Yesterday, I chatted with a writer who’s getting her first book ready to post on Amazon. She’s panicking about the possibility of one-star reviews.
Here’s the truth, as Author, Jody Hedlund: Should Authors Stalk Review Sites? says:
“If we’re checking Amazon or Goodreads or blog reviews, then we’re going to eventually hear a lot of negative stuff.
The trouble is, we tend to take lower ratings very personally, whether we want to or not. We let the negative comments dig in and discourage us. Even if we have thick skin, those comments still seem to worm their way inside. And sometimes they hurt, even fester.”
Jody Hedlund makes an excellent point: “Review sites are for readersâ€¦ The reviews are NOT intended for authors (for feedback, instruction, critiques, etc.). ”
You may have written a book, but the reading experience is personal
I tell writers to skip the reviews and never read them if they know they’ll be affected by what they read. Only you know how personally you’re likely to take negative reviews and comments.
You shouldn’t take negative comments personally, because it’s not about you.
If we’re talking about fiction, the reading experience is subjective. You wrote the words, but the reader has the experience. Once you’ve published your book, there’s nothing you can do. You can’t say to a reader that they’re wrong about what they feel.
On the other hand, if you’ve written nonfiction, it can be useful to check reader reviews. If you’ve left something out that readers need you to cover, not a problem. Write a second edition.
If you’re new to publishing, you will take all negative comments much too seriously. Your bruised ego will eventually toughen up. You’ll realize that you wrote something. It’s now available for readers. Yes, you want readers to enjoy your work, but as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, butâ€¦ 🙂
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