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8 Ways To Deal With Negative Book Reviews

Negative reviews are a part of the publishing process that can affect your confidence and get you worked up for a long time. So, you may need to learn how to handle them and use them for your benefit. This article shows how to do that in eight simple ways.

1. Expect negative reviews
Negative reviews are a significant part of the publishing process. Every author gets negative and unflattering comments about their work. Your work is an artistic expression, and art is subjective, meaning not everyone will like your book. Your job as a writer doesn't include the impossible task of blowing every reader's mind. So, build your stamina to withstand bad reviews.

2. If a review is trivial, treat it as such
If a review doesn't hold any merit, don't let it get to you. Instead, laugh at how far-fetched, poorly written, or ridiculous it is. Instead of getting worked up over a comment that has nothing on your work, turn the tables and have a good laugh at it. 

3. Don't respond to the reviewer
As much as you feel like responding, resist the urge to do it. In this situation, people may read your reply in a negative light. Or your response may be terrible and will be out there for everyone to see. A few fans may try to defend you, but most people will see you as the bad guy. And even if you later delete it, the internet doesn't forget. Don't even consider emailing the reviewer. Refuse to give power to negative reviews with your reply. 

4. See negative reviews as validity for good reviews
A book that has nothing but five-star reviews looks suspicious. People will think you hired your friends and family to flood the user review with fake praises. But a few terrible reviews make your review section more authentic, credible, and organic. And sometimes, people get to read your work to know if it was as bad as someone said it is.

5. Identify constructive criticism in the review
Sometimes, negative reviews may offer constructive criticism, which you should note. The comment may have some merits that can improve your writing, pointing out the areas where your book falls short. Learn to appreciate this kind of review and use this to enhance your writing. 

6. Don’t obsess over negative reviews
It is easy to dwell on the negative and let it weigh you down. But remember that a bad review doesn't mean you're a terrible author. Focus on the many comments that appreciate your brilliance and creativity. Let the positive reviews remind you that your efforts were not in vain. Negative reviews have a way of calling your attention, and you need to learn to ignore them. 

7. Don't let it stop you
Releasing a book is a scary, nerve-racking endeavor. You must've been working on your book for over a year, and you want everyone who reads it to see the hard work and appreciate the heart and thought that went into it. Unfortunately, there will be someone who thinks you didn't do a good job. So, don't let the thoughts of negative reviews prevent you from releasing your book, even if the last release wasn't well-received. Don't take it personally, even when what they say is true.

8. Write the next book
The best way to respond to bad reviews is by getting back to work and writing more. If the negative review is constructive criticism, you should make the required adjustments in your next book. This way, your readers can see your growth and appreciate the progress you've made in your craft. Also, focusing on your writing distracts you from negative comments that lack merit. 

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen