One of the things I hear a lot about or get asked about are reviews.
Let me begin by saying this: as a new author I fell into this trap and it’s a very ugly trap to be in.
Reviews are never going to be 5 star across the board. In fact, having some bad reviews mixed into the gushing and glowing reviews is a good thing. It gives you and your book credibility. If a reader sees nothing but five stars they believe the reviewers are your friends and family.
So rule number one? Embrace the negative reviews.
Embrace them? Absolutely.
Every well thought out review has validity to it. Read it. Process it. Do better. The end.
Rule number two: Do. Not. Respond.
A lot of bad reviewers are also great “trollers”. Don’t get caught up in the fodder storm. You’ll end up wearing shit even if you “win” … which you won’t. It only makes you look bad in the end.
Rule number three: see rule number one, rinse, repeat.
Trust me, I know the temptation to chime in and set people straight. Let’s pick one of my own and put it out there.
I had a “duo” pick up a free copy of my book and review it. A review which seemed to be done in Facebook messenger then copied and pasted on their “review site”.
Reading the review was torture. It felt like a text-based, Mean Girls episode. It was incredibly juvenile but the worst part was when they said I needed serious edits when they themselves could not spell. Including “LOL” in a review is the first clue to run. Anyone who uses “OMG” and “LOL” in a review meant to be taken seriously isn’t worth my time of being upset, let alone a response. And believe me, I value my time.
You’re sending out a piece of art. Art is subjective. Not everyone gets your art and not everyone should. You’re not writing a how-to book so don’t expect everyone to understand your idea.
However, if your negatives outweigh the positives it might be something you need to consider. Take it as a learning experience and move forward. If you’re too busy reading and lamenting over a review you’re not writing and working towards something new. Your readers who enjoy your work are waiting. Get over it, dust your shoulders off, dry your tears, and get to work.
If you allow a nasty reviewer to keep you from doing what you love you’re not meant to be an author. This industry is cut-throat and you are supposed to be the expert. Get back to it or get into your cage. There’s no room for weak spines in horror.
Have you received a bad review? How did you handle it? Want to share a bad review and let us critique it for a good laugh? Leave it in comments!
Remember this one important fact: You write because you love to. Who cares if a couple people don’t like it? Are they so important it’s worth you losing your passion? Let me help you with the answer. No. No they aren’t.
And if you’re a reviewer who likes being nasty and rude for kicks? Go get a hug. Internet trolls are so 1997. It’s time to grow up. And get spellcheck “LOL”.