Authors hate negative reviews of their books. Criticism is hard to swallow, especially when we feel it is not deserved.
Since reviews are simply opinions, some authors choose to not read reviews. What they don’t read can’t hurt their feelings.
Other authors tend to get their undies in a bunch over negative reviews. They want reviewers to change their opinions. These authors tend to be concerned that a few negative reviews will ruin their sales.
In an effort to get their book to “look better” these authors will ask readers to make their review nicer. Whether the author does this in a polite or rude manner, reviewers can end up feeling threatened.
I recently stumbled across this tweet on Twitter:
This reader was seriously concerned. In fact, she was so worried, that she ended up deleting her review.
Authors, do not forget that you are influential simply because you have penned a book. This influence is a sacred privilege. Don’t abuse it.
In fact, Goodreads recognizes that authors wield a tremendous amount of influence. The community’s Author Guidelines state:
- Don’t engage with people who negatively rate or review your books.We cannot stress this enough. Goodreads is a community for all readers to express their honest opinions about the books they choose to read and shelve. Engaging with people who don’t like your book will not win you any new readers. Remember that Goodreads is a public space; other readers will see a reaction from the author and interpret it as hostile regardless of how carefully the response was crafted.
- If you feel a review is in violation of our Review Guidelines, please flag it to our team’s attention rather than responding. To flag, click the gray flag icon next to the content in question and follow the prompts.
- Remember that not every reader will love your book. It is unrealistic to expect that your book will only get four and five star reviews. Bestselling authors get one star reviews too.
Goodreads also posts the following note on their website:
If you are an author who gets upset over negative reviews, I suggest that you follow Goodreads guidelines for authors—not just for reviews on Goodreads—but also for reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online stores that sell your book.
Christian authors, I urge you to never forget who is in charge of your book reaching the people who need its message the most. If God has called you to write and publish your book, then He is responsible for helping those individuals who need your book’s message to buy it in spite of a few negative reviews mixed in with the positive ones.
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Photo courtesy of Sebastian Herrmann.