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9 Tips to deal with negative reviews on your first book

One out of three publishers reject books with negative reviews, so don’t let one bad review keep you from getting published or prevent others from discovering your talent! Here are nine tips to help you deal with negative reviews.

Every author will have a book that gets hit by negative reviews, even the top-selling one. You’re reading this mainly because you’d like to know what to do if your first book goes down in flames and makes a mockery of everything you have worked so hard for.

Luckily, it’s not too late to fix (or at least learn from) that embarrassing moment when your carefully laid plans to launch your new book got hit by bad reviews. One out of three publishers reject books with negative reviews, so don’t let one bad review keep you from getting published or prevent others from discovering your talent!

Here are nine tips to help you deal with negative reviews.

1. Don’t Take it Personally

If someone has a problem with your work, it’s not personal. They’re just expressing their opinion. Negative feedback is something that every author must expect. There will be people who love your book, but there will also be those who are dismissive of the book and even downright mean.

If you have any experience writing a book, you will probably know negative reviews will come up sooner or later. You can follow a book writing guide from a reputable publishing company to improve your writing skills.

2. Be Professional

As an author, your primary goal is to sell book copies. Of course you’d also consider how to get book reviews. But too much concern about negative reviews can affect sales. It is advisable to take everything professionally or in a business manner. Always think before taking steps as it can affect your professional reputation.

It’s simply common courtesy to deal with negative reviews gracefully. So, if you have a negative review, don’t respond with an angry blog post that turns off more potential readers. Instead, logically step back, look at what your other readers and followers think of the situation, and then take action based on that feedback.

3. Respond Quickly

Negative reviews are a fact of life that we all have to accept. A quick response shows that you care about what others think. This helps improve your work as well as the quality of future work.

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Either way, remember that a bad review doesn’t mean your book is awful or not worth reading, it just means one person didn’t like it. The key is to try to improve the odds when you see them as an author and publisher.

4. It’s Ok to Stay Quiet

As you have probably already noticed, not every review will be positive. The easiest thing to do is ignore a negative review. But this isn’t always a good idea.

When your book receives a negative review, it can act as a wake-up call if you are being too optimistic or giving up before you even started. Sometimes, It’s totally fine to ignore some negative reviews. There are no benefits to responding to toxic reviews or those who are just being hateful.

5. Don’t Stop, Keep Going

No matter how hard you try, every book will get a negative review sooner or later. It’s not easy being a published author, and you shouldn’t let it get to you too much.

New authors are often hit harder by these reviews than established writers. Don’t worry too much about negative reviews. Instead, you can focus on how to improve your writing skills. You’ll eventually find something that works.

6. Don’t Panic!

Don’t panic when you receive negative reviews. Stay calm and focus on how to deal with it. Every writer encounters negative reviews throughout their career. Sometimes they come with a message that can help you or give you insight into what has gone wrong.

But there are other times when you get a negative review from someone who has never read your book, never seen your book, and is just being mean-spirited and rude in general.

7. Respond to Each Review Individually

For most people, one negative review can be devastating. If you receive one bad review, it’s easy to feel discouraged. However, you can manage the situation in a friendly manner. Respond to each reviewer individually and promptly. You should thank the reviewer for taking the time to write a review. Then, provide constructive criticism.

The good news is that it doesn’t impact you long-term if you remain positive. So no matter what happens, keep writing and sharing your message. Focus on positive reviews and throw out the negative ones. Move on to the next one because in time you can make that one great as well.

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8. Be Polite

Negative reviews can hurt. They can cause you to doubt yourself, and your work even after all is said and done. But negative thoughts can shake things up and force change in the best of situations. This can encourage you to hone your craft, improve your writing, or learn how to deal with negative reviewers better next time.

A negative review is not personal. Don’t let it affect you. Instead, focus on what you did right and politely handle everything instead of being involved in criticism.

9. To Improve as a Writer

Negative reviews aren’t always a bad thing. Even if some criticism seems off-base, it can help you develop and improve. If you receive a negative review, ask yourself what you could have improved upon.

You might find that there were things you didn’t do well or that you could have done differently. This will help you improve as a writer and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.


Writing a book can be an exciting and rewarding experience. You may be looking to start your next writing project. One of the most critical aspects of this effort is knowing how to deal with negative reviews.

Your first book isn’t always going to win you any awards for creativity or artistry. You should also know that some people will always find something to dislike, even before they read it all the way through.

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Your "not that regular" all-around gal, writing about anything, thus everything. "There's always more to discover... thus write about," she says in between - GASP! - puffs. And so that's what she does, exactly. Write, of course; not (just) puff.


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