I’m a relatively new author. My debut novel came out in May. And like every book out in the world, it’s received a negative review or two.
And to be honest, I agreed with some of the points made in those reviews, disagreed with other points.
How did I respond to the reviews?
It’s not my place to respond to reviews, whether good or bad, aside from a thank you to the bloggers who take the time to post their reviews on their blogs and on social media, even if they don’t like the book.
Maybe it’s because I spent so much time in the insurance world dealing with laws, rules and regulations and having lengthy conversations with attorneys on a daily basis, but the very idea of someone hunting down a reviewer’s personal information sends chills down my spine. There’s nothing to celebrate there. Nothing about the situation seems worth championing.
As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, privacy is a huge thing for me. My home is my secure place where I can relax and avoid being overwhelmed by so much in the outside world. I cannot imagine the terror of having someone I don’t know invade that privacy.
Here’s the thing…bad reviews suck. They do. They hurt and they make you question your abilities(and maybe sometimes they should do it.) But aside from all of it, bad reviews cannot in and of themselves make you do a bloody thing.
As an author, you receive a bad review and you have a decision to make on how you intend to respond.
If you’re like me, you eat chocolate….cry to your husband…and then tell yourself not to read the review again. And tell yourself to write better.
Things you should do when you read a bad review of your book:
– cry into a pint of ice cream.
– drink wine. lots of wine.
– all the wine.
– decide not to read negative reviews again.
– step away from your computer for a few days.
– find someone to go through reviews for you and have them only send you the good ones.
Things you should NOT do when you read a bad review of your book:
– attack the reviewer.
– stalk the reviewer.
– get your fans to bully the reviewer.
– act like an overgrown toddler who’s favourite toy has been taken away.