Every book gets a bad review. Even books that sell millions of copies and are widely acknowledged as amazing. Example 1: the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I once read somewhere that if you’re upset about getting a bad review, all you need to do is look up your favorite book on Amazon and Goodreads and look at all the 1 star reviews. Definitely a good trick. I, however, have stages I go through.
Stage #1: “1 star? You’ve clearly been living under a rock.”
Writers spend hours, days, weeks, months, and sometimes years on their books. We stress about them, constantly think about them, and just like that someone has deemed it the worst piece of smut they have ever read. Ouch. This generally envokes feelings of “What? You have no idea what you’re talking about? Do you have any idea what I had to go through to finish this?”
Stage #2: Self-doubt: “No, I’m fine, really. I’ll just, uh, start all over.”
Any anger has generally subsided by this stage. Now the moving on begins. This is also when I generally begin more positive thinking. Such things as “I’ll do better next time,” and “This will help me in the future.” However, lingering sadness from the bad review is still there.
Stage #3: Back to work!
By this time, I’m over the bad review and I’m back to writing. Who has time to worry about bad reviews? Every book gets a bad review, and the best thing you can do is use it as kindling to ignite your motivation to write more.
(Note: This only takes a matter of an hour or two before all the stages have been experienced)
How do you respond to bad reviews? If you’ve never had one, how do you think you’ll handle it?