Good Authors Will Get Bad Reviews

how to handle bad book reviews

Frustrating. Annoying. Unfair. These are all words that come to mind when I think about authors who have written amazing books but receive one star reviews from people (because I can’t call them readers) who openly admit they didn’t even read the book. Are you kidding me??? It’s completely insane. As a result, the overall rating on the book declines if there are not yet enough positive ones to offset the invalid ones.

Now, I will be the first to tell you, there are some poorly written books floating around, but there are a lot of great ones too. And unfortunately, a lot of consumers depend on the overall rating to help them determine whether the read is worth the buy. 

In Book Reviews We Trust

Normally, you can find a book review on a reputable blog or site that is dedicated posting book reviews. These reviews will give you the good, the bad, and the ugly and use quotes from the book to justify their position. 

If the book reviewer leaves a negative review, you can be sure to fine a couple of positive things written about the book too. Even if it is unfavorable to the reader, it can still be a good review. 

A good reviewer will usually write anywhere between 750 to 1200 words and conclude with publishing information, such as the book length, publisher, and the date it was published. 

The one thing I can say is that if a reviewer places that much energy in writing a review, you can bet they are giving their honest opinion.

Beware of Customer Reviews

While there are plenty of great customer reviews from genuine readers, you have a lot of trolls who are just looking for attention. These people will attack you by using inappropriate language and stating opinions as facts. 

Amazon is infamous for reviews like this. While you can report the reviews to Amazon and ask that they be taken down, I have heard many authors state that they rarely do something about them. Your best bet is to rely on.

You Get What You Pay For

I love eBooks, especially the FREE  ones. However, if you want fewer negative reviews, you can start by putting a halt to consistent flow of freebies. Most times, when we buy books, we can’t wait to read them. We have dedicated the time to read about them and made a conscious decision to invest them. Naturally, we tend to care less about things we didn’t put our time and money into. 

If you were to ask authors whether they received more or fewer negative reviews once they stopped the free Kindle eBook campaigns, I am willing to bet that most of them would say they received fewer reviews. You can’t stop those who are intentionally trying be malicious but you can curve some of the unwanted attention. 

Amazon has tried to combat this by stating that an individual must have spent at least $50.00 before posting a review, but if you are like me, you spend money on Amazon almost every week. So, I’m not sure exactly how much this is really helping. 

It’s A Book Review, Not A Death Sentence

A very long time ago, there was an amendment passed that gave each person the right to free speech. No matter what you do, someone will always have something to say about. Sometimes it will be great and sometimes it will be not so great. If you put in the work, most of the reviews you get will always be in your favor. So write your heart and remember, it’s only a book review. 

Adrienne Michelle Horn is the owner of I A.M. Editing, Ink. Although she has a full-time professional career in the healthcare field, she is also a South Florida-based editor, poet, author, entrepreneur, and mother of her beautiful daughter, Paris.

For more information about Adrienne and her company, follow I A.M. Editing, Ink on social media or visit