What can you do with a negative book review?

what can you do with a negative book review
April 17, 2023
Book Award Pro

Writing, publishing, and marketing a book is both an extremely personal and laborious undertaking. It’s no surprise that receiving a negative book review can be a challenging experience for authors.

However, less-than-perfect feedback on your book can have a silver lining. Read on to learn what you can do with a negative book review with tips to help you turn a poor review into a positive opportunity for author growth.

Remain calm

First things first, remain calm. A negative book review isn’t the end of your career as an author. In fact, many of the most notable authors struggled to make their way into the hall of literary fame. C. S. Lewis, author of the wildly successful Chronicles of Narnia series, received 800 rejections before finally selling his first book. Today, he is one of the most recognizable names in literature.

The moral of the story: It’s okay! Receiving negative feedback is a universal experience for writers and can help shape you into the best author you can be.

Focus on positive reviews

If you’ve received negative reviews, odds are you’ve also received some positive feedback. Remind yourself of your book’s value by reading a few of your most glowing reviews. This can do a couple of things:

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  • It boosts your confidence. After hearing some less-than-ideal feedback, reading through your best reviews can be a major confidence boost. Don’t forget: there are readers who love your work!
  • It reveals your strengths. Positive reviews are a powerful way to discover the things you do best as an author. Do readers love your character development? Do they rave about your ability to create a vivid setting in fiction? By discovering your best attributes through book reviews, you can focus on perfecting those elements in future writing.

Apply the feedback

Once you feel ready, revisit the negative review to take a closer look. See what kind of insight you can gain. Are the criticisms of your book consistent? For example, do negative reviews often include critique of your plot? If so, you can focus your efforts on improving your plot-building skills while writing your next book.

It can also be helpful to discuss the review with people you trust. This can include friends, family members, or fellow authors, just be sure they’ve read your book and are willing to give you honest feedback. This can help create a more comprehensive picture of the ways in which you can improve your writing.

Consider subjectivism

An important thing to remember in every creative venture: not everyone is going to love your work. Your book is likely to appeal to a particular audience and that’s okay! Readers’ opinions are extremely subjective, influenced by personal taste, expectations, and reading habits. Try to remember this when you receive negative book reviews. It can help bring the experience into perspective.

If you’re looking for a way to increase your chances of receiving positive book reviews, Book Award Pro has a Book Reviews feature that matches your book to review opportunities specifically curated to things like genre, style, and subject matter. By aligning your book with relevant reviewers, you stand a greater chance of receiving praise.

Keep writing!

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If you take nothing else from this article: don’t stop writing! Each piece of feedback you receive, good or bad, is a valuable opportunity to develop your skills as an author, fine-tune your craft, and impress more readers.

Looking to have your book reviewed but unsure where to start? The Book Reviews feature is included in every Book Award Pro plan, so you can easily access the most promising review opportunities for your book, no matter your budget or availability.

See which plan is right for you.

We have plans for every author at every stage.

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