Chapter 137 – 5 Steps to Handling Reviews

We authors love reviews but handling them isn’t always easy. Every author has their own way of dealing with reviews, but these 5 steps will help you get on the right track!

Picture by Mabel Amber

  1. Have respect
    Always, always, always respect the reviewer. They’ve taken the time to check out your story and even decided to leave a review. Yes, there are trolls out there who choose random books to leave 1-star reviews, but they’re a minority. Someone might actually read your book and still feel it only deserves one star, and you have to respect that. If the scale is from 1 to 5, people are allowed to use any number they see fit.
  2. Stay neutral
    From my experience the best thing is to read your reviews and leave it at that. If you go out and ‘like’ every 5-star review, it’s just going to look bad if you ignore all those 3-star reviews even when they have good points. The worst thing you can do is start arguing with the reviewers about how wrong they are and how they completely missed your hidden themes.
  3. Take notes
    Some people write very elaborate reviews with both positive and negative points. Make the most of them! If one person says your characters lacked depth, that might just be their opinion. If you get several reviews pointing out the same weaknesses, you should take note and consider if there’s something you could do better next time.
  4. Keep cool
    I know, those 1 and 2 star reviews hurt. You’ve put so much time and effort into your book, how could anyone be so cruel as to only give it 1 star? It’s natural to feel great about a great review and sad about a bad review, but in either case it’s important to not get too hung up on it. Losing sleep over 1-star reviews is just as bad as believing you’ve mastered the writing craft because of 5-star reviews.
  5. Have perspective
    We all know how easy it is to forget every great review when one terrible review pops up. Even though I said it’s important to stay neutral and keep cool, it might be helpful for some to keep an archive of good reviews. That way, when you get that inevitable bad review, you can easily open a file with good reviews to dull the sting.

How do you react to reviews? When looking for something new to read, does seeing a 1-star review make you move on or will you still check it out?


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