It’s wonderful when you get a good book review. All that hard work has suddenly been worthwhile. And it’s rewarding to think that you have brought pleasure to your reader.
But what if you have received a bad book review? It’s happened to me as I imagine it’s happened to most writers at some time or another, and it’s a devastating experience. I’d call it ‘the pits’. No two ways about it. Nobody likes criticism. We’d much sooner be praised. That’s natural.
So, what do you do?
Well - and this is purely from my own experience - you will feel appalling for the next day or so until the shock wears off.
After that, I suggest you go back and read the review again. If it is constructive criticism you might glean something from it that will help you to better your writing. Readers quite often see things that the author doesn’t because we are too close to the work.
Of course, there is another way of looking at this whole experience. Whether it is a good book review or a bad book review, the reviewer has been moved enough to write something about your work. He or she has put a lot of thought into what they want to say. Far better, I think, than there being no one with an opinion, be it good or bad.
So in that respect wouldn’t you agree that there is no such thing as a bad review?