Using Bad Reviews As A Tool
Just remember, not everybody's going to like your stuff. - F.P. Spirit
The only author who has never received a bad review is an author who has never published a book. All published authors - new or famous, good or bad - have bad reviews. There is always haters out there.
I am one of those very few and fortunate people who are not bothered by bad reviews or mean comments. My mother taught me how to see it as feedback, and if there was nothing that I could apply from it, to mute it in my mind and ignore it.
One of my first 3 star reviews on The Dragon's Son talked about how my book was "too much like Lord of the Rings".
Okay. Good! That's a compliment to me. Thank you.
A 1 star review stated "the author clearly didn't know what the difference between steel and steal was".
Okay. I did a word search to see if there was an editing error. There was NOT an error anywhere. So, move along. Clearly the reviewer didn't know what the difference between steel and steal was either...
Another 3 star said that, while they liked the book, they didn't understand the point of the "random family" in the middle of the story.
Okay. After a quick read from a fresh perspective, I understand that I did next to nothing to show the reader why this "random family" was important to the story. They just existed as a bit of fun and games. So, I needed to rewrite a few chapters (cough-theEntireBook-cough) to make sure that it was clear why this family was important to the main character's story.
Granted, reviews can make a big impact on your overall rating on Amazon. You don't want to ignore the impact. That's why you should always assess what the reviews say, and fix what you can.
If your book is just truly horrible, admit it! Get some help to make it better (like, from a writing coach or ghost writer). Build a "street team" of people who you give PDF copies to in exchange for honest reviews. Reassess your story with each review/comment/ note from your street team to make it the best book possible. Then, once you are ready to republish it, ask them to leave their final reviews on Amazon to give your book a big, positive push in the rankings!
If you generally get good reviews, but have one or two haters who make your average fall to 4 stars or lower, then reach out to friends and family for support. Put the book on sale for them, encourage them to buy it while on sale, and ask them to leave some helpful reviews. That will push the ratings up just a bit to counteract the haters.
Also, you can reach out to "Bookish" accounts on Instagram that read books like yours. Offer a couple of them a free or discounted book in exchange for a helpful review.
Just as every book will have haters, so every book will also have lovers. You just have to find them, reach out to them, and ask them to support your baby. ♥
Recommended books with bad reviews
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The beasts of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls. - Isaiah 43:20
Self-published author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion, she returns to this world just to play with her dog, blog about her fun, and coach people through writing self-doubt.
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