Dealing with Bad Reviews
What Should You Do When You Get a Bad Review on Your Book?
You won't like this, but you should do NOTHING.
Told you you wouldn't like it.
As an author, there is nothing worse than getting a 1 or 2 star review on your writing. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. I wrote my first novel, published it online, like so many of you do, and sat back and watched several 4 and 5 star reviews come in. I thought I was a genius. I wrote a great book and people loved it. Then, that dreaded 1 star review. Here's the gist of it:
Ugh! (actual title)
This book is self-published, and obviously so. The premise of this story is interesting. Unfortunately, this author was unable to develop the story and characters to any meaningful conclusion. Although not quite an epic fail, it has no literary value.
'No literary value.' I have no idea if she was expecting John Steinbeck or what. It is just a fun novel meant to entertain, which a lot of people sincerely liked.
Now I know you can't please everyone, and I can take a 1 star review if it is constructive. But, this one was not constructive and was just downright mean. I hate to admit it, but my feelings were actually hurt and I spent several days stewing about it. Then I decided to get over it and move on.
You don't know how much I wanted to respond and ask her where her novel was, because I wanted to read it. Nowhere, that's where. But, what was that going to get me? Nothing but potential problems.
I have read horror stories on the internet about authors responding badly to poor reviews. Because it is so easy to be a bully on the internet, reviewers can cause you as an author so much more heartache than just that review. People will start calling you out on Facebook, blogging about you, listing your response on websites, etc. Just don't do it. You will look like a hurt little child that just can't take an honest review of your book.
When you get a poor review, get up and walk away and forget about it. You can't please everyone and some people just don't know how to play nice. We know that it is possible to dislike a book and explain why you personally didn't like it, without bashing it, but not everyone has the brains to do that. They don't understand that you spent months, maybe years, writing that book and are proud of it, and maybe depend on the income you get from it. They don't care and never will.
So, just let it go and get to work writing your next masterpiece.
Author, Editor, Entrepreneur