Have you ever met somebody that you Just.Didn’t.Like? Their personality and yours just didn’t jive. It’s not that they were a bad person, but you just didn’t like them…
Some people aren’t going to like your book.
You’ve spent hours writing your book – rewriting, editing, getting feedback, and then writing some more. You’ve invested in the message and the stories you’re sharing and pulled your hair out over commas. You’ve navigated the murky trails (and trials!) of professional edits, layout, cover design, and book launching.
And the book is beautiful. It’s a work of art. And it’s here to change the world – starting with you!
All hyperbole aside, I know first-hand what goes into writing a book and getting it published. After all, I’ve got 20 titles to my name. And I know first-hand how holding your book in your hand for the very first time just never gets old. If anything, the lady at the post office is sick and tired of watching me rush out to the truck like a love-struck fool to caress the shiny cover on the proof.
But there’s something really important that is never told to authors – and it really should be.
What happens when you get your first 1-star review?
Take a deep breath. Because let’s be perfectly honest here: it’s going to happen. Somebody is going to hate your book – and if you let it, that little 1-star review will have the power to obliterate all the 4- and 5-star reviews that came before it.
Your best defense is… a plan.
It’s not a plan for how you’ll plead with Amazon to remove it.
It’s not a blueprint for how you’ll hunt down the reviewer and make him change his mind – and publicly apologize.
It’s not a plan for how you’ll fire off a witty comeback that is not only the perfectly placed literary knife to the ribs but also makes you look brilliant, beautiful, and 15 pounds lighter.
Here’s the thing about reviews: there’s not a single way you can respond that leave you looking classy. If you argue with a “bad” review, you’re whiny; if you thank the reviewer for a “good” review, you’re a creepy stalker author.
Still, you need a plan for how you’re going to handle it.
Here are some tips:
1. Don’t check on your reviews right before bed.
I’ll admit, when my first book was newly published, I checked sales stats and if there were any new reviews about every three hours. All. Day. Long.
But I knew from past experience, a nasty email from a client had the power to ruin a good night’s sleep. A bad review from a stranger… no WAY I’d be able to sleep.