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How Should You Deal with Negative Book Reviews? Find Out Now

Book Reviews

If you are a new author and you are active on social media and you have a good footprint online then you might have faced this issue.

The issue we are going to talk about is not only faced by authors but any creative person.

We are talking about negative reviews. Negative reviews can come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they can do to you is demotivate you.

So, how do you deal with negative reviews? We are going to find out just that in this important blog that will help an author immensely.

We will tell you everything you need to know about negative reviews and all the scenarios in which you might get a negative review.

We are also going to tell you what you should do with negative reviews and how you deal with that situation.

This is because there might be different things you can do about a negative review.

You can go after the person but that would not be wise, you can simply ignore it and that will also not be the best thing to do, you might choose to take it to your heart and that is also not the best approach.

So, what do you do? Let’s find out because not all negative reviews at the same and not all negative reviews should be put into a similar category and treated similarly.

Let us start by understanding the reasons why negative reviews might bother you.

This Is Why Negative Reviews Might Be Bothering You

They Are Not Wrong

One of the reasons why you might be bothered about the situation is simply because the person making the negative review might just be making sense.

This means that the review might have actually good points and the intentions of the reviewer might not be to intentionally be malicious because they might be trying to provide you constructive criticism.

If that is the case then you should actually listen to what the person is saying and it is simply because no author is going to be perfect. You might have flaws too.

That is why it is not a good thing to completely shut down every reviewer you have because you simply cannot grow like that.

This is why you should pay attention to the reviews that actually make sense and if the book is already published and you simply cannot do anything about it then you should just take it as a lesson.

This will help you avoid the same mistakes later.

They Are Just Being Mean

The second reason why you might be bothered about a negative review is simply that most reviews are just there because the person is bitter.

They might be jealous of your work or they might just be trolls looking for some attention and they might not even make sense or have any good constructive criticism for you.

This is actually what happens to content creators most of the time and it might also happen to you that some reviews might be negative just because the person wants some attention and they might not even be a reader.

This is actually very common and this might happen if you try and promote your book because then it will reach a wider audience and most of the audience are not readers.

You should not take these reviews to heart it is very easy to become a keyboard troll and sit behind a screen and be cruel and this is just a reality that you have to accept.

You are not a social reformer who is trying to change society and make it kinder, if you are then you can engage in a kind conversation with that person but we would suggest you to ignore these negative reviews.

They Are Wrong

If the person is not making sense and if they are actually not trolls looking for some attention then it might just be the case that they misunderstood your book.

What do you do in that case?

The person is providing genuine criticism from their standpoint and they are right from their perspective and they are also not trying to be cruel.

In that case, the best thing you can do is to engage with them and provide them with explanations for things they have misunderstood.

This is when a fanbase comes in very handy because if you have fans who admire you and understand what you write then you can request them to explain to the reviewer the correct meaning of something they have just misinterpreted.

If you do not have such a network and you are a one-man army then the best thing to do would be to engage with that reviewer if you have the time for it.

And if you do engage with that person then you need to be as kind as possible to them.

They Made You Doubt Yourself

Sometimes it might just be the case that you are not really sure what to do with the negative review because while they might not be 100% correct, they might be kind of right.

Sometimes they might be completely wrong and they might also make you doubt yourself. Any kind of negative review whether right or wrong might make you doubt yourself.

If you encounter such a scenario then the only thing to do would be to understand that this is literature and you cannot achieve perfection because there is no definition of standardized perfection.

Your book is a reflection of yourself and it is very personal to you. There will always be someone that might feel you are wrong but that does not make your work wrong.

Yes, you should always pay attention to what your readers are saying but you must also understand detachment because once your book is published, it is like your child growing up, you can only do so much now.

That is why if you ever doubt your abilities then you should just remember the fact that you are a published author and that itself should not make you question your abilities because you have a book and the negative reviewer does not.

They Are a Risk to Sales

Being an author is not just about achieving perfection when it comes to your craft as a writer but it is also about understanding marketing and being a businessman.

This is especially the case if you are also the producer of the book in the form of self-publishing and if you have invested either time or money or both in a book then it is quite usual to get afraid of negative reviews.

What if potential readers read the review and decide not to get the book? That is a nightmare every author has.

The most beautiful thing about literature is that it is not like any risky marketing campaign which has an inherent risk of optics and backfiring.

If your book is good and if the quality of your content is good then the positive reviews will always be more than negative reviews.

This is because readers, unlike other consumers, actually express their happiness and their satisfaction if they find something really good. It is not like Amazon reviews on any tech product where only bad reviews are done.

And if you are still worried then this should settle your tension.

In the world of online marketing or rather any kind of marketing, negative publicity is also publicity.

Negative reviews are also engagement quite literally which means even if your book gets negative reviews, it will still be organically promoted by the eCommerce platform just because it is generating engagement.

You just have to make sure not to do anything with negative reviews like trying to contact the reviewer and pursuing them and asking them to delete it because that can make things worse.

They Are Getting Personal and Dangerous

One of the scenarios that should actually make you worried is going to be negative reviews with malicious intent.

While the literature industry as a whole is quite tolerant, it is still an industry and that means your competitors might just be running a malicious negative review campaign behind your back.

It might also be the case that the reviewer is just a sadistic person who is trying to rile up controversy for some kind of gain.

They might be trying to portray you in the wrong light and they might be starting controversies.

In that case, you can take legal help but before you do that it is always a good option to contact them and ask them to delete that negative review if it is actually incriminating under the law or if it can be pursued for defamation.

If they do not listen then the second option for you would be the contact the platform and ask them to take the step of removing that review and banning that person.

If even that does not work then the last step for you would be to take legal action and it can be in the form of a defamation case.

But you must keep in mind that this should only be reserved for negative reviews where the reviewer actually has bad intentions and is speaking about your family and spreading lies about you.

You should never take this step for a genuine negative review even if it is a stupid or plain negative review or even if the negative review is done by a person who misunderstood your work.

Important Tips to Deal with Negative Reviews

Not All Negative Reviews Are the Same

One of the most important things you must keep in mind about negative reviews is that not every negative review is worthless.

Negative reviews can actually teach you a lot of things and if the negative review is constructive criticism, then you should welcome it.

This is because someone has read your book and decided to provide you constructive criticism and while every criticism is negative, that does not mean every negative review is just malicious.

That is why you should welcome a good negative review and we would even ask you to try and contact the person and even collaborate with them to improve your craft.

Expect Negative Reviews

Every creative thing in the world has negative reviews whether it is the most remarkable thing that has changed humanity or whether it is something ordinary like a lemon toffee.

That is why if you are putting your work out there then you should also be ready for negative reviews because even if your work is excellent, chances are that 1 out of 10 people will not like it.

The good thing about literature 65is that people are generally very polite about negative reviews but that is not the case with any other kind of creative endeavours such as movies or art.

If you want to know how to deal with negative reviews then you can find hundreds of interviews with actors, YouTubers, celebrities as well as musicians and every other creative person on how the deal with it.

It will provide you with a good sense of how you should also deal with negative reviews.

Negative Reviews Mean You Are Strong

One of the most important things that authors forget is that a person with no haters is a very balanced and diplomatic person.

But you cannot have art and diplomacy in the same sentence because if you want to create art in the form of books then you need to put forward your viewpoint for the world to see. You need to be bold.

If you are not a diplomatic person and courageous enough to put forward your ideas without thinking about appeasement, you can create a masterpiece.

Every famous book out there in the world has its fair share of critics and that is also the case with your negative reviews because if you start thinking about the haters, your next step would be to please them haters.

This will lead you to the next step, you are going to lose your individuality and your standpoint.

So, keep your head strong and keep writing.

Contextualize Negative Reviews Correctly

Behind every negative review is a purpose and that purpose can be just trolling around and that purpose can be the honest perspective of a person who has read your work.

Every opinion out there has a reason and that reason might be something very important and actually logical or that reason might just be attention-grabbing and stupidity.

That is why instead of looking at negative reviews emotionally, if you try to understand the reason behind the review and if you try to understand the perspective behind the review, your viewpoint will change completely.

This means if you try and understand the context behind why a person has said something negative about your work and if you can come up with a reason, it will not be as depressing as you think.

Always Be Kind in Answering Them

We generally never encourage authors to engage with negative reviews, especially reviews that seem malicious.

But if you really want to interact and engage with negative reviews then the best way to do it is to just be as kind as possible to them.

This is because a kind reaction might just change the mind of the person who has left a review and the other important reason is that everyone can see negative reviews.

And if your readers see that you are always kind then it will definitely leave a positive impression in their mind and you might even find people coming to your defence.

We hope this blog will help you deal with negative reviews. It is actually quite a time-consuming process if you are a bestselling author because you are going to get a lot of negative reviews along with even more positive reviews.

Sometimes it is just good to ignore them and not overthink.

And if you are ready to deal with negative reviews and you want to finally publish your book then we are here for you because we are Orange Publishers.

We are the fastest-growing as well as most popular book publisher in India and we publish in nearly every genre of literature.

We do everything from fiction and nonfiction to educational books and everything else and all our operations are in-house which helps us ensure the finest quality of print.

We welcome you to visit our website and check out everything we do.

Negative Reviews FAQs

Should authors respond to reviews?

When it comes to reviews, you can generally respond to them and just express your gratitude about the fact that they have read your book.

However, when it comes to negative reviews, we generally suggest our authors to never respond to them because it has a chance of creating unnecessary controversy and your response might not be the best.

But if you decide to respond to negative reviews, you need to be as kind as humanly possible and shower them with kindness and also tell them that you understand what they have to say.

What not to say in a book review?

You can basically say anything you want in a book review as long as your intention is not malicious because if you want to provide constructive criticism then you are free to say anything you want.

But if your intention is just to tarnish the reputation of the author then we would suggest you not to do that because it is not a good thing to do.

And if you do decide to still do it with malicious intentions then you must also understand that you stand that chance of getting a notice for defamation.

Such things are rare in the world of literature and we believe in decency and we all should make sure to uphold this beautiful industry and its ethics.

Do authors read their book reviews?

Of course, authors read their book reviews and it is just like how celebrities often read the comments from their social media posts.

The reason why people think that authors do not read reviews is that most of the time the author does not choose to reply to a review or send out an answer to the review.

But you can be assured of the fact that authors are really eager to listen to what their readers have to say about something.

How do I get better at book reviews?

The only way in which you can get better at book reviews is simply to get better at your craft because if you want a good review then the only way to get it is to create good content.

You actually do not even have to pay attention to book reviews if you do not want to and that is exactly what we suggest to our authors.

We tell our authors to concentrate on their work and to simply improve their craft in their own time and not get influenced by reviews and what people have to say.

That is why you do not have to try and get good reviews because the moment you start trying to get good reviews is the moment you are bending your perspective and losing individualism.