I like to tell authors to avoid reading reviews about their book(s). That will prevent them from being tempted to respond. However, we’re all human, and we want to know when someone talks about our work. I can safely assume that 99% of authors will ignore this advice completely.
So, let’s just assume you’re one of the 99%. Once you’ve read a review on your work, you might be tempted to respond. The best advice I can give you for that is, no matter if they are good or bad, leave your book reviews alone.
Firstly, reviews are not written for you, the author. They are the reader’s personal interpretation of your story. They need to feel free to share their thoughts, good or bad, without fear of harassment.
On bad reviews: Not everyone is going to like your book. A bad review does not mean the reviewer is personally attacking you. It’s simply an opinion from one reader. You’ve heard the old saying about opinions, right? Everybody’s got them…
It’s human to feel upset when you receive a bad review. After all, you did labor over this project for countless months, revision upon revision. It’s okay to be angry, hurt, disappointed, and any other negative emotion that hits you. Your work is your baby, and a bad review is akin to someone calling it ugly. As the author, you feel like any negative is a personal attack on you. Just feel it in the privacy of your own home. Remember, it’s one opinion.
Lashing out publicly is never going to bring back positive results for you. In fact, it’s going to push people further away from you and your books. Case in point: An author disagreed with a review posted by a blog Big Al’s Books and Pals (dedicated to indie books). What started as a simple disagreement between the author and the reviewer’s blog quickly dissolved into the author throwing a temper tantrum. This tantrum was tweeted, shared, linked and spread through the Internet like wildfire. The author’s book took the brunt of the backlash and was flooded with thousands of negative comments and close to 100 1-star reviews.
The Internet is like an elephant: It never forgets. Any comments you make, whether bad or good, will be stored online, on servers, and can eventually be accessed and dragged out again when you least expect it.
Instead of channeling the negative energy into an online temper tantrum, which will only make you look bad, why not try to look for something you can take back from the review?
Did the reviewer point out any typos, spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, etc.? Think of this as an opportunity to improve your work. The nice thing about being an indie author is we have the ability to update and improve our work. With ebooks, it’s as simple as uploading a new file. The update costs us nothing and will correct the mistakes for any future books purchased. With POD books, the same principle applies (although due to cost, you might wait until you have significant improvements before uploading new files).
Want to learn more tips and tricks on self-publishing and marketing your book? Grab a copy of Go Publish Yourself!
Katie Salidas is an author with several successful self-published titles. Each of her titles was created in the DIY (Do It Yourself) style, without the aid of author service companies. Through trial and error she has gained the knowhow to successfully publish print and ebooks. Go Publish Yourself! has that knowledge assembled into an easy-to-use format, packed with no-nonsense tips and quick and dirty tricks, so you can take your novel to the next level.
So, what are you waiting for? Go Publish Yourself!
More about Katie:
Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons. She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.
And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…
Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.