Why Book Reviews Matter – And How to Handle the Bad Ones

Getting reviews for your published books is crucial for several reasons.

First, reviews (especially positive ones) help bring visibility to your book and act as “social proof” that your book is worth reading. The more quality reviews you have, the more likely your book is to be discovered by readers looking for their next good read. Reviews also provide valuable feedback so you can improve your writing skills.

A recent 1 star review came in for my latest novel and boy was it a long one! And yes, initially it hurt, big time but, as I have learnt, you have to pick yourself back up and dust yourself off after any bad review and focus on the good ones, re-read those! Believe me, it really does help – like putting a plaster on a cut!

If you’re an aspiring author, take note, this WILL happen at some point – you will get a low rating and potentially a review along with it.

Pay attention to any constructive criticism in negative reviews and think about how you can grow. But don’t get discouraged by the occasional bad review – even the most popular published authors get them.

Here are some tips for dealing with negative book reviews:

  • Don’t take it personally. The review is assessing your book, not you as a person.
  • Resist the urge to fire back. Getting defensive or hostile never helps.
  • Reach out politely to the critic if you don’t understand the negative feedback. They may clarify it for you.
  • Focus on the positive reviews instead and be thankful for your fans.
  • Remind yourself why you wrote the book and that you can’t please everyone.

While no author likes getting 1-star reviews, they’re inevitable. The most successful authors view them as motivation to keep improving their writing. They also focus on connecting with readers who did enjoy their book.

At the end of the day, having a diversity of reviews signals to potential readers that your books are worth checking out. So keep writing and be proud of the stories you’re putting out into the world, good reviews or bad.

The right readers will find and appreciate your books.

Good luck.x