Ever had a bad review? If you haven’t, you probably will at some stage in your writing career. As soon as we put our work out there we are asking for people to provide comment. We hope most will love it of course, but there will always be those who don’t… How you respond to that could affect your credibility and your career. So don’t respond in a way you may sometime regret.
Heather Hill wrote a great post about this – Check it out: http://hell4heather.com/2015/06/08/bad-book-reviews-and-a-folder-called-bollocks/
What struck me most after I read Heather’s post was the frightening train-wreck of an online conversation that she linked us into. It was hard to believe it could be real. You really have to see it to believe it – and once you have you will gain real insight into exactly why you should NEVER try to respond to a negative review. No sooner did this particular author (Dylan) start to attack the one star reviewer than his reviews plummeted. It’s easy to see why when you check out what he said. http://archive.is/rFgtE (I liked one comment that questioned whether this conversation was some sort of social experiment? You have to wonder about an author who would publish such vitriol. Seriously!)
If you want to know what to do when you get a bad review, I have a few suggestions:
- Ignore it and move on. Try not to let it undermine you too much – remember, there will be many who love your book. There will never be a ‘one size fits all’ book!
- Craft a response full of righteous indignation or justifications or whatever you feel like and then PUT IT IN THE DELETE FOLDER. You will never send it.EVER
- Learn from any constructive comments made. There may be something that will help to improve your writing.
- Just don’t respond. Really, not ever…
Susan Noble also posted some ideas on this. https://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/handling-a-bad-book-review/
And here’s another great article on the subject of dealing with bad reviews. You are not the only one – it has happened to many of our greatest authors:
So my take home message. Let people have their opinions, and don’t let it derail your work… DON’T RESPOND TO BAD REVIEWS. Just focus on writing the best books you can, regardless of what anyone says!