Yes it’s going to happen at some stage. You’ll look at your book listing on Amazon one day and find to your horror someone has left a negative review about your book baby.
I love my book, how can that be?
I have other 4 and 5 star reviews, sure they can’t be wrong, right?
Receiving your first bad review is going to hurt a little, like insect bite. No, perhaps more like a punch in the gut. It’s normal to feel that way, particularly with your first or second unfavourable reviews. But you have to come to realise that not everyone is going to like your book. Yes it’s true, let it sink in.
Because not everyone is your target audience, your ideal reader and quite simply you can’t please everyone! This is true whether you’re selling burgers or selling books. It’s part of the game.
Some of the most widely known books of all time have a couple of negative reviews, such as; The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Charlotte’s Webb and more recently 50 Shades. I don’t think the 1 or 2 star reviews have slowed them down much at all.
Look at it this way
Having a few negative reviews amongst a smorgesboard of 4 and 5 star reviews won’t necessarily hurt sales, but what it will do is make your book listing look real and authentic.
The fact that someone actually took time to write the review in the first place is a sign that they were motivated and cared enough to leave a review at all. For whatever reason.
What you shouldn’t do in response
Make a comment on the review, defending your book and why the reviewer is clearly mistaken and just didn’t get it. Authors are too close to their work to be able respond objectively and dispassionately. Some negative reviews are left by trolls who may not have even read the book and are just looking for a new author to take the bait.
Don’t leave a comment. Don’t take the bait. Just look at it with a perspective that these reviews just make your book listing look authentic and the law of universe that states not everyone will like your book. Not everyone likes Twlight either.
You shouldn’t send an email to Amazon requesting every 1 or 2 star review be pulled. Amazon won’t simply remove a review because it’s negative. However they will consider removing a review if it violates Amazon review guidelines. The chances are with Amazon updating it’s review monitoring algorithm they’ll likely flag and delete these reviews before you even see them.
So how do you deal with negative reviews?
Let it go, move on, ignore them.
If you take on board the advice I’ve provided here (and don’t just passively quickly read over it) then negative reviews will roll off your back and you won’t even be checking them anymore. Instead spend your energy on what matters most, focusing on writing your next book and updating your platform.
Here’s to not letting reviews or demons stand in your way!