The Writing Life: How to Deal with a Bad Book Review

How to Deal with a Bad Book Review

by Joanne Troppello

As authors, we are always going to have to deal with book reviews, both the good and the bad. Reviews are a part of the business. If we don’t learn how to constructively deal with our reviews, we are going to have problems.

One fact we need to remember is that we will never please everyone. That’s a fact, pure and simple. We need to accept that or we won’t survive in this industry. We need to work towards pleasing our inner critic, as our number one priority. We must always strive to put our best work out there for our readers. If we can please our inner critic and our editors, we are well on our way to pleasing our readers.

Reviewers have a part in selling our books, but they are not a major player. Our readers are the major players because when they like a book, they spread the word like wild fire.

Of course, we cannot forget about our reviewers, because all reviews—whether positive or negative—have effects on our sales and the general perception of our book. Receiving a great book review is a wonderful confidence builder. It can help motivate you towards success and starting new writing projects. A great review will catch prospective readers’ eyes and get you new book sales. Receiving awesome book reviews will help to brand your reputation as a great author.

Don’t get discouraged if you get bad book reviews because they are inevitable. You will never please everyone. When you get a bad book review, you need to utilize it to your advantage.

Don’t let it paralyze you with fear and negatively affect your self-esteem. Even though it’s painful, read through the entire bad book review. Don’t react right away. Instead, take some time to think about what the reviewer is saying. If you seem to get repeated remarks from different reviewers on the same critique, you may want to give that aspect some extra attention to see if there is truth to it.

Your writing is always your own. You don’t have to listen to editors, but it would be smart to take what they say to heart. If you don’t want to listen to editors, then you won’t make it with a good publishing company. You’ll need to self-publish your book. That can make the entire journey a lot more difficult—and I’m speaking from experience. I have taken the self-publishing route as well as the traditional route with a small press. The point here is that if you don’t make your work the best possible creation that you can, then you are always going to have bad book reviews.

Sure your book could be near perfect, and you can still get a bad review. However, if you take constructive criticism to heart and proceed with a willingness to make your work the best that you can, then you will get some great book reviews.

Even if you get a bad review from a reviewer or from a reader, this can be for your advantage because bad publicity is still publicity. Readers are not ignorant. They won’t always listen to book reviews. Getting a bad book review could even spur people on to read the book for themselves so that they can be their own judge.

No matter what, don’t allow discouragement from a bad book review to keep you prisoner. Read it with an open mind, take the good with the bad and move on from there. Great reviews are just over the horizon!


About the Author

Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Pandora's Box Gazette.

She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, app recommendations, and content for blogs.

Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect with Joanne on Twitter and on the PBG Patreon Page.

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