So today I received a bad review on Dreams Both Real and Strange and, at first, I felt horrible! It felt like I would never be able to entertain anyone in the world- EVER!!! But I realized that even if I don’t entertain one person, there are many people out there who just might (maybe…hopefully!) enjoy reading my books.
I also realized that when book reviewers give you lemons- you have to make lemonade!
So, I decided to take some of the very advice I have offered to other writers:
- Try to look for the good in the bad, the ugly, and the downright hurtful. No matter how bad a review you get- there is always a silver lining to the cloud. For example: Reviewer A might have HATED the book- but guess what- Reviewer B is dying to read the sequel!
- Don’t let it get you down. Yes, you will probably feel crappy for awhile (I know I am right now!) But don’t let it keep you down forever. Keep plugging away- hard work and persistence wins the race!
- Always tell the reviewer thanks for the time they spent. Now, this might seem counterintuitive- I mean, why the hell THANK someone for bad reviews? (This only applies to reviewers you offered your book to.) I’ll tell you why: First, because you requested their opinion and their time. Second, because not only did they take the time out of their day to read your book- they took additional time to write the review. Third, because rudeness is never a response you want to be known for.
- Make lemonade out of the lemons!!! This part is a little hard. It requires objectivity on your part as a writer. It requires the ability to step back emotionally from your work and ask, “Where could I have written better or differently?” Basically, it requires you to take that bad review and look at it and ask yourself if- just if- your work really is baaaaaaad.
And if it is- don’t let it get you down! There are a number of books out there dedicated to improving your writing skills! So use that wake-up call as an opportunity to grow!
Jump on it and discover just how much better you can tell all the stories in your soul begging to be written. And don’t give up. No matter what you do, if you love writing- you will get there.