Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Value of Bad Book Reviews


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 bad. 

“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? 

·         Because the reviewer is a freaking idiot and obviously does not recognize your talent.

·         Because the reviewer really didn’t fully read it and made snap judgments.

·         Because the reviewer is an irritable piece of crap who likes to be overly critical because he or she are failed writers.

·         Because they have a bias against you or a prejudice against your genre and they decided your fate before opening to the first page.

·         Because 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.

·         They 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. 

Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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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, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.  




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