nothing. Isn’t that what our mothers taught us about not being able to say anything nice?
Problem is, the world isn’t like that. Some reviewers have no issues about lambasting an author. They probably don’t even consider the fact that their review will hurt you financially (let alone emotionally). Or maybe they do. Maybe they get their jollies by seeing authors freak out when they write something bad about them. Maybe that’s how they get a sense of personal power. More likely, they don’t care one way or another, and that feels just…insulting. Face it, no one likes hearing what they did wasn’t as good as what the other person expected.
Your real problem…
In any case, their bad review is not your problem. What is your problem? Letting go and moving onward. Writing the next book. That is your focus. To do that, you need to keep reviews in perspective. Here are seven ways you can do that.
1) Foremost, keep in mind no review is the truth. Reviews are OPINION. Everybody is entitled to one. Did you gush over every movie you ever saw? Every book you ever read? No? Well then no reason to expect anyone else will feel that way either. Let them have their opinion.
3) Look at your other reviews. Are you consistently getting 4 and 5 star reviews and out of the blue you get a 1 or 2? Chalk that up to opinion again. Obviously that book wasn’t their cup of tea.
4) You are under no obligation to share any review. Ignore the bad one. People can find it on their own. You don’t need to point it out. Whining about it makes you look… Let’s just say less professional.
5) Vent to a writer friend you trust. Never in public on social media. Ever.
6) Keep writing. A bad review does not mean you are a bad writer. It means that person didn’t care for the book, and that’s all it means.
7) You are not alone. The Holy Bible is on Amazon, and it has 1 star reviews. So does any book with a large number of reviews. Statistically, this problem is bound to happen eventually. But it’s not the end of everything. It will be okay.
Make the most of your good reviews. Share them everywhere and brag, brag, brag. They don’t call it shameless self-promotion for nothing. Besides, you might not deserve the bad reviews but you sure as shootin’ deserve the good ones. Right? You’ve had good reviews and now someone disses your book. As my Kin people would say “Ffffftt that.” Don’t let the one-star hater make you forget the five-star fangirls and fanboys who squeed all over the place about the story’s awesomeness.
Personal advice — if you are consistently getting poor reviews, it might be time to talk to an editor. If that’s you, ask authors you love and who write well who their editors are. You can also find one by posting on Marketing for Romance Writers, and asking for recommendations. Contact me offline. I’d love to tell you about the ones I know.
Did you ever have this problem happen to you? How did you handle it? Share it in the comments.