bad-reviewWe have recently had a discussion in my group Secrets To Publishing A Book about book reviews on Amazon. The conversation was sparked by a bad review on Laura Childs’ book “Low Carb High Fat No Hunger Diet and Cookbook: Lose Weight with A Ketogenic Hybrid”.

Laura took it very personally. I can understand that totally. I did too, when I got a very nasty review on one of my books. As newish authors we take our work very personally and it feels like a personal attack on us when we get those kind of reviews.

Take a look at this book “Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less”. It has a sales rank of 293 at the time of writing this. Now take a look at the reviews.


Despite the relatively high number of 1 and 2 star reviews, this book sells vast quantities. Using the KD Sales Calculator it appears this particular author is selling between 100 and 300 copies of his book EACH day. kd

So why is he still selling even though he has bad reviews? That’s because buyers now look at the reviews and they are comforted that these reviews are at least real, despite what they say. If a book has only 4 or 5 star reviews buyers are inclined to think that the reviews are engineered. This makes them suspicious and possibly less likely to buy the book.

But here’s the thing. People leave bad reviews for several reasons:

1)      They just did not like the book

2)      There are some valid issues with the book

3)      They are just having a bad day

You do get the occasional revolting review left by someone that has it in for you personally, but they are few and far between.

So you as an author should be grateful for a few bad reviews. It makes your book legitimate in the eyes of the reader that you are trying to encourage to read your book. Do not take it personally. If you do, you end up being miserable and demotivated. For what? You are the one that had the courage and guts to write that book and get it out there for people to read. Well done you!

More importantly NEVER EVER respond to bad reviews. It always turns into a mud-slinging match and the only loser is you as an author because you come out looking like a whine-y cry baby. Suck it up. If the review is not valid, brush it off and write your next book.

If however you notice a flood of bad reviews, then read them carefully. If they are all complaining about a similar issue, then you know you have some work to do to fix it. Use it as an opportunity to improve your book and your writing. The readers will be grateful and you will sell more books.

If someone you know has left a bad review, do not complain to them and say that you would have preferred them to mention the issues in private. The readers want honesty and if someone takes the time to leave a review which is not favourable, then possibly consider what they are saying carefully.

So here’s my suggestion. The next time you get a bad review, go out and celebrate, because you are now on your way to writing success.

Do you agree? State your case in the comments below.


P.S. Have you seen 30 Days to Sizzling Author Website Traffic?




Diana Heuser specialises in e-Business and Publishing Resources for Authors. Connect with Diana Heuser on her business website, via Twitter @DianaHeuser or on Google+.   Join our fabulous free Group “Secrets To Publishing A Book on Facebook”. You will find it interesting. Request to join here.

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