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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book? : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
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How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:09 am
by mikeyboy_esq
Received my first 1-star book review this weekend. Not gonna lie, it stung a little. My first reaction was to think that maybe I'm not a good writer after all and I should just hang it up. But then I reminded myself that I can't make everyone like me or my work. That is not realistic. That is not life. I teach (part-time) at a local community college and learned long ago that there will usually be 1 person in class who just doesn't get you no matter how hard you try to do a good job. Likewise, there will usually be 1 person who thinks you are the greatest thing since sliced bread even if you didn't do your best that semester. So I try to ignore those outliers and pay attention to the 90% in the middle. If that group is happy with my performance, then I can live with that. Back to my 1-star review... this is the first negative review of probably 40 or 50 reviews I've received from various people on various websites. 90% of my reviews so far have been 4-stars and 5-stars. So looking at the big picture, I will try to focus on those 90% or more happy customers rather than the 1 person who didn't enjoy my book.

How do you handle negative reviews?

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:32 am
by robjvargas

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:39 am
by Oldtimer
I've only received one negative review, too. Having been used to praise, that review made me indignant and I put it down to the reviewer having a bad day. But then I had another look at my book and realized that what he/she had said was valid in many ways. The story did ramble. It could have been cut down to one-third its size. What still rankles, after many rereads to find a crumb of comfort, is the comment that the reviewer made at the end, which was: "The story is there, between the covers." My reaction mirrored Jerry Colonna's (thinking of his take on "Mary had a little lamb) ... "Where else did you expect it to be? On the back or the front?"
I trashed the book and rewrote it. The resulting three books have evoked favorable comments from unbiased people, so it looks as though I should be grateful for that negative review. However, its last comment still irritates me.

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:39 pm
by williamadams

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:11 pm
by Spinners
I know how the Milkeyboy_ESQ feels. I wonder if many on this Board have received scathing reviews on Amazon by someone only known as "Ariel"? I wager she is a disgruntled English major from what I gather quoting academic rhetoric by heart. The first rule in writing, as many advice books will quote, is that there are no rules...only guidelines. These one-star reviews seem to make someone feel big with disregard for the positive. In my case, "Ariel" went for the jugular spouting an academic analysis of the mechanics of my story while clearly missing all the "easter eggs" in the plot for the [legit] reader to piece together.

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:14 pm
by Spinners

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:26 pm
by williamadams

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:18 am
by cynicalwanderer
William, did you write that bad review of mikeyboy's book yourself? The truth, please.

I have examined that review and a few other reviews written by the same reviewer, and the linguistic fingerprint of that "systems thinker" reviewer is almost identical to that of the online persona you've presented on here, as well as a few other clues. If you're not that person, then I apologise, but if you are then that would make your comments here somewhat disingenuous.

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:23 am
by Dreaming Imrryr
The first review I ever got was a 1 star review.

I ended up unpublishing the ebook.

Re: How do you handle NEGATIVE REVIEWS of your book?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:33 pm
by mikeyboy_esq