Inevitably, your book will get a bad book review. Maybe several. What does this mean?
In the long run, it may mean absolutely nothing. Look, if you are getting a lot of bad reviews, then something is up, but if it’s just a few or only 10-20% of all reviews received, dismiss them.
Bad reviews may not be as bad as you think they are.
Perhaps you’re being too sensitive. “They only gave me four out of five
stars.” Calm down. That is very good, just not great – and certainly not
“Oh, they said the book had one chapter that felt misplaced.” Yes, but they may also have given high praise to the rest of the book. Don’t gravitate just to the negative. See the positive and keep a good perspective on things.
Even when a review seems weak or negative, see if you can cherry-pick something positive - -and excerpt that part and use it as a quote.
So, why do books get bad reviews, especially when the vast majority of those that you receive are good to great?
the reviewer is a freaking idiot and obviously does not recognize your talent.
the reviewer really didn’t fully read it and made snap judgments.
the reviewer is an irritable piece of crap who likes to be overly critical
because he or she are failed writers.
they have a bias against you or a prejudice against your genre and they decided
your fate before opening to the first page.
people’s tastes vary greatly. Ask 10 people anything and rarely do you get 100%
similar responses. It’s just a statistical thing – put your book out for review
enough times and someone will chop it to pieces.
had high expectations that could never be matched.
· They lack experience and knowledge – and really were not qualified to review someone’s book property.
Some reviewers, as much as they sting, may not be completely wrong or motivated by grudges, and they present opportunities for you to grow as a writer.
If you want to bury a bad review, seek out more reviews. More recent reviews by consumers will push down an older, bad review. If you need more professional book reviews, there are plenty of media outlets where you can buy a review (but they don’t guarantee a glowing review).
Stay level-headed about the book reviews. If the bad
review is an aberration, additional reviews will be positive. If you get a lot
of negative or mediocre reviews, well, maybe you misjudged your book’s value
and it is time to write a new one.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is
copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now
resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue
dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The
Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This
award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts
over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by
BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018
as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by
www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades,
including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book
publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with
many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with
best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen,
Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard,
Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C.
Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a
panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA,
Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction
Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland)
Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.
His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal,
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(Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The
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