Dealing with Bad Reviews

You wrote an amazing book. You spent hours agonizing over the cover. You poured your heart and soul into the blurb. You published it. Months of hard work.

And then you get this:

1 star: Unbelievably Lame
I've never given a one star before, but this book deserves it. The authored tried too much to make the book a contemporary romance novel, but failed miserably! Waste of my time.

1 star: One Star
This was so poorly written I couldn't get beyond the 2nd chapter. How could this get published?

1 star: Very disappointed. I think I could have written a better …
I would give less if it was an option. Very disappointed. I think I could have written a better story. Didn't know it was a short story, feel ripped off for purchasing it. I should have requested a refund.

And your heart breaks.

I know mine does. Those are real reviews on one of my books. (Yours Completely. It was the #2 selling book on Amazon for a month in 2016. You can get it HERE)

So, here's what you do.

  1. Curse them. I yell at my computer and tell them that they are complete a-holes. If they think it's so easy- they should do it. Also, 50,000 words is not a SHORT STORY! It is a novel! It took months! F*** YOU RANDOM STRANGER!
  2. Have someone else read the reviews. I have my husband do this. He's close enough that he'll tell me if there are real issues (like I need to get a better editor) or if they're just jerks. He doesn't tell me about the just jerk reviews.
  3. Know that some people are haters. Seriously- how sad do you have to be to give a book a one star and call the author names? I figure those people are just pathetic sad individuals that need to get their kicks by feeling superior to others.
  4. Forget about them. This is the most important. You are not your reviews. I'm going to say it again and in big bold letters because it's incredibly important.


YOU ARE NOT YOUR REVIEWS.

I actually find that one stars are worthless. They are always sad, bitter people hoping to troll. Two and three stars are where you learn things. The two and three stars at least acknowledge that work went into this book. They usually have more than just “Ugh. I can't even!”

Use those reviews to improve. If you have lots of negative reviews, figure out why and come up with a plan. If you have lots of positive reviews, then you're doing your job well. Keep improving.

Harry Potter has made billions. Yet there are one stars on her work. Everyone's a critic. There are people that gave Harry Potter one star reviews. You are not alone.

Basically, ignore the one stars. You will never please someone who gave a one-star rating. Never. They are lost causes and don't deserve your time.

Also, NEVER respond to a review. It does you no good. It's like arguing on Facebook. No one wins and you just end up looking like an idiot.

Yell at them in your head. Write their names down and burn them in a fire. But don't respond. It won't change anything. It will only cause drama that won't help you sell more books. Let the stupid people have their opinions.

It's probably all they have.

*If you need someone else to tell you basically this same sentiment, check out Chapter 14 of “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. She says, “Someone else's opinion of me is none of my business.” And it's true. It doesn't matter what someone else thinks.