Writing Saturday: F is for Feedback

2:37 PM

One of the scariest moments for a writer is when they send their book into the world for its début.  This may mean sending to the first person that isn’t family or a close friend.  It might mean posting it online, or even publishing it.  Whatever it is, there is always a part of you that wonders; “Will everyone hate this?”

Recently, I received my first negative review on Amazon for my book. Well, it was still three stars, but it was as negative as they have gotten yet.  I also got a positive review that made me shake my head and wonder what the person was talking about.  So here are some tips with dealing with negative feedback.

1. Learn to deal with it.  It is the sad reality: you can’t please everyone.  No matter how good your book is, someone will see something wrong with it.  You need to learn to not let their negativity bother you.

2. If you seriously can’t stand negative feedback, don’t ask for people’s opion and don’t look at reviews.

3. Look at the negative review in a positive light.  Sometimes people will read a review that says “hated the fact that there wasn’t a sermon in here” and they will go “Great!  I have been looking for a book without a sermon in it for a long time!”  So a negative review might win over a reader as well as a positive one.

4. Know that readers are different.  You are a writer because you saw a need that your book filled.  But readers are different.  Some people won’t read my books because they are science-fiction.  It doesn’t hurt me because I know that people are going to be different.

5. Never, never respond to negative feedback and encourage your friends to do the same. You can vote it down, you can do your best to hide it, but there is no quicker way to give attention to the negative review than by responding.

6.  Take a deep breath.  Don’t get angry.  You are an author, and negative feedback is part of the job.  However, if you honor God in your writing and he is pleased, does it really matter what others think, does it?

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  1. If I ever get published, I know that that will be the one thing I'm going to struggle with the most.

    I always seem to freak out when someone says something bad about something I've done. I'll get into a big slump, and cry or pout, or something.

    Thanks for this post. :)

  2. Wonderful observations! I am constantly struggling with these things myself. Sometimes, as you said, it is better not to read reviews. :)