How To Deal With Bad Reviews

1/11/2013 2 Comments

As an artist, it's inevitable that eventually somebody won't like your work. It's just the way it is. Every artist has been trashed not once, not twice, but repeatedly.

So how do they deal with it?

I know a lot of them don't bother reading their reviews. But how did they handle it when they started out?

That's what I want to know.

I remember reading an article after Stephaine Meyer's book Twilight became a huge success. It had Stephen King in it, slamming Stephanie's poor writing abilities.

I wonder if she cried when she read it.

I know I would.

I realize being an artist you have to have thick skin and roll with the punches, but we're human and even the thickest layer of skin can be penetrated.

My debut book Beyond the Eyes have mostly received good to outstanding reviews, which makes me happy. In fact, the last few remarkable reviews were kind enough to defend why my main character Paige is the way she is. They got it and totally understood her, and her relationship with Nathan. However, I have received a few not-so-good reviews to where they absolutely can't stand Paige. Some of them were downright ruthless.

Did I cry?


Did it bother me?

Hell, ya. But honestly, I do appreciate their review and honesty.

I've read several times from avid readers that if they see a book with nothing but 5 star reviews, it makes them suspicious about the integrity of the reviews.

When I recently received a 2 star review that zinged me and my book, I was told by a reader whom I didn't even know, not to worry about it. She told me that a bad review never sways her from not buying a book or watching a movie she feels she might enjoy. And nine times out of ten, she likes it.

That made me feel good.

What also helped me through it was after that review, I received a 5 star one, totally defending Paige and Nathan, like the other two 5 star reviews before hers.

It made my day.

But truthfully, I'm still scared though. I don't want people to hate my book(s).When they do, I kind of feel like I've let them down. However, I know I can't please everyone, and the world would be boring if everybody had the same opinion.

So how do I deal with bad reviews?

The following is a list I go through in my mind, tell myself and do to help me get through it . . .

  1. All authors get bad reviews. Look at how many scathing reviews Amanda Hockings and Stephanie Meyers received and how successful they are.
  2. Reread all the good reviews I have received.
  3. I have fans of this series. Fans!
  4. I have people chomping at the bit to read Dark Spirits (the next book in my series).
  5. I have people who I don't even know come up to me in public, telling me how much they love Beyond the Eyes.
  6. Keep writing because it makes you happy and entertains you.
  7. Not everybody is going to like your books. Try not to focus on the bad. Instead, focus on the good (refer to all of the above).
  8. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself for it.

That's pretty much it.

Dark Spirits will be out hopefully next month and right now I have a couple of wonderful authors reading the ARC.

I'm not going to lie, I'm nervous as hell.

Only two other people have read Dark Spirits: my critique partner and editor. They liked it a lot, but my stomach is still in a knot. I just hope the authors like it because if they do, I know I'm on the right track.

Yeah, their opinion shouldn't matter, however, in this particular situation it does. The reason being, if they do, then they're going to do a testimony for me and will put a review out as well. So fingers and piggies crossed they like Dark Spirits. If not . . . well, I'll have to continuously excise number one, six, and eight.

Update: One of the authors reading Dark Spirits just emailed me. She said she couldn't put it down and loved it! She wants me to hurry up with the third book (The Devil's Third) so she can read it.


That just made my Friday. :D


  1. Rebekkah,
    Thank you for taking the time to write this encouraging blog. It was very helpful. Though I haven't read your books, I just know that you are going to be successful and get to where you envision going. Congratulations on your achievements so far! Your work brings lots of excitement to people.

  2. You're welcome, Mary and thank you for the kind words. You're sweet. :)