So with the third book in my Rescue Dog Romance series being released today, I’m gradually becoming more narcissistic. I mean, how many times can one Google their own name followed by “book reviews?” Yes, I read them. I know! It’s awful. But I just can’t help myself.
As writers, this is the day we long for. Release day! Our baby is out there in the world now. Heck, we’ve practically shoved it out the door. And yet, we instantly want to protect it, hold it, keep it safe from people who might pick on it. So how do we as writers develop a thick skin when the reviews start rolling in?
1. It’s Still a Review
You got a bad review? OMG! People are reading your book! I mean, real live people and everything! This is what you wanted, right? Remember that not everyone is going to have the same taste in books, but at the end of the day, they’re still reading it and talking about it. It could be worse – no one could be talking about it.
2. Be Open
As a writer, I know that I can always improve my craft. Try to look at bad reviews as an opportunity for growth. A lot of times, reviewers are very professional with great insight to share!
If there seems to be a common theme among the reviews, maybe instead of calling them crazy, be open-minded. Think of it like constructive criticism. However, remember to take it with a grain of salt. Know the difference between someone sharing thoughtful honesty and someone simply being a hater. Sometimes you just need to…
3. Ignore It
Some people can be downright cruel. Whatever their reason for giving you a bad review, does it matter? Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a fan. That doesn’t just go for your book but all books ever written. Accept this, and don’t take it personally. They are obviously not the audience you wrote the book for.
4. Hold Your Tongue
Whatever you do, DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO RESPOND. I know, I know – they’re totally out to lunch, right? But this is why the internet is so great. Everyone can share their opinions openly (and hopefully in a respectful manner). They aren’t doing anything wrong, and if you get sucked into some blow-up over the internet, you’ll be the only one who walks away with their name sullied. Besides, you’ll only draw more attention to the bad review. Instead…
5. Focus on the Positive
Isn’t this true for everything in life? I promise, there will be people out there who love your book, and they’re going to shout about it from the mountaintops. These are the people that you wrote the book for. These are your people.
Hopefully there will be more positive reviews than negative. For those readers that do love your book, take heart knowing that you’ve truly reached out to them and touched their lives in a positive way. Personally, as a writer, I think that’s the best goal you can ever achieve.