"10 Ways For Authors To Handle Bad Reviews"

Some of the top results from Google for "world's most hated author" from l. to r.: George Orwell, J.K. Rowling, Ray Bradbury, Virginia Woolf, and Joe Hill. Go figure.

Some of the top results from Google for "world's most hated author" from l. to r.: George Orwell, J.K. Rowling, Ray Bradbury, Virginia Woolf, and Joe Hill. Go figure.

I saw an article—listicle—whatever—with this title, being promoted somewhere between Facebook and whatever hole of the Internet I had my nose in. (I can't even remember if I was on my phone or not. Yeesh...) I didn't even bother reading it, I was so...appalled...by the lede. Is there a way to handle a bad review? Sadly, some people get caught up and need this guidance, so I came up with my own "10 Ways" list to help out:

  1. Ignore it.
  2. Ignore it.
  3. Ignore it.
  4. Ignore it.
  5. Ignore it.
  6. Ignore it.
  7. Ignore it.
  8. Ignore it.
  9. Ignore it.
  10. Write something else.

In all seriousness, I know some people take reviews hard. (Hey, never read the comments. Right?) Some would argue that one should read the reviews because there may be some takeaways from it. Screw that. Not everyone has constructive commentary. And It's unsolicited advice—in the case of a review, from a perfect stranger who has no stake in your success. Writers should be talking with their peers and others they trust to review their work. Professionals of both stripes: authors and readers. The perfect stranger has one of two jobs after buying and reading your work: be entertained or be not entertained. Either is fine.

Go forth and write something else. Excelsior!