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How to Handle a Book Review: 10 Ways to Cope With It


As an author, we must write books and share them with the world—for people to read them. Once an author puts out their work and gives it to their publisher, there is little to no control over the public’s response to the book. Getting reviews on every book that we publish is as common as breathing in this career. Book reviews are seen in every copy of a book, whether in book sites or in the printed manuscripts that all of us see in physical bookstores. Good book reviews are a sight for authors; some would even become proud and share it on their accounts, but how about negative book reviews?

Negative book reviews may become a source of overthinking and, in some cases, deteriorate an author’s confidence to continue writing books. It’s easier to say, “Don’t be affected,” than to put it into action. Worry not because negative book reviews are typical in the industry. Nevertheless, this article provides you with ten ways to handle negative book reviews to help you in your writing career:


1. Appreciate the feedback. The best thing you can do is enjoy and acknowledge the negative book review you received. Someone took their time to exert effort in writing a review for your book. Appreciate the negative book review and thank the reviewer if you have time; there are your readers too. Also, any kind of book review is suitable for your sales!


2. Shake it off. There are negative book reviews written by trolls and are meant to shake your confidence. Learn to ignore these kinds of reviews and move forward.


3. Learn from it. People who usually write reviews are accomplished publications or book reviewers, find constructive criticism, and note it. These criticisms can help you improve your craft and boost your growth as an author.


4. Know that it’s part of the process. Even the most famous authors in the world had suffered negative book reviews! Not everyone would like your book, and it’s a hard pill to swallow. Accept that negative book reviews are part of the industry and take it like a pinch of salt.


5. Don’t take it personally. It’s easy to get hurt with book reviews but remind yourself that it is not you that is being described on the negative thinking; it is your book. Separate yourself from your work and get some tough skin.


6. Don’t attack the reviewer. Avoid ranting on your social media sites about a negative book review. You are an author who has your public image, take a deep breath, and allow the frustration to dissipate before facing any social media sites.


7. Re-read the positive book reviews. Take a breather by reading the positive reviews of your book. This response helps you soothe yourself from the negative feeling of a bad review.


8. Treat yourself. We know that negative book reviews hit the spot for authors. Try talking with a loved one or treating yourself to some hobby if it hurts. You deserve it!


9. Let it motivate you. Don’t let the book reviews bring you down! Take this opportunity to rebuild yourself and use the negative review to inspire you to work harder next time.


10. Write the next book. Pour your anger and frustrations into something useful, write the next book! There is no better revenge than showing everyone that you grow as a writer and become a bigger person.


Every author gets a negative book review in their writing career. Famous names in the writing industry like J.K Rowling and J.D Salinger also suffered negative book reviews, but they persevered. There is no doubt that you can do it too. Apply all the ten tips discussed above in handling bad book reviews and let yourself bask in positivity. Remember to act carefully on bad book reviews and take everything you learn from it. Don’t fear negative book reviews! Any kind of review is good since it boosts your sales and helps you become more known to the public.

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