Even acclaimed writers get bad book reviews. It happens to the best of us. Over two hundred authors have self-published books with us. But as a book publishing company, even we have endured a fair share of negative media. During your career as an author, you are bound to get bad reviews. You poured your heart and soul into writing the book, but it just took a moment for a reviewer to call it names. Yes, it is heavy. It stings. It feels like a big punch. But instead of going to extremes, taking bad book reviews personally, and engaging in a bad fight, you can choose a different approach to work through them. In this blog, we have outlined the best ways to manage bad book reviews.
These Are the Best Ways to Manage Bad Book Reviews.
Book reviewing is a personal preference and a subjective process that changes with each reviewer. It won’t always match your point of view.
So, these general tips are for all authors on how to handle a bad book review with grace and head held high.
Wallow and Grumble in Private
Do you know that if you don’t react to a negative remark or emotion, such as rage or hurt, the spell will only last 18 to 20 seconds? Instead of manifesting your emotions and spiraling into depression or despair, allow them to pass.
But give yourself time to heal and understand from where it is coming. If you wish, vent it to a friend or scream at your ice cream. But then, get up and move on. You have to write another big seller of a book, right?
Do Not Respond to the Reviewer
As much as it might be tempting, once you post a negative or harsh response to the reviewer, it will be out there for everyone to read.
So, no matter how polite or diplomatic you think you are, don’t do it. You will be adding fuel and triggering a series of negative banter involving other reviewers. Ultimately, the public will consider you a villain.
If it helps, reviewers can be your biggest strengths in the long run. Therefore, remember to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with your negative book reviewers.
Remember that This is Part of the Process
This is like a combo offer – “Get good reviews plus bad book reviews free.” It goes with the book publishing industry. In fact, with any creative territory. Art is subjective. Like how you don’t like movies or books, not everyone will like what you write.
The moment you publish your book, you put yourself out for public scrutiny. It comes with a package. It is inevitable.
However, you have to remember that this is not a personal attack. The reviewer just didn’t like your book. This particular book. Their opinion might change with the next book.
Contrast Your Negative Book Reviews with The Positive Ones
Authors give negative book reviews more value than good ones. When we started as a self-publishing company, we received several positive reviews and three negative reviews. We briefly obsessed over them and stressed ourselves out.
Only to realize later that we drenched our energy on negative manifestations rather than focusing on the good comments.
Honestly, your attention should be based on the number. If you receive only a few negative reviews, pay very little attention.
While you are at it, give the same amount of attention to the positive ones. If your book is helping more people than not, your focus should remain on these people and find out ways of helping them even more with your following books.
Don’t let insecurities creep in. It would be best if you remembered that we value the good in things because the bad exists. Besides, a couple of bad book reviews mean they are probably genuine and honest and that the book reviews weren’t bought.
Consider a Bad Book Review as Constructive Criticism
As the saying goes, “You only hear the truth from your worst enemies and your best friends,” criticism and bad book reviews are like test results. They help us improvise our skills.
Instead of considering them good or bad reviewers, consider them critiques. Do you see any validation to what they said? Did they make sense? Are they right about the book? Is there a scope for improvement?
While it is hard to do this, if you can think about them as not the author of the book but from a totally objective perspective, it can be a valuable lesson.
Besides, book reviews work as a qualifier for book buyers, helping you weed out those who may not be the perfect reader for your genre or topic.
You Can Still Respond to Negative Book Reviews but with Care
Some bad reviews might make sense. But you just have to be careful while responding to them. Do not quarrel with the reviewer. Do not discuss the details of your book unless the reviewer has got everything wrong.
Do not accuse them of anything unless you know for sure that this was a personal attack.
Rest, be polite, answer the questions, place your argument carefully and tactfully, and thank them for taking the time to review.
Don’t Let Negative Book Reviews Stop You – Take Them with a Grain of Salt
Writing and self-publishing a book is definitely nerve-racking. Book publishing is a creative work, and you are an artist, which makes everything even more emotional and personal.
But there will always be someone out there waiting to review and criticize you, regardless of your chosen profession.
You must believe in your work and yourself and not let anything stop you. JK Rowling did not give up despite being rejected by over ten book publishing companies. You mustn’t too.
The best thing you can do is write your next book and show people how to manage bad book reviews by being a brilliant writer.
Remember, good or bad, we have your back for your self-publishing needs.