Wouldn’t it be lovely to publish your book and not have a single bad review? Yes, it would, but you can forget that rather pleasant scenario. It won’t happen. I'm afraid an author just has to accept that they will receive some bad reviews and move on. Yes, it can hurt to find out that someone has criticised the work that you have slaved over, probably for years, but that is the risk you take when you put something out there in the public domain.
Everyone has different tastes. There must have been times when you’ve read a book that has had good, even excellent reviews, and yet you’ve read it and it’s left you completely cold. What’s gone wrong? you wonder. Nothing probably, it’s just a question of taste. For example, I remember a friend of mine going to see the film Titanic and raving about it, telling me that I would absolutely love it. So on her recommendation I saw it, and thought it was terrible. The same goes for Avatar – I must be the only person in the world who thought it was boring. Is James Cameron worried about my opinion? I doubt it.
It is important to remember that all authors, even big names like J.K. Rowling, get bad reviews. But for the self-published author a bad review can really hurt. It not only hurts the feelings, but there is also the concern that it will harm sales. Whilst it is undeniable that nothing but bad reviews for your work will put people off buying, a bad review sprinkled amongst good reviews is unlikely to have a far-reaching negative impact. Most people who read reviews are reasonable, and accept that some people will like the work and others won’t, and will therefore be happy to read the book and reach an opinion for themselves. However, authors should take note if their work is getting nothing but bad reviews, as this will indicate that there is indeed a significant problem with it.
You may not believe me, but there are also benefits to having some bad reviews.
I am a Copywriter, Proofreader, Virtual Secretary and Author.