Handling Bad Reviews

BITTER TEA
(How to Deal with Bad Reviews)
Note: We have an ENTIRE upcoming series just for this topic, but for now here are some quick tips, and our best advice is: Don’t read your reviews. (If you can help it) If you accept/believe the good, you have to accept/believe the bad, too. Sometimes it’s best to be ignorant of both. If you wrote the best book possible given whatever the constraints, had critique people and betas readers help you shape it into the best story possible, then there’s nothing a reviewer can tell you otherwise.
 
1. DO realize that *every* author gets bad reviews. Every single one of us receives 1 star, 2 star, DNF (did not finish) reviews. It’s what happens when you decide to become an author. “Your job is to literally put out work for the world to judge.” (<–NYT Bestselling Author Jay Crownover said these exact words on our podcast 🙂 )
2. Do NOT engage with the reviewer who left you a negative review. It’s not a review of *you*. It’s a review of your *work* and what he/she experienced while reading your work. You saying, “No! You got that character’s name all wrong so therefore you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about” or “This review is really mean and classless and you should try to be nicer” is absolutely pointless. Yes, the review *may* be mean and classless, and yes, they may get your character(s) name wrong, but the reviewer is talking to other readers, not YOU, the author. [Stop reading your reviews. Go work on your book.] 
3. Don’t read them. We repeat, don’t read them. If you love your book, why do you care whether or not anyone else loves it? It’s impossible to have a book that no one dislikes. If you know that, then why do you secretly hope for it?
3a. If you insist on reading them (the 2.5 and 3 stars anyway), learn from them. Some–just some, negative reviews are constructive. There are usually only a small percentage that are written by trolls that are bitter. Therefore, if you can hold back your sensitivity for a moment, you might get an idea of how to better execute your next book 🙂
3b. Okay seriously..Do you ever really expect to LEARN something from a 1 star review? #dontreadthose 🙂
 
4. DO understand, that reviews are not personal!  Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect book. Don’t believe me? Look up one of the highest selling book(s) that you know on Amazon/Goodreads, how about Fifty Shades of Grey? Let me know what you see when you get to the very first/top rated review. How about that book’s most liked review? (Do you think E.L. James confronted that reviewer or took it personally? Do you think she commented and told the reviewer that he/she was wrong? Rhetorical question.)
 
5. DO what Nicole London does: Every time you see a new bad review pop up on your Amazon page (Amazon only, not GoodReads! lol), do what I do, go to the count for your reviews, and celebrate the fact that your number just went up by one. No seriously, call your best friend and say, “Guess what? I have *insert number* reviews now!” 🙂  The *number* of reviews is far more important & worthy of discussion 🙂

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