So They Hate Your Book?

by Carole BrownDislike hate deny free

I remember the first “three star, bad” review I received. Devastation. Hurt. Disappointment. Bewilderment. Anger. 

How could they? 

Yet, someone had and did “hate” my book. I wanted to cry, to have my friends and fellow-authors sympathize with me, to share it with everyone how someone could hate my beloved, debut book. 

The advice I got from my friends? 

  • We all get those.
  • Three stars isn’t that bad
  • Get over it.

And, yes, they loved me. But I needed to grow up as an author. So, my advice to you today is, when you get a poor review:

Take a Step Back

  • Give yourself time to relax and distance yourself from your book and a bad review
  • If you can, work on a different manuscript, or at least, re-read your own book with fresh eyes.
  • Only then re-read the review

Evaluate

  • Once you’ve re-read the negative review, can you glean anything worthwhile from it?
  • Are there fixable errors, weak spots and/or possible things you neglected to include?
  • Can you see that the reviewer is honestly trying to give advice (even if a bit harshly or insensitively hurtful)?
  • If it’s obviously a “troll” review, forget about it and ignore.

Understanddislike child free

  • That some reviewers don’t know the proper way to review
  • That some reviewers consider “three stars” as a high rating. I received one “three star” rating, which had me raising my brows, but the review was filled with praise for the book. I learned that the three stars meant it rated highly with the reviewer. 
  • Just because the reader bought/received the wrong genre, that doesn’t make it a “bad” book, and reviewing it harshly for that reason is not the proper way to review. Personal preferences and wrong genres are not good reasons for poor reviews. Writing issues, weak research, and a lack of proper editing are.
  • That most, if not all, authors receive poor reviews. There are many reasons for them. Study, if you wish, the reason for yours and act accordingly. Meaning, ignore it and toughen up. If a person is planning to stay in the writing business, you’ll probably get more–many more–of those. Either quit reading them or put on your tough armor and get through it–unscathed! 

Move on

  • Too many negative reviews raise a concern: Did I write a “bad” book? It never hurts to re-evaluate your book. As stated above, make sure the edits are crystal-fine, that your research is impeccably correct, plot lines in order, etc. Never underminReviewer feedback writing freee your work with sloppy writing. 
  • Learn that when asking for an honest review, be sure the people you request from are interested in your mystery/suspense (romance, sci-fi, etc). If reviewers love your genre, you’re more apt to get favorable reviews.
  • When you find those individuals, ask for honest feedback. When you send arc copies, ask for a timeline and where and when the reader will be able to post reviews. 
  • Look ahead to your next manuscript. Plot, edit and write. Keep learning as you go. Stay humble and willing to accept suggestions from readers. Find the best critique partners you can; ones that will do you the favor of being gentle, but honest, who loves your work, and is able to see the “holes” you might overlook. When you find that person(s), be sure to show thankfulness. They’re hard to come by!

Remember

  • Move past any useless negativity and use the constructive criticism to improve.
  • Never respond to negative reviews.
  • Never quit writing.

Have you ever received poor reviews? How did you respond? Were you able to move past the disappointment? 

Happy Writing!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Author Carole Brown, encouragement for writers, Sharpening Our Writing by Carole Brown. Bookmark the permalink.

About Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

4 thoughts on “So They Hate Your Book?

    • Oh, my. Now that is hurtful! What was she thinking? If I truly felt that way, I would have never reviewed–not for a person I’d grown up with. Sigh. Thanks for sharing.

  1. Carole, after sharing your post this weekend with friends I had to come back and tell you what they said. One listener complained about too much description and said she just skipped that part. She commented that she would give the book a 3 or 4 star. When I questioned her rating, she said because she liked it. What?
    Another listener said she rarely gives 5 stars. She explained that 3 and 4 stars meant she liked it. A five-star review was for epics, books filled with history and several POVs. I smiled because that is my idea of a 5-star review.
    One commenter said she is suspicious of 5-star reviews and often bypasses the book.
    During this conversation, I marveled at the difference of opinions in this group. I couldn’t believe why they didn’t like one of my favorites while I wondered how in the world they liked their favorite!
    Changing subjects, like you, I will not review a 1 or 2-star book. Three and four stars are good books to me.
    I wonder if we need to rethink this star rating and ask the reader about their take away. Isn’t that why we write in the first place? I only ask because I’m preparing to publish my first book and I’m trying to get ready for that bad review. 🙂
    If this weekend taught me anything it was some folks just doesn’t get our books. And that, my friend, is why we have each other. Encouragement.
    Keep writing your stories and blessing your readers! ❤

  2. Thank you! I certainly understand that I don’t particularly care that kind of ratings. Nevertheless, that’s the way it is, so we, as writers deal with it. (Or try to. lol) I love my writing friends, and especially those who have hearts for other writers. Looking forward to you book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s