Imagine; It's Easter Sunday and you dress your child in her Sunday best. Frilly dress, ribbons, ankle socks, patent leather Mary Janes, the whole nine. You stand back and admire your beautiful child and off to Sunday service you go feeling like a proud mama and someone says, "Wow, that's an ugly-ass kid you got there." Devastating. That's what it feels like getting a negative review on your book; your baby. I bring it up because I received my first professional review about a couple of months ago and although the reviewer liked my book overall she did find it necessary to point out my numerous comma splices and grammatical errors. I called to mope and groan to my friend and she called me back and said, "did you even read the review?" I hadn't. I only read the first paragraph and that was enough. When I got the courage to read the whole thing it was favorable. But, even though she gave me 3 stars out of 5. My book is in the hands of 4 more professional reviews and I'm terrified. My one saving grace is that I've received very good reviews and feedback from teen readers who don't care about my comma splices but have become engaged in the story. So, here's how to survive a bad book review.
Reviews are subjective.
Everyone isn't going to enjoy your book and that's okay because someone else will. You don't have to change the way you write to try to appease a few people. Every writer has a voice, you just have to find the right person to listen. It's okay to go through a mourning period but you gotta get it out there and develope a thick skin.
Depend on your fans.
Everyone doesn't buy books based on reviews. Many readers will purchase a book if its a subject they're interested in or enjoy. Although the reviewer found my mistakes, my fans didn't care and never mentioned it. The few kids who read my book, loved it. They found the story relatable to their own lives and was entertained by the characters. So, I hold on to those positive reviews and feedback from my fans like a golden ticket. Think of how many times you saw a movie that didn't get good reviews, it didn't stop you from seeing it; same thing.
Use it as an opportunity to hone your writing skills.
If deep down you think the review are right; and every mama knows if her kid is ugly, then maybe you can use it as an opportunity to hone your writing skills. The negative part of my review was about technicality, not content. I dropped the ball on the first two novels. I was so excited to cross the finish line and I didn't double check my editors mistakes. And yes; I had an editor. Now, I realized I was a sucker and scammed out of $750.00 and I believed him when he said he edited my books and made the corrections. A real editor charges about $0.018 per word and for a book with 85,000 words that puts the editing budget at around $1500. So, yeah I fudged up. Rookie mistake. But it made me a better writer. Now; I go through every sentence with a fine tooth comb. Its true that the longer you write the better you become. I have to be especially careful now that I fired the second editor and going it alone. I'm holding my breath.
Don't stop writing.
Never get discouraged. Pick your favorite author and go on Amazon and scan for the reviews. Even your favorite author isn't immune to negative feedback. Don't let it break you.