All writers have been warned. If you are going to get a book published you are going to need thick skin. Reading negative reviews can be excruciating.
It's hard enough taking this intimate piece of yourself and putting it in the hands of strangers. Then you have to sit there and listen to them tear it apart? Yikes. It's like that uncomfortable feeling you get in dreams walking around without clothes on and everyone stares and there's nothing to cover yourself with. No? I'm the only one who dreams like this? Never mind then.
"Two and a half stars!?! Your face is two and a half stars!!"
Here are a few ways that have helped me keep my cool and respect others who give their less-than-desirable reviews. And I wanted to share them for any other writers who are struggling with this challenge.
There's a Difference Between Healthy Criticism and the Grumps
Criticism is a good thing! You learn from it and grow from it.
Look at the motivation behind what they're saying. If they say something out of love, genuinely wanting you to grow from this experience, consider their wisdom. If they're just trolling or one of those grumpy people with a rain cloud over their heads (You know, the type that's never satisfied with their meal at a restaurant?), I think you're safe to ignore them.
You Can't Please Everyone
Look up your most favorite novels of all time. Find the writers you respect and the stories that changed your life and check out their ratings. They get bad reviews too! I find that I'm more personally offended when these authors get low ratings than when my own book does.
"Excuse me! One star for The Girl Who Drank The Moon?! Who are you?!"
It helps you realize that people are so different. A story you loved reading may have dragged on for somebody else. No one will ever be able to write a book that will make everyone happy. And that's what makes life so beautiful! We are all so different!
Don't Forget How BOSS You Are!
Um, you WROTE A BOOK! Remember?
Whenever I watch the Olympics, I always get annoyed with the broadcasters narrating every little flaw an athletes makes while performing. I want to yell at the TV screen, "I don't see you out there competing! Just keep sitting on your lazy bum telling us the play-by-plays! A round of applause for you!"
Maybe I'm over-exaggerating, but you get the point.
YOU wrote this book. YOU put in countless hours making this piece of work so others can enjoy it! And they do! Never forget for every negative review you get, there are plenty of positive ones to balance them out. You are a rock star! And I'd give your face five stars!