I got a bad review. Or rather my book did.

Everyone gets bad reviews. I know that.

Weeeeelll…my head knows it. My heart has trouble remembering. It’s a pretty easy thing to forget when you get that nasty review.

Dealing with a bad review isn’t easy. Though everyone has their own way, I thought I’d share what has worked for me.

1. Writing about it. It might sound ironic but writing about painful stuff helps me. I either journal about it or I write it into a blog post :-). Writing is cathartic and helps me get it out.

2. Sending out positive energy. I find that if I send it out, it comes back to me. So, when I need support, I try to send it out. When I need a kind shoulder, I try to be kind to someone around me. If nothing else, at least I feel better about myself.

3. Working out. We have this punching man downstairs and these great boxing gloves. I go down there and punch that guy in the face until all that anger and frustration is gone. Or I go to the elliptical and run or I head to the gym. Anger is a great motivator. I can get amazing work outs thanks to those nasty reviews.

4. Sharing with other authors. I know there are trolls online but I have found amazingly supportive people in the web. I can go to them and share my misery. Odds are, they’ve had a bad review and can identify with me. If not, they’re Nora Roberts…no, wait she’s had bad reviews as well.

5. Kissing my doggies. They don’t care if I’ve get bad reviews or bad hair, they love me unconditionally and trust me. I can kiss those furry heads and tell them all my troubles and they just listen. No judgement.

6. Working at DayJob. I work with the public. Within five minutes of being at work, I’ll have an impossible demand; within ten, someone will be shouting at me. I’ll come back to my computer glad that at least that review was written and not shouted.

A nice list, with nice items. They hurt no one and are good, mature choices.

What follows is a more immature list. Choices that, so far, I’ve managed to avoid. Please notice the ‘so far’. The next bad review will probably send me over the edge.

* Throw away the computer.

* Send the author of that review a nasty email calling them every name in the book and a few I’ve just invented.

* Start a Voodoo doll.

* Go to Tibet and join a monastery.

* Take up Wicca and conjure up a spell. Or two.

* Give up writing and take up playing the banjo.

Absolutely ridiculous list. Time for some maturity. Let’s have some links.

-Try this link and see what works for other authors from Writer Unboxed.

This one is from Digital Book World and has great tips.

One more from The Write Life.

What about you? Have you had a bad review? How did you handle it? What helped? Any other items you’d add to the ‘immature’ list?

How about some cute baby animals? They always make me feel better…




8504326519_37f41d5551_zAwww!!! Okay, feeling a little better.


34 thoughts on “Confession

  1. There is no artist anywhere who doesn’t receive bad reviews -except the ones who never put themselves out there. Like me. Sharing your creativity takes nerves of steel and many dog kisses:)

  2. I saw your post and Google. I felt so bad. I got one bad, one star review on Barnes & Noble and it ruined my day. It really ruined my whole week. But as time passed, its hurtfulness also passed. The person didn’t even bother to explain him or herself. I would have to like to know why I deserved their time and words. Time heals all wounds.

  3. I did, and it pisses me off weeks later. There’s nothing I can do about it, and the reviewer knows this. It will set you back too. It can’t hurt you long term, unless you let it. I put myself out there, something the reviewer has never done. I’ll bet your situation is no different.

  4. Eh, don’t let the bother you. Critics are everywhere (even outside the artistic world). I’m not published but I do know what it feels like to have a professor mark up your paper with a red pen. I don’t let it get me down. Instead, I ask my professors to go through my work with me so I can get it right the next time. It’s a learning experience. I know that’s totally different than getting a bad book review. But…I guess I’m trying to say that the best thing to do is to shrug it off and keep going.

    • Thanks, Desiree! You’re absolutely right. Staying up all night arguing with an invisible reviewer is nuts…ahem. Not that I’ve done that or anything (rolling eyes). But you’re completely right, learn from it and then move on. That’s the right way to deal with it. Thank you so much for your support!!

  5. It’s easy for people to say that bad reviews will always happen, no matter who you are, but it still hurts, doesn’t it? :/

    But still, over the past couple of days you’ve also had some brilliant reviews!

    Though I’m thinking starting up playing the banjo might be a great, fun way to take your mind off of it 😀

  6. They clearly have no taste whatsoever. I, on the other hand, have excellent taste and I’m loving the book! I haven’t finished it yet, but the fact I can’t stop thinking about it when I’m supposed to be busy working, tells you something. Keep your chin up. You did an excellent job.

      • I know completely how that feels and when I read your post I was genuinely astounded. There I was laughing out loud because of Olivia’s sense of humour and kicking myself for not reading the book sooner and my brain balked at the thought of someone leaving a bad review. It’s a book to be proud of. It really is 🙂

      • Really? Thanks so much! You’re so kind! I’m so glad you thought it was funny. I hoped it was funny but I wasn’t sure, first book. This reviewer definitely didn’t agree with you. But your comments are helping me put it into perspective. I’m so glad I wrote the post. I wasn’t going to share it, then I thought: heck, I bet everyone’s had a bad review. The support has been unbelievable. Like yours!!

      • I’m glad 🙂 That’s what the community is here for and we can definitely relate. The humour is one of my favourite things about the book; you have a distinct voice. I also particularly enjoyed the strong characters – you’ve definitely got a fan 🙂

      • I just wanted to let you know that I finished your book this afternoon, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to read more about the Forest Race 🙂 I’ve left you a review on Amazon.

  7. For someone like me, just being published would be amazing! But I do know that if I ever get there that a bad review will totally slay me. And anger makes for the best workouts! As for your list, the voodoo doll and writing the email (but not sending it) sound like wonderful ideas to get it out of your system!

  8. Pingback: Top posts for July | Taylor Grace

  9. Personally, I plan on writing the reviewer into a story and letting the chaos take care of it. 😉 Nah, it happens. I hope to avoid reading reviews in general but know that isn’t realistic.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s