I Just Got My First 2-Star Review. What Do I Do Now?

2-star

It’s late tonight and I should already be in bed. In fact, I said I was going to bed about two hours ago and still haven’t done so. I’ve instead been hammering away on The Ice King’s Heart in hopes of having it finished soon. (Yeah, I’ve been saying that for three years. Don’t judge me.)

Anyway, I just got a PM from a dear author friend of mine and that is what has prompted this blog post.

     I just got my first 2-star review. What do I do now?

If you’re an author just starting out in this business, or even if you’re a seasoned author who may be used to getting 4 and 5 stars, I’m going to virtually take your hand right now, and comfort you.

It stings, right? It hurts you on a deep level because someone has just rated your baby with a rating you don’t feel it deserves. You probably want to cry and scream and kick things – or maybe you already have.

That’s completely okay, and totally normal. You’re allowed to feel that way.

But what I need you to keep in mind is that reviewers are free to share their opinion on every single book in existence…even yours.

Let me get myself back on track now…

I just got my first 2-star review. What do I do now?

You keep writing.

You keep moving forward with your stories, your words, and your dreams. You cannot allow a few stars to bring you down. It might seem like the end of the world tonight, but it’s not. I promise you, it’s not.

As the recipient of several less-than-favorable reviews, I can tell you how much it sucks. I know what it feels like to question your ability to be a writer, and how self-loathing can kick into overdrive and make you want to give up.

But please keep in mind that it’s only one person’s opinion. Only one.

Heck, it might even be two or three other people’s opinions in the future. But I promise you there are people out there who will love what you write, too.

One of my favorite sayings is this: You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’ll be someone’s favorite brand.

You have to keep moving forward. You have to keep believing in yourself.

Please don’t lash out at the reviewer. Please don’t rally your troops to attack them because, quite frankly, we’ve got enough of that ugliness in our little world.

Just let it roll off your back like water on a duck and keep trucking, babies.

On the bright side, receiving a few low-star reviews isn’t going to kill you. It will actually help you even though some people don’t believe that. Having too many 4 or 5 star reviews makes people skeptical. They’ll think, “Were all these reviews written by friends? Family? How can I trust that this book is any good at all?”

Don’t hate on them. After all, reviews are for readers. It’s a lesson I’ve yet to learn, but I hear people say it all the time. I read mine out of mere curiosity, so maybe that’s what you do, too.

And again, that’s okay.

If you do choose to read your reviews, take away everything you can from the words left on that page. What can you improve on? What can you do to make the next one even better?

Again, I’d like to remind you that constructive reviews are totally different from those that bash authors personally. That’s another subject for another time, preferably when I’m drunk and readily available for angry blogging.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re human. There isn’t a book in existence that’s 100% perfect in any form, even though there will be readers who feel that way about you and your writing. Does that happen? Oh, yes. It absolutely does.

It may not be today, or even tomorrow. But one day you’ll see. A reader will pop up out of the blue and say, “Your book changed my life”.

When that happens, come back here and tell me all about it because I want to hear how awesome it made you feel.

That 2-star review shouldn’t mean anything to you, darlings. Those stars do not determine your worth as a storyteller, or a person.

I’ll leave you with these words and I hope you’ll take them to heart.

No one can tell your stories like you can, so keep writing them. Don’t ever stop.

Much love,

Tonya

Another blog post that may interest you is 3-Star Reviews Aren’t The End of The World.  Hint: They Actually Help You.

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2 Comments

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  1. martinelewisauthor January 13, 2017 — 4:53 am

    Thank you T.E. 🙂

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