How I Handle a Bad Review
What? What do you mean a bad review? Not my book! No way! No one would dare! I'm a good writer. I wouldn't be published if I wasn't. Ah...would I? Of course not!
Well, I have news for you. At one time or another you're going to get a bad review. But that doesn't necessarily mean you wrote a bad book. It might, but I tend to look at it differently. The reviewer simply didn't like my story. That's okay. Not every reviewer who reads my book is going to love it. I know that's a hard pill to swallow but come on, get real, that's life. People are different.
My dad ranted and raved about how wonderful this one book was, The Five People You Meet in Heave. He couldn't praise it enough and bugged me to read it until I broke down and did. Ohmygod Louise, I had to force myself to finish it. The whole time I kept asking myself, what did my dad see in it that made it so good to him?
Does it matter? Not really. He liked that book and if he'd been a reviewer he would have given it five, count them, five stars. Me on the other hand? Two stars and that would have been generous. I just didn't like the book. But that doesn't mean it was a bad book. I liked the movie even less.
That's how I look at reviews. I've been lucky. I'm not going to say I haven't received any bad reviews. I couldn't believe that a popular magazine gave Cupid's Arrow a bad review. After all, I'd received so many good reviews for it that they had to be wrong. They said the gist of the story was to get the two main characters into bed. Well, duh! Isn't that what romances are all about? Boy meets girl, boy and girl are attracted to each other, boy and girl make love. I wonder what their definition of a romance is.
Cupid's Arrow was on the publisher's best seller list for two consecutive months. It's one of my favorite books, more like a sweet romance that's packed with humor and steamy moments between the two main characters. Almost immediately after reading what the magazine reviewer had to say about the book I calmed down and shrugged my shoulders. To me it simply meant that one person didn't like it. Then I reminded myself of all the other good, no great reviews I'd received for it.
So when the day comes and you get that bad review I hope you remember this post and that it helps you in some small way. A bad review is just one person who didn’t like your story.
To piggy back on that, you’re not immune to rejections either. I don’t think there’s an author out there who hasn’t received at least one.