What’s The Cure for a Horrible Book Review?

authors get bad reviews for great novels

How to let it roll “write” off

It’s one of the most gut-wrenching, tooth gnashing experiences that any struggling Indie author has to endure.  And endure it, we must – this shit just happens.  There is really not much you can do about it either, unfortunately.

Advice from those above us is to simply accept it, don’t respond (unless it’s vulgar and sometimes that doesn’t even work), be as professional as you possibly can, and just move on to the next page.

Just move on?  Really?

For instance, one of my latest and greatest: 

“I’ve never read a book so poorly written.” 

Holy ouch.

I will admit to some grammar mistakes in my ebooks, they happen to everyone.  Even to the best of the best, with the most expensive of editorial eagle eyes on patrol.  But this particular person had never written another review on Amazon whatsoever, my book was the first, and bam, she (or he) gave it to me right on the nose.  You suck.  Gee, thanks!


  1. Pour a glass of wine.  Seriously, it helps whittle away the sting of just about anything negative.  If you don’t partake, than try some hot tea or a sumptuous caramel latte with whipped cream.  I don’t care if your book is sub-par, you wrote it, it’s your baby, it’s a piece of you, you put real, honest-to-God effort into it, and you don’t deserve an open insult.  You just don’t.
  2. DO realize other people have bad days, and it is an unfortunate but inevitable part of human nature that they will strike out.  Sucks that you are in the warpath, but it is what it is.  I have come to believe that many people do not think about the real and lasting sting a negative review of a book can deliver. They don’t realize it’s just like telling an artist to their face – YOU SUCK – because they type it onto a keyboard.  It’s sterile.
  3. DO read your good reviews over and over.  And then over again.  They are your life blood.  Someone has taken the time and effort to sit down and write GOOD things about you, out of pure generosity and kindness.  And you gave them the inspiration to do so.  THOSE are the people you are truly writing for.

So…..Time to REFOCUS

My good reviews, from kind, generous and thoughtful people, have kept my will to continue as a struggling Indie author going strong.  They give me hope.  Consider this gem:

“I loved this book. The characters were brilliant and you got invested with them. I was so sad to see this story end! Wish there was another book following Jenna and Running Wolf’s story or even another story with other characters mentioned in the story…hint hint 🙂 Can’t wait to read what this author writes next!”

This review put tears in my eyes.  It’s a huge part of why I’m writing the sequel to my first book, Savage Forest, at this very moment.  I don’t know who you are, ADaniele, but you rock.  I also had a woman of Native American decent mention that my story truly spoke to her.  THAT meant something very valuable and real to me.  I did that?  I DID that!

So remember, the good is what you have to focus on.  I know it’s impossible to entirely ignore the sting of a bad review.  Furthermore, some negative reviews can have very helpful elements – such as suggestions or points – that are valid, and will help you to grow as a writer.  (Once you have your glass of wine.)

Other reviews…. are just plain mean.  They were put there to get to you, so whatever you do, don’t let your silent stalker win.

Keep writing everyone!

~Jessica Leigh  (I would love for you to visit me on Facebook!)

About the Author:
Jessica Leigh is an emerging author in the romance field, and still holds her “day job” as a free-lance writer/PR specialist for a social media marketing firm. She is also an Environmental Scientist and researcher with a degree from Penn State University. Her first historical romance release, Savage Forest, delves deep into the Native American cultural heritage of the eastern seaboard, and chronicles the life and death struggle of a feisty young Swedish immigrant thrust into a native way of life unknown to her. Jessica’s recent contemporary romance release, Waiting for Eden, is now available on Kindle.

Visit me on Facebook for release updates and more!

About writerjessicaleigh

Author, free-lance writer, business owner, mother of four, and environmental enthusiast, Jessica Leigh resides in Kempton, Pennsylvania, surrounded by her beautiful Appalachian forest along a meandering trout stream.
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2 Responses to What’s The Cure for a Horrible Book Review?

  1. Pingback: What’s The Cure for a Horrible Book Review? | jessicawessner

  2. Jandela says:

    If I get a criticism about anything, that is just mean spirited, and not constructive, I really, really try to ignore it. As Dr. Laura used to say, “Just imagine your putting those hurt feelings of yours into a helium balloon, and taking the balloon containing those hurt feelings to the top of a tall hill, and releasing it to the clouds.” It might sound a bit corny, but in a fit of pique I imagined just that. And, the curious thing is, it worked!

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