Saturday, 20 April 2013

Writers, what to do if you get a stinker of a review

My filing cabinet for bad reviews.

It happens to every writer eventually. You get a review that has you wanting to scream one minute and curl up in a ball sobbing until the stars fall out of the sky. How do you deal with that?

Here's a few tips.

1. Remember it's only one person's point of view. One person. Not hundreds of people - just one. Does everybody everywhere like the same things? Nope, so you have to accept that there will be people who may not like your book.

2. Print out the review and roll it up into a ball and throw it in the bin, or use it to play a game of ping pong. The review doesn't have much power over you now, eh?

3. Talk to other writers. Ask them about the worst review they've ever had. Moan about it. Laugh about it. Then forget about it.

4. Look at all your good reviews and all the good things that anyone has ever said about your writing. Does one or two bad reviews mean you are suddenly a bad writer? Of course not. Push away all that negativity by submerging yourself in positivity.

5. Tell yourself that at least they bought your book. The money from someone who leaves you a bad review is the same as someone who leaves you a good review.

6. And, if you really get upset by reviews, step away from the computer and STOP reading them. I know it's hard, but a writer needs to keep writing. Any time spent being all maudlin over a review, one person wrote, is eating into your writing time.


  1. Good advice, Jen. I try to approach bad reviews now as just amusing and let them go. But my favorite bad review came from Goodreads: "Blah blah blah... skimmed 80% of it." Brilliant!

    1. Thanks, Heath. Reviews are just part of being a writer. I suppose it would be worse if you got none at all. And then there's the ones you get that bring a smie to your face and make any bad ones worthwhile:)

  2. Sorry if you've had one, Jenny - is it worse than having no reviews at all?

    1. Ha, Lizy, I wish it'd just been one. I've had my fair share. My personal favorite was "I haven't read your book, but the subject is stupid."

  3. All good advice, Jenny. And at least none of us need feel alone now when that bad review hits Amazon ...


DI Duncan Waddell - Detective in a Coma Book 2

One lost girl. A bus full of secrets -'My new WIP

One lost girl. A bus full of secrets - My new WIP #amwriting