As many of you already know, reviews are very helpful to an author. Having a ton of reviews really does increase a books exposure.
It also provides feedback from the people who matter most; the readers. Writing a review of a book you enjoyed is like giving a gift to the writer. (Hint, hint, if you’ve read either of my books please write a review at Amazon.com)
I’ve been fortunate so far with lots of good reviews. But what about those bad ones? My first book, Leap Of Faith / Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat has recieved 161 reviews in five months. They are almost all four and five star reviews. It does however, have some not so good reviews. One lady said that I wrote a “How-to for skin cancer and cirrhoris!” One gentlemen said that the idealic life I described sounded like Hell to him. No way he could sit on a beach, go fishing and drink beer all day. The most recent two star review said he didn’t like it because he likes sailing adventure stories, and there is little about sailing in the book. Well it wasn’t about sailing, and that is clear in the description. Fortunately, most of the poor reviews were written because it wasn’t what they expected. No one said it was a poorly written piece of crap.
You simply can’t let a bad review get under your skin. Don’t take it personal, the reviewer doesn’t know you. There is no book out there with a hundred percent positive feedback. The number one bestseller right now on Kindle is The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green. It has over 9600 reviews. It’s a smashing success. Guess what? It has 69 ONE STAR reviews. It has another 117 Two Star reviews. You simply can not write a book that will please every single reader.
My second book, Poop, Booze and Bikinis has only been “live” for just over a week. It’s gotten 11 reviews so far. Ten of them are great but one is not. I quote, “If you’re getting this book for the reason to learn about living on a boat, it’s not that bad of a book. It has some interesting stories that I actually enjoyed and I did learn something about living on a boat. But the book is not funny. At least to me.” All the other ten reviewers used words like Hilarious, captivating, Inspiring and Fun, etc. Methinks this fellow has no sense of humor. He gave me two stars even though he enjoyed some of it and did learn some things. You simply can not please everyone.
So? Don’t try. Write from your heart. Write for yourself. Write for the readers that you know will appreciate what you are trying to say. Steven King’s book Doctor Sleep has 89 one stars and 99 two stars. It sold millions. Take the good reviews and cherish them. Get enough reviews to help your books ranking. Get enough to qualify for those promotional sites that require a certain number. Just don’t dwell on every word, especially the bad words.
You can even laugh at some of the more hateful bad reviews. I had a fellow call Poop, Booze, and Bikinis a “tawdry POS low-life appeal to the caveman instinct.” This was on Facebook, thankfully not on Amazon. I laughed. Don’t sweat it writer.
Both my books are available at Amazon: