6 Ways to Handle Bad Book Reviews

An eBook on a tablet standing against a pile of books.

6 Ways to Handle Bad Book Reviews

The heartbreaking thing about art is that no matter how amazing you think your work is, somebody in the world will always find some faults in it. Does that mean you stop doing what you love? No! If anything, the criticism should only fuel you to do better.

One of the most easily criticized pieces of art remains to be book writing. This doesn’t make your work invalid, or insufficient, it just means there’s somebody out there who doesn’t believe in the story you’re telling.

While bad book reviews can have a huge toll on your creativity and the willingness to create more art, these could act as the strongest way to make your next book a success. However, to be able to get to the point where you can handle criticism with high spirits, you need to learn how to handle a bad book review.

Here are some ways that handling a bad book review can be easier for you—let’s begin!

1. Avoid Responding

We know how difficult it can be when someone is questioning your work and a lifetime of efforts. However, that does not mean you get to engage in negative arguments over the internet with strangers. One of the major mistakes that authors make is to visit reviewing forums and get into arguments trying to defend their work. If you feel you might do something like this, first of all, make sure you don’t end up on sites that are reviewing your work, and if you do – make sure you’re not making contact with reviewers.  

2. Accept the Process

A person in an orange shirt reading something from paper.

When people are reading books, they don’t think about the effort an author puts in to create the whole story. All they focus on is whether or not the book can keep them intrigued, interested, and hooked. If either of these aspects doesn’t fall in place, you will find that readers will leave a bad review. To handle the review, you need to accept that making your work vulnerable to others’ opinions is just part of the process.

3. Remember: Bad Reviews Are Sometimes Good

When you advertise books online, you need to remember that the response can go either way. People might love your book entirely; others might not even make it through the first few pages. A mixed audience is likely to produce mixed reviews – and that’s not always a bad thing. Some bad reviews help authenticate the good ones. If a book has a 100% positive response, other readers are bound to become suspicious about paid reviews.

4. Find the Humor

Two women sitting next to each other, laughing.

Image File Name: women-laughingImage Alt Text: When someone reads a book, they look at a character from a completely different perspective than yours. They might even identify problems in the book that were never meant to be there; all in all, a bad review can be a comical situation. Look at how things can go wrong without trying and try to laugh it off. It will help you address the criticism more productively instead of obsessing over it.

5. Improve the Weaknesses

After nights of creative labor, it can get difficult to see your work as anything but perfect. You need to remember that there will always be someone who will find fault in your work – and there even might be a few plot holes you were unable to fill. In such a situation, use the bad review to make amends for the approach you had before. Improve the areas that are being criticized.

6. Start Another Book

A person writing in a notebook with a pen.

A bad review can be a major cause behind writer’s block – instead of letting the critique get to your head and mess up your career. Take constructive criticism, improve your work, and pour the feedback into the next book you write. Make sure that the plot holes they found are addressed in the next book; see how the characters can be further developed. Even the slightest bit of criticism can help you improve the quality of your next book.

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