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Did you just receive a bad book review?

September 21, 2011

Of course we all love receiving great book reviews – but books are very personal and mean different things to different people.  Effect people in different ways.

Some People “LOVE” my paranormal book Paradox – The Angels Are Here, while others don’t – not at all.  For some, it makes them cry – and that tells me that I have achieved what I set out to do, to touch people’s emotions.  People will ‘feel’ your book, or they won’t. 

And I for one think that is a good thing – that different things affect people in different ways – it is what makes us unique.  The world would be a very boring place if we all liked the same things and all felt the same way.

What do I do if I get a bad review...?  Easy, I pick a really popular Author on Amazon and go read their bad reviews.  This reinforces in me that even the greats get bad reviews from time to time and they are still doing GREAT!  They kept on writing and became even more successful Authors.

Offer your book to bloggers and book reviewers that are happy to give you an honest book review. Trust me, you want the truth. Anything less is worthless. You can learn far more from a bad honest review than you can a great dishonest one.

You need a tough skin, but at the end of the day it is worth it 🙂 A bad review doesn’t mean your book is bad, it just means that the wrong person read it! You serve a person that prefers vanilla icecream strawberry and the chances are, they aren’t going to like it very much. No matter how good it is.

John Locke says something like – Write for the people who love your book, not for the ones that don’t.  I for one think that is great advice!  And the last I heard, John is going GREAT with his 99c ebooks on Amazon.  He is one of Amazon’s all time best sellers, week after week. 

Go check out John’s reviews for his books!  And you will see what I mean.  The man, no matter how popular and successful he is still gets some really BAD reviews.

Yep, I’m a huge John Locke fan yet I have never read any of his Donovan Creed novels.  And probably never will – but John wont care because he has a host of loyal fans that will continue to buy every book he publishes.  

However, I do swear by his $2.99 ebook – How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!  When John talks – I listen!  Read his book, it will be the best $2.99 you ever spent on a book.  

If you have a friend who is an indie author or who is thinking about becoming one – buy it for them.  They will thank you for it!

So a bad review to me just means, OK, we have different tastes in books.  No big deal.  Some prefer chocolate or strawberry icecream, while I prefer vanilla!

My advice is, chin up and keep writing!  Because there are people out there who are going to LOVE your book.

Mark Twain wrote – 

“Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”


Perhaps he should have also added – “write like ………..”  what would you type there?


If you have enjoyed reading this post, chances are one of your friends will too – please forward, twitter or facebook – it just might make someone’s day!

Patti Roberts – Author of the book Paradox – The Angels Are Here.

The Paradox Series Book Trailers

ebook from Smashwords – all formats
US – ebook from Amazon
UK – ebook from Amazon
Nook – Barnes & Noble
Paperback – Createspace
Thesaurus Bookstore – Melbourne

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2011 7:50 pm

    I’m still at the stage of trying to develop that thick skin. My first short story release is a sinister tale about a disfunctional relationship between two men – but it seems people are expecting it to be a romance, perhaps because that’s what they usually read. It’s not a ‘romance’. Trouble is I can’t say that when someone says it’s not very romantic. I’ve had some lovely reviews from people that do ‘get’ the story, so I try and focus on those. But the the harsh reviews sting. I’m glad I saw this post today, it’s helped 🙂

    • November 20, 2011 8:41 am

      It’s kind of sad that we tend to focus more on the negative reviews rather than the positive ones. Maybe that comes from our own self-doubt making us believe that a bad review holds more credence than a good one. Perhaps it is our inbred desire to try and please everyone, which we all know is impossible, no matter how hard we try. However, try, we do, and as long as a negative review motivates us to keep trying, keep writing, and not give up, then the ‘bad review’, has to be credited for making us better writers. So anyway you look at it, bad isn’t necessarily bad after all. Keep writing! After all, any review is better than no reviews!

  2. October 28, 2011 8:27 am

    Hi Patti
    Thanks for sharing! My memoir has just been published and I must admit, I’ve thought quite a lot about how I will feel about negative reviews. The book is quite controversial and so I do expect some strong opinions. But as you say, everyone is different and will react from their own personal experiences and beliefs. And even bestselling books get bad reviews. I love the John Locke quote, I’m heading off to check out the recommended book now. Thanks.

    At the end of the day, I wrote my book for my children, and through writing it, I realized that it was actually for myself and my own healing. I did my best, and that’s what counts. And just maybe, someone else will find something in my book that will help them in some way too.

    After experiencing how much work goes into writing a book, I don’t think I could ever give anyone a bad review again! I’d rather just not comment.

    Thanks for the excellent reminder.
    Much love,

  3. October 1, 2011 9:39 am

    Hi Patti,

    I’ve found that with angel books written by both new and established authors alike the reviews are all over the place. Most times people either love them or hate them. A novel that’s considered truly original many times has equal amounts of both. I’ve had proofreaders, betas, and established authors all offer differing opinions on my novel. I too am a John Locke fan. His philosophy is the more negative reviews you get, the more original your novel. It’s great food for thought, and even more reason to take all reviews in stride. Write, learn, and move on to the next book.

    Yours in Prose,
    Author of the YA Novel When Copper Suns Fall: a Dark Urban Fantasy

    • October 3, 2011 4:36 am

      Thank you so much for leaving your comment Kay. Always good to hear others opinions.

      Yes John’s book was most enlightening. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice!

      I have no problems with reviews, good or bad. Books are very personal. So I totally understand if there are people out there that don’t enjoy it.

      It was my intention to let those know that a bad review isn’t the end of the world. And that they should never stop writing!

  4. September 24, 2011 10:45 am

    Further comments here –

  5. September 24, 2011 12:15 am

    When Colleen says, “Creativity is difficult, and it’s been my decision to stop allowing anything that might negatively impact my writing,” I must agree completely. Not just with my writing, but also those of other writers. I have read books that may not have been national bestsellers, but there is always something nice to say – always. Authors put so much heart and soul into their writing, and often it can be personal as well. Just to come up with an idea for a story and put finger to keyboard takes courage and inspiration, and all authors deserve a little credit just for that! In my opinion, anything below a two-star review is just being mean, and I don’t even take those into consideration unless there is a lot of critical input.

  6. September 22, 2011 11:45 pm

    I stopped reading reviews in January of 2010. I know this for a fact because that was not only a New Year’s Resolution for me, but also it was prior to the launch of a new series I was writing as Joss Ware (three books in three months, and I’d put a moratorium on reading reviews).

    It’s made my life a lot easier.

    However, I do read reviews that are sent to me (ie, vetted) by someone who loves me. 🙂 Those are nice, and that way I don’t get any nasty surprises.

    Creativity is difficult, and it’s been my decision to stop allowing anything that might negatively impact my writing. Aside from that, I understand that reviews are completely, wholly subjective…so one person’s opinion shouldn’t matter too much to me. However, if it’s a strongly negative review (or even a slightly negative review) I can let it worm its way into my psyche and it can affect my work.

    So….I don’t read reviews.

  7. September 22, 2011 12:56 am

    Well put, Patti! So true 🙂

  8. September 21, 2011 10:20 pm

    I agree, you can’t make everyone happy and there are always those that will complain. I liken it to reviews on TripAdvisor. We stay at the same piece of heaven each time we go to Exuma and love it (obviously) and give it a 5 star. Someone actually gave it a 1 Star. Some people will always find something to complain about. I always keep a couple reviews close by from people who have said really nice things about my books. Takes the sting out of the negative ones.

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