For the author, writing is a joy, and often we put our hearts and souls into our stories. We know, intellectually, that not everyone is going to like them, but hope springs eternal in the desire that the majority of public opinion will be favorable. I've heard many authors get really nervous before a release because they fear the book will flop, or the reviews will be devastating. It's hard to hear someone doesn't like it, or really doesn't like it, or hates it.
One thing to remember about negative reviews on Amazon or Goodreads is that they are someone's opinion, perhaps with an ulterior motive, but still an opinion. And as a author, you can only write the best story for you. YOU are who you must impress. Not the public (even though we hope). Stick to that and the bad reviews won't hit as hard.
The other thing to remember about negative reviews from places like Amazon and Goodreads is not to interact with the reviewer, even when their words set your blood afire and make you want to throw grenades at them. LOL I know the feeling, but to engage with them is to only start a war that makes authors and reviewers take sides, and then the anger blossoms until it's out of control. Read the negative review or don't, but let it go as not their cup of tea. You can't please everyone. Some folks just have an agenda or are having a bad day, and you just happen to be their target that moment.
With professional reviewers, it's a little different. I have a friend who is a professional reviewer. She has her own blog where she puts up her reviews, and her reviews tend to be well-written and well-thought out. I asked her once about gratitude and reviews, and she gave me some good pointers about how to interact (as an author) with a professional reviewer.
- If you have asked a reviewer to review your book, and they give you a favorable review, thank them privately for their time and review, not on the blog where they reviewed it, then post and tweet the link to the review. This allows you to express your gratitude for their time without looking like you've bribed them.
- If you requested a review and it came back negative or awful, thank them privately for their time. That's it. Simple. "Thank you for your time reviewing my book." Don't apologize for them not liking it, and don't go on your own blog and blast them. Just nod, smile, say thanks, and cry on your best friend's shoulder in private. No need to drag this into public.
- If the review is unsolicited, like through your publisher or the reviewer picked it up on whim, and it's wonderful, the best way to thank the reviewer is to post the link on Facebook or Google Plus, and tweet it on Twitter like this: "Did you see this great review on [title of book]? Check it out" and post the link. This will bring people to the reviewer's site (which helps them) and drums up interest in your book, which helps you.
- If the review is unsolicited and it's awful, do nothing except cry on your best friend's shoulder in private. It's hard to take and you want to scream in reaction, but you just have to let it go, and you don't have to direct anyone to the bad review. Bite your tongue and move on. Anything else just incites the battles we've seen recently between reviewers and authors.
An attitude of gratitude really helps in these situations. Treating people, yourself included, with respect works out the best. Especially since you put your work out there specifically to get noticed, to entertain, and to share. If you didn't do it for these reason, why are you publishing?
I've gotten a few 1 star reviews and they're heartbreaking, but I realized that it's not about me, the story just didn't do it for that person. I try to write the best story I can for myself. Do I believe in the characters? Are their actions convincing to me? Do I love them for all their flaws and perfections? If I can answer yes to those questions when I'm writing, then I've accomplished what I set out to do: Write the best story I could for me. I can't please everyone, but if I can please myself, I'm on the right track.
I'm grateful for every good review I get, and it always warms my heart when someone likes my book(s). If you've read Her Devoted Vampire and liked it, I'm grateful.
Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)