Dealing with Bad Reviews

You’re never going to please everybody. While some people will rave about your book, others will be expressing their discontent with it (and not always nicely).

You will get discouraged and you may even need to take a break from writing for a bit (I’m talking an hour or maybe the rest of the day, not a week every time you get a bad review). It’ll suck, that’s for sure.

What hurts so much about bad reviews on your work is that your books are your babies. You spent hours and hours creating and perfecting them and it’s a bad feeling when some people still don’t like them.

I’ve come up with a few options to handle this feeling:
1. Ignore them. – Don’t pay attention to them and pretend they don’t exist. Why kill your ego, right?
2. Listen to them. – The best reviews, good or bad, will give you something to work on for your next book.
3. Get used to it. – Develop a thick skin and try harder the next time around.

What you should not do:

1. Contact them. – Unless they’ve sent you an email expressing their negative reactions to your book.

My first bad review was from a couple of friends of mine who run a book blog. To say they’re avid book readers is an understatement, so I definitely didn’t dispute their arguments. Besides, I could see some of the issues they brought up anyway. What they didn’t know was that I was planning on addressing these issues in subsequent releases that would actually be prequels to the first book.

Luckily, they were nice enough to email me rather than post the bad review and we exchanged a few emails about the book and what the story needed in previous books to make this book make more sense. So I ended up learning from it and having a constructive experience.

But that didn’t mean it didn’t still hurt.

When I got the email I was in the middle of writing my third novel and I needed to stop for the day and get my mind off of my writing for a while. After I had time away from it and slept on it, I felt better about it. It was my first book, obviously it wasn’t going to be perfect! Plus, I loved my second book so much and knew it was one of the best things I had ever written (so far, at least).

The next day I pushed myself to continue working on my third book and got back into the swing of things. I had written a great chapter and felt much better about myself as a writer.

So the important thing to remember about bad reviews is to not focus on them too much. They’re going to get you down, but don’t let them stop you.


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