Reading Reviews

Hello everyone! I know I haven’t posted anything in a while and I just wanted to quickly talk about a sensitive subject in the writing community. I’m sure you’ve already guessed it by the title of this blog and you would be correct. Authors reading their own reviews.

Now, depending on who you talk to you, someone will either say, “You should NEVER read your own reviews. It’s just going to hurt and will make you upset for no reason. Besides, the reviews are for readers, NOT the author.” While others will counter with, “It’s healthy to read your reviews because how else will you know how to improve on your craft? The bad reviews are sometimes not constructive, but some of them can be and it’s can be immensely helpful for knowing what to work on for future works.”

I can see both sides, personally. But I have to lean towards the reading of your reviews. I don’t get a lot of feedback from my books other than these reviews (and people can be very brutally honest when they post anonymously). If I don’t read them, I will keep writing the same way forever and never trying to improve because frankly, I’m not really sure where to improve. Again, not all of your reviews will have helpful feedback, but how will you know if you never read them?

There are some authors I know (not personally, but just in passing on social media) who will rant or complain about all of the horrible reviews they are constantly getting. Unfortunately, there are trolls out there who get off by bringing other people down and writing reviews that can really hurt them. I get it, it happens. But also, there are actual people out there who read it and… what’s that? Oh, they didn’t like it. It’s completely their call to write literally whatever they want on something. I do it all the time on purchases I make, more importantly, things I really hated. Folks tend to gravitate towards hating on things and sharing it with the world and other people just eat it up. I don’t know what it is. But sadly, that’s just the way it is. So, for the people who didn’t like the product and they wrote a review to express how much they didn’t like it is perfectly fine.

BUT

How an author handles that horrible review is 100000% up to that author.

This industry is a cut-throat one and it takes no prisoners. How you react to these reviews will effectively shed light on how you are as a person. Especially if you react to these reviews on a public platform. You are putting yourself in front of millions of people (potential readers and fans) to complain about all the terrible reviews you’ve gotten and it feels like everyone is out to get you. And you know what you look like to all these people? Whiney. Egotistical. An amateur author who has yet to understand the industry they want to make a career out of.

Anything a person does in the creative field (writing, art, music, ect) is always going to be subjective to each individual person it’s exposed to, meaning, not everyone will like what you put out. It’s just a fact of life. The ONLY way to deal with the harsh critics, bad reviews (even if they are trolls, doesn’t matter) and 1 star ratings, is to simply let it wash over you. It’s the only way to see what people say, comprehend what they said, handle it with dignity and then move on. Don’t delete reviews, don’t respond to reviews, don’t blast them on social media because “They didn’t like my book, Wah!” Trust me, it doesn’t make you look good and it will not help you sell more books AT ALL.

Feel free to comment below if you want to have a civil discussion. This, of course, is my opinion and I am an author so this is based on my personal experience. I hope this helps any authors who feel they have had a series of bad reviews or can’t seem to get out of a slump. It’s seriously about how you handle harsh criticism and the more you work on it, the better you will get at reading future ones and letting them just, wash over you.

What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.

Happy Reading ❤

Laura Mae

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