If you’re a writer, you’re going to have to get used to getting bad reviews. You could be a multi-national bestseller with awards cluttering every shelf of your home, and you’d still receive a bad review every now and again; in fact, you may receive more bad reviews the more successful you become. If you’ve received a bad review, or you’re struggling to imagine how you’re going to handle it when you do, here are some things to consider.
Don’t Seek Out The Bad Reviews
While it’s always nice to get feedback, ultimately you’re writing for yourself and the fans of your work. We can always stand to increase our skills as writers, but there are plenty of ways to do that without the negative criticism that comes from reviewers. If bad reviews bother you, skip over them.
Reviewers Are Doing Their Job
Reviews aren’t (usually) personal. Just as you are trying to gain readership, so is a reviewer. Sometimes people say negative, even outlandish things just to get a read. Take everything with a grain of salt. Many times, reviewers don’t give much thought to the author of a book when the review is written.
No matter how upset you feel after reading a bad review, don’t ever make contact or try to attack back. Find quiet ways to cope with your anger and hurt feelings; writing letters that you’ll never send is an excellent practice for this experience. Responding to reviewers emotionally is unprofessional and you’re likely to regret it.
When you get a bad review, and especially the first one, it can really hit you where it hurts, but don’t worry about it too much. Many bad reviews have less to do with the writing itself than they have to do with your subject matter or personal style. Don’t sweat it too much and keep on writing!