Review Advice From a Newbie, to a Newbie.

This was meant to be posted last Thursday, but as I’m in the middle of moving house, I got precisely nothing written last week. Still, better late than never.

This is not my new house. Mine has a bigger moat.

So, your book has been published and people are buying it. Firstly, take a moment to realise how utterly awesome that is, because seriously, you are now in the minority of people who write. But at some point during your published life, you will get reviews. It stands to reason—if you sell books, you’ll get reviews.

Now, not everyone who reads your book will leave a review. From my experience about 0.5% of all sales will result in a review from a member of the public. At least on Amazon. Obviously that doesn’t include people you’ve asked to review the book, like bloggers.

And if those first reviews are good ones, you will feel over the moon. In fact every single time I see a 4 or 5 star review it makes me smile. To know that people out there are not only reading, but enjoying my work is an incredible feeling.

But there are times when you get a bad review. They will sting, and sometimes you’ll get angry about it. So here’s some advice for dealing with them and about reviewing yourself.

Sometimes you may even get ‘Ren angry’.

1. Do not reply to any review – Seriously, don’t do it. Not even if the reviewer has been nasty, or doesn’t appear to have actually read the book at all, just brush it aside. It’s easy to find a number of writers, artists, musicians who have done this and it hasn’t worked well for any of them. Sometimes it’s just better all round to shrug your shoulders and move on.

2. Do not give other writers bad reviews – Okay, this is just very much my own opinion, but giving bad reviews to other others is a terrible idea. Even if you don’t use your own name and you create an account just to do it (and really, if you have that much time, you need to get more writing done), it’s an extraordinarily bad idea. For a start if you ever get caught, you will be in the firing line –something that has happened to a few big name writers this year. But from a more human point of view, you’re all in the same boat. You’re all trying to get your work out there for people to read, and being negative about another writers work (review wise) just feels shitty to me. You can think someone’s work is dreadful, but actually officially stating it is just setting yourself up for criticism from others.

And that’s it. Basically, don’t let other people get to you and don’t be a dick to other people. If you don’t think you can handle bad reviews, stay away from Goodreads/Amazon and the like because they’re going to happen and you may as well accept that now. And the best way of dealing with a bad review? Write some more.

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Posted on November 5, 2012, in Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I think that should be the new Golden Rule: Don’t let other people get to you, and don’t be a dick to other people. 🙂

  2. Or just don’t ever read reviews. Knowing there will be good ones and bad ones out there, just accept it and don’t read any of them. I know writers who do this and it sounds like it may be a good option.

  3. In order to beat the review-blues a writer has two options: either write something so sublime, so utterly transcendent, that everyone will love it, or, alternatively, write something that no one would ever want to read…

    In my latest eBook, I have perfected the latter method. My plan for my next WiP will be to perfect the first. 😉

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