The Critical Review
As authors we write because it is something we enjoy doing. We write because we have a story to tell and nothing pleases us more when readers enjoy that story.
As writers, we also appreciate the feedback from our readers and in most cases this feedback is good, but we want to run and hide under the bed when we get that dreaded critical (bad) review. So what happens when the feedback is not so good? How does that affect us as writers? In some cases, especially new writers, it can devastate them if they don’t know how to deal with the criticism.
Personally, I don’t like to call them bad reviews, but critical reviews. Do we ignore it? No, that wouldn’t be wise because some of these reviews actually have some constructive information in them that can help to improve our writing. We take what the reviewer has said and use it to make improvements in our next book. They also add credence to our good reviews. We need to remember that not everyone will like our books and if every review is good, people will wonder who we paid off.
But how do we tell the difference between a constructive critical review and a review that is just plain criticism? From experience I can tell you these occur all too often and this happens because the reviewer doesn’t know any better or is having a bad day or disagrees with your point of view on a subject or does not know the subject. Well, that isn’t as difficult as you might expect.
A good reviewer, or an authentic reviewer, will provide detailed information and explain why he or she has provided the critique in his or her review, pay attention to this one. A reviewer who rants and gets details of the story wrong does so on a personal level while providing no positive critique on the book itself. Ignore this one and forget about it.
Most often, critical reviews come from people who know nothing about the subject. So just because you get the odd critical review it doesn’t mean you have written a terrible book, so there is no need to beat yourself up about it. Many world class bestselling authors receive these types of reviews well into their careers.
Remember one thing – a critical but constructive review can still be an excellent review. Anything else you can ignore.