So, you’ve read some of your negative reviews or plan to. There’s probably a big ball of emotions in your head right now, which is understandable–this book is your baby. How could somebody not like your baby?
But how you deal with it matters most. That’s why today we’ll be talking about how to deal with your negative reviews. Let’s get started!
I talked last week about how it’s good to find balance in reading reviews, and that sometimes negative reviews are a good thing for you. It’s important to understand this when you read them, and to know that all authors receive negative reviews.
Take some time to level your head, and decide whether a review you read was constructive (in which case, you might be able to learn and improve) or cursive (in which case, it’s likely little to do with your book anyway).
No matter how much you understand the benefits of negative reviews, or know that reviews are generally very subjective, that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt sometimes. Maybe something a reviewer wrote just stuck in your head and you can’t stop thinking about it, or maybe the whole review has you feeling down. That happens to the best of us, but the important thing is not to wallow.
It can be difficult to “cheer up”, especially for those of us that might already deal with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety type disorders, but you can’t let it consume you. Remember that this does not define you or deter from your value in any way. If you’re really struggling, it’s good talk to someone that can comfort you, even an online counselor.
And, a little bit of time dedicated to sulking probably won’t kill you if that’s what helps. Grab some ice cream, watch a corny comedy, make a blanket fort–do what you need to feel better. Looking at this Dumbledore GIF certainly can’t hurt 😀
Myself, I like to reread positive reviews of OUTLIERS. I also find that it can be good to pick out a couple of your absolute favourite books, and look at the one and two star ratings for them. For me, it’s reassures what I’ve been saying, that something one person loves and thinks is flawless, might be awful to another person.
A lot of the reason people will warn against reading reviews is that many authors lose control and act inappropriately after reading them. We hear about authors that got defensive in the comments of the review, or fought with the reviewer online. This is so unprofessional, and it gives you a terrible reputation as an author.
Do NOT under any circumstances, reply to argue with or defend your book when it comes to reviews. The most you should ever respond to a review with is “Thank you for leaving a review!” or some variation of that.
I know. It can be tempting. Thoughts like: “They just don’t get it!” or “That’s not what I meant at all!” or “Well what do they know?” may cross your mind, but just don’t type them out. It won’t end well for you trying to tell reviewers they are wrong, and you should really appreciate that they left a review.
Just relax, and take a break from reading reviews for a bit to cool off. This book is your pride and joy, but people should be able to feel safe expressing their opinion about it, even if you don’t agree with them.
In short, make sure you deal with your negative reviews in a healthy and appropriate manner, and understand that you can’t please everybody.
Thanks so much for reading! I post new content on Saturdays, so be sure to follow and stay up to date! You can also find me @smpearceauthor on social media, or at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
How do you cope with your reviews? What something that helps you when you feel down?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and your suggestions on what I should blog about next! Feel free to contact me or drop a comment below!
With all of this in mind, go out and write your masterpiece!