Coping with Good and Bad Reviews

When I blog about books, it’s usually e-book formats, design and reading apps (my favorite being Google Play Books), not the actual writing life. This is a blog about things that interest me that fall in the realm of publishing and tech, so it can be a bit eclectic. However, I am back to writing, so there’s probably going to be the occasional writing life type of post. Hopefully some people will find it useful.

As you may or may not know, my new title, Linear Park, comes out next week, which is also when the reviews will start coming in. This is the time to concentrate on my new story instead of anxiously hoping that people will like my new title. Yeah, it’s not always that easy. For every author, this is the nail biting time. It’s what you’ve been waiting for, and all you can do is hope for the best. Your work will be judged. To get through this, I put together some thoughts on how to deal with good and bad reviews. Here they are.

  • You cannot control what people think about your title.
    • Although you want everybody to like your story, it’s not going to please everybody. All you can do is hope for more favorable reviews than unfavorable.
  • Good reviews are great for stroking your ego, just don’t stroke it too much.
    • Do not post every good review on social media. Honestly, people will be happy for you, but it doesn’t mean as much to them as it does for you.
    • If your head gets too big, read a bad review. That will do the trick.
  • Good reviews are great for publicity, so use them in advertisements or when plugging your title on a blog. Do not rave about them to your friends, who will smile and nod and wish you would stop.
  • A mediocre review is better than one that outright pans your title.
    • You can always pull something good out of a mediocre review to help plug your title on a blog or in an ad.
  • A review is just an opinion, be it good or bad. One review will not make or break your title. Do not stress over them.
  • Learn something from a bad review.
    • Reviews are great ways to improve your story telling. A review that’s negative will probably let you know what the reviewer didn’t like about your title. Take something from it and grow.
  • Do not take a review personally.
    • A review, good or bad, isn’t about you, it’s about the story and what the reviewer thought about it.
  • DO NOT EVER respond to a bad review. Nothing good will come of it. Everybody has a right to his/her opinion, and that is all a review is.
  • You should be working on your new book instead of stressing over something you can’t control.

There’s my checklist for how to handle reviews. Also, if you can’t handle criticism, then DO NOT read reviews.

Right now I’m going to take a deep breath and get back to work on my new title. Hopefully this was helpful.


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