It will happen eventually, once your book is available. A bad review will drop, and you will actually read it.
What happens then totally depends on your mindset.
You could go into a death spiral of doubt and self-loathing, crying in devastation. You could lose sleep over this for at least three days, and it could stop you writing for a week or longer. Maybe forever.
Or you could laugh, cheer and keep writing with even more joy. You might print it and frame it and stick it on the wall at your writing desk, grinning every time you look at it.
Obviously, both reactions are a little exaggerated.
Now, we’d all prefer the second kind of reaction, but it’s hard to get there, right?
Because that bad review strikes at your heart.
That reader completely misunderstood your story. They trampled on your characters, your world and your plot. Or they just dissed your book with no reason at all.
Either way, it hurts.
Because you gave your best effort, and they trashed it. Ouch.
The trick is to let go of the hurt. Here are some things you can do to take you there. Start by asking questions, and then try to see the review in a different light.
Is there valuable information in the review?
This is the first thing to check. If they do point out a mistake or a problem, fix it and thank them for pointing it out. If they have a point but it’s not working for your story, ignore it. If they just rant, it’s useless anyway and you can let it go.
Do you still like your story?
Maybe read it again, and remember how good it is. Dive into it and lose yourself in it again. Then go back to writing.
Distance yourself from the reviewer
If it’s just a rant, that review has nothing to do with you at all. This is simply about how the reviewer felt, and your book just wasn’t a good match with his taste or expectations. And maybe he or she had a really bad day, and they vented by dashing out a bad review and hitting send.
That review could be a good thing
Mane readers look for “balanced reviews” when they check out a book. If a book has only good reviews, they think that’s suspicious and those reviews were probably bought. (Yes. Really.) Which means you can reframe this bad review as one that “balances out” your reviews and actually helps to sell your book. And maybe it is so over the top that you can turn it into a marketing opportunity.
How does it feel now? Still want more help?
Here’s some tapping:
Even though I got a really nasty review, and it makes me feel terrible about myself and my writing, I’m okay the way I am, and I now choose to let go of those awful feelings.
Even though that review really hit hard, ow, ow, ow, I’m still okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to grieve and then let it go.
Even though that bad review really hurt, I’m still a good writer, and I now choose to see it as a personal expression of that reader’s feeling, and to see it as a marketing opportunity. Yeah!
Have you received a bad review?
How did you feel? How did you deal with it?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.
Image Source: F. Moebius
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