How to React to a Bad Book Review

Posted by Kristen Hamilton on September 3, 2019 at 11:00 AM

If you’re a self-published author, it’s going to happen eventually: You’ll get a negative review on your book.

What a drag, right? Feelings of self-doubt come rushing in. You might start to wonder where you went wrong and what you could have done differently. This happens to everyone, unfortunately, no matter how well your book is done. The fact of the matter is that you’ll never be able to please every reader.

It's normal to feel bad if a reader leaves a negative review on your book for whatever reason (they didn't like the story, they thought the characters were too predictable, etc.). What matters is how you take it and grow from it. If the bad review offers constructive criticism, try to learn from it. As you grow as an independent author, you will start to learn what your reader base likes (one of my clients, for example, had a ton of comments on her first book that the characters didn’t have enough chemistry, so in the books she’s writing now, she’s making the chemistry much more palpable).

It's also important to look at the big picture: Does your book have 54 good reviews and 1 bad one? If so, chalk it up to a difference in opinion. Let it go. Remember, you'll never be able to please every reader. The only thing that matters is that you make the majority of them happy. :)

So how should you react to a bad book review? Realize that your work won't be for everyone, then read all your positive reviews. Those are your readers.

Want to learn more about how to build your author brand

and become a self-publishing pro?

Follow Kristen on Facebook!



Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of

Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing

services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several

authors whose books she has edited have won awards and have

topped Amazon's best sellers lists.

Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she

can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her

four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,

eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is

likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.

Categories: author business

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

You must be a member to comment on this page. Sign In or Register