You have invested precious time and resources in writing a book and finally, you proceed to bless the world with it, your baby. Now, what gives any one the right (‘book reviewer’ or whatever they call themselves) to speak an ill word against your fine work of art? Relax, I get it. Really, I do. But maybe it’s not as bad as you think. Even J.K Rowling has her fair share of criticism for the Harry Potter series.
Here are some reasons to back up my statement. Plus, what you can do about negative book reviews (instead of sending the reviewer a long, nasty email as you might be tempted to).
Don’t take it personally
One bad review doesn’t make you or your work a failure. Understand that this is just one person’s opinion, and it’s not an intended jab at your person (unless, of course, you discover it really is).
Don’t delete the displeasing comments or reviews
That singular action from you might not go unnoticed on whichever platform it was made (and you don’t want to further worsen the situation, trust me). If you do choose to respond, try to do say gracefully.
Assess the situation from an objective stance
What if there’s actually an iota of truth or something valuable you can take away from the criticism? You never know. Some of the best advice that point out our weaknesses in order to help us improve are not usually sugar-coated.
Avoid focusing only on the negatives
Read and reread the best positive reviews other readers have left and let it give your morale the boost it needs. This is still your baby after all.
Some quick facts you should equally consider
• Some readers actually get their interest piqued on a book when it isn’t ALL praises. They want to see for themselves if it’ll ring true too or not (free publicity there from critics!). So, you see, honest critical reviews can serve as a guide to prospective readers on what to expect from your book – the good and the bad. Honestly, if nobody critics your book, it might put your credibility in question.
• The part of the book that one reviewer considered negative might actually be a highlight for another reader. Different things float different folks’ boat.
As much as you want to avoid letting the critics get to you, perhaps you might want to sit-up if too many people are pointing out the same things they didn’t like about your book. Was that character really exaggerated? Or, perhaps the editing could have been better?
In all, the focus should be honest, constructive feedback. Anything further than that may just be your haters at work. Tsk tsk. I’d like to see them write a book of their own.
How have you handled negative book reviews in the past?