Writers, no matter how good or talented, are still human. It’s understandable if you sometimes feel slighted by a brutal negative book review or even by a well-meaning but still negative one. However, acting out on the perceived slight is an entirely different thing – if you do it the wrong way, you may end up tarnishing your reputation in the process. Here are a bunch of effective tips on how to deal with negative book reviews in a dignified way:
Always Remember That Any Review is Publicity
Keep in mind that when a review trashes your work, not everyone will agree with the reviewer. But those people who are unaware of your book’s existence will now be compelled to check out your book, and possibly your other works as well. Just think of all the books that are panned by critics yet still top bestseller lists – like the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. You have to admit that part of the reason why it’s so popular is due to all the negative reviews attracting attention.
Trust Your Readers to Form Their Own Opinion
As mentioned above, not everybody will agree with a negative review. It’s because people tend to form their own opinions when it comes to books. In fact, it’s arguable that reviews don’t sway people’s opinions on books – it only reaffirms their biases. People who don’t like your book in the first place will agree with a negative review, while people who are more likely to love your work will defend it or write positive reviews. You’re not losing readers due to negative reviews.
This may sound like one of those generic pieces of advice that isn’t really useful (like “grow a thick skin”) but to be more specific, you need to be confident of your own abilities. Understand what you can do and what you cannot. There’s always room for improvement but you should always be aware of your limits. This will allow you to deal with criticisms more objectively, as you will be able to recognize and ignore criticisms that are invalid and take the valid ones as a tool for learning. The reason why many authors get hurt by negative reviews is that they don’t really know themselves, and are unsure as to which feedback is valid. The ones who know themselves let unwarranted criticisms slide off their skin.
Don’t Hate the Person Who Gave the Negative Review
Lastly, it is important that you never take it personally. Focus on the negative review and whatever lessons you can learn from it. Ignore the person giving the review. If you focus on the person too much, then you start trying to look for his or her motivations for giving you a negative review, as a subconscious way of avoiding accountability – “the book isn’t really bad, the reviewer just wants to hurt me” would be the common thought. Once you exorcise your brain of these negative thoughts, negative book reviews won’t be so negative at all and will never ever cause you undue stress.
Image Copyright: arsty / 123RF Stock Photo[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]