Okay, I’m just going to be completely upfront here and let everyone know I am both a reviewer for RomanticTimes Book Reviews and a romance writer.

As such, it’s very easy for me to see both sides of this coin.  A writer wants reviews for their book so they can:

  1. Reach a wider audience
  2. Bragging Rights – Reivews provide quotes writers can put on their website and on the front cover pages of their next book. They’re a bit of a career booster.

However, not all reviews are good reviews.  In fact, some are quite scathing.

What’s a writer to do with a bad review?

As I see it, a writer has three choices:

  1. Ignore it
  2. React
  3. Learn from it

Recently,  I noticed a multi-published author posted a link to a bad review she received on Facebook.  (Bad idea. Why in the heck would you want to draw attention to a bad review?).

The author seemed to be rallying her friends to attack this reviewer for their opinion. Over the course of the day an online attack ensued. Many writers posted comments on the reviewers blog forcing the reviewer to defend themselves.

This reeks on so many levels. Why you absolutely DO NOT want to react to a bad review.

As a writer and a human being you do not attack people or reviewers for their opinion.  Seriously!  That is just wrong. Grow up.

Secondly, doing so only hurts you and your career.  By attacking a reviewer publicly, or privately, you’re sending out an “I’m extremely unprofessional” message to the world.

Airing your dirty laundry is a serious career DON’T. No one is going to want to review your books and publishers are going to be embarrassed.

A Little Bit Of Empathy

As a writer I can totally understand having an emotional and defensive response to a bad review. You’ve put a lot of time, work, effort and personal attention to your book. Part of you is in each manuscript you write and to have it receive a negative review is hurtful.

However, you’re a writer and as such you’re always going to appeal to some folks and  not others. To attack the people who do not like your work is to waste a lot of your own time and energy on negative emotions.  If you cannot handle bad reviews, don’t read them. Seriously. Just don’t read them. Don’t read reviews at all. Let your publisher and agent manage the reviews. Your job is to write.

Stay positive, stay professional and do what you do best.