Getting Some Perspective on Bad (and Good) Reviews

It is very easy to take bad reviews personally. Most books get at least one, even great books. Sometimes readers simply dislike the book, take offence to something in the book, don’t get what the author was trying to do, think the book is about something it isn’t. Unless a book has a lot of bad reviews, all saying much the same thing there is probably not much to be done. You can’t please everyone…someone remind me I said that when i get a bad review.

Richard Levesque

479px-Fragonard,_The_ReaderI’ve had books for sale on Amazon for more than a year-and-a-half now and have had the good fortune to rack up quite a few reviews, mostly 4 and 5 stars but a few stinkers. I know there are some writers who claim not to read their reviews, but I’m not one of them. I have come to embrace the idea that readers are the new gatekeepers of the literary world–not so much agents any more–and I want to see what my readers think. Even when what they think isn’t so nice.

When I got my first negative review (and it wasn’t entirely negative, mind you), I was incensed because the reviewer made some personal comments about me and what she perceived were my politics based on some characters in my book. I talked to people, who calmed me down, and started developing a new layer of the thick skin…

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