How to Deal With Bad Reviews

21 Jul
English: The Yongzheng-Emperor while reading a...

English: The Yongzheng-Emperor while reading a book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reviews. They help sell books. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantees that all reviews will be good. So, how to deal with bad ones?

Actually, bad reviews don’t necessarily have to be crushing. There are two things to take from a so-called ‘bad’ review.

1. Bad reviews can sell books. Just because someone else writes in a review what they don’t like, doesn’t mean other readers won’t like your book. A bad review can help sell your book.

2. What can you learn from the review? If there was something someone didn’t like, can you change that in your writing for your next book? Each successive book should be better than the last. What did you do right? Don’t forget to do that again! Make sure you purpose to do everything in your book. Each word, each scene should be there for a reason.

Recently, I’ve been reading a book called Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. Basically, the whole point of her book is helping the author get into her character’s heads and tell the story from their point of view. It’s like the ultimate in showing versus telling. Anyway, my point in mentioning this book is that as a writer, I am continually working to improve my craft of writing for the sake of my readers. They’re worth it!

So, don’t be afraid of reviews, good or bad, they can still be helpful. Just keep moving forward and doing what you are called to do. If you aim for the stars, at the very least, you’ll probably hit the moon!


Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Author in the Trenches


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5 responses to “How to Deal With Bad Reviews

  1. Pagadan

    July 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I enjoyed your piece on reviews, and I love the picture of the emperor reading!

    • ChristinaLi

      July 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks! That pic popped up while I was writing the post and I loved it! Why can’t an emperor read one of our books? 🙂

  2. caroline ludovici (@obsidianmask)

    July 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Great post. Thanks!

  3. lkwatts

    August 5, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Very wise words here, Christina. All you can do is keep writing.

  4. R. Russell Bittner

    August 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm


    All the points you make are good ones.

    I’ve been dealing with this topic in a different thread at an entirely different site.
    The same (or similar) points keep coming up time and time again.



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