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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Do You Do With A Bad Review?

They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. What about a bad book review? Here is what I advise clients to do when they get a bad review:

1.                  Find a sentence or phrase that is positive -- or at least not negative –and use that as your pull quote.

2.                  Ignore it and move on. Be motivated to get positive media.

3.                  Reference that you got reviewed by such and such publications and list the one with the negative review but don’t share the contents of the reviews. Don’t place a link to them on your site.

4.                  Do not complain to the reviewer that wrote the negative review. They won’t change it and you might need to win this person over for your next book.

5.                  Weigh what the reviewer said and do a quick reality check. Is any of what the person said true? Can you learn anything from their feedback?

6.                  Don’t give the bad review too much credence, especially if you received many other reviews that were positive. Reviewers are not Harvard-tenured surgeons – some have the credentials of opinion-stating and nothing more.

7.                  Realize that reviewers do not break you. There is a lot more media out there and ways to promote a book. Do not let a bad review be an excuse to stop trying to market your book.

8.                  Tell your friends you got a bad review and need their help to counter it by posting favorable reviews on their blogs and Web sites and on,, etc.

Most importantly, learn to live with criticism, even if you think it is unjustified. The world simply has many tastes and preferences and you will never be able to appease everyone. If you get a lot of bad reviews then it may just mean your book is simply not as good as you believed it to be. So what? You will write an even better one next time!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.


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