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What to Do With a One-Star Review on Your Published Book

Hi, writers!

What do you do with a one-star review?

While that question automatically implies that you’re already published, don’t feel excluded if you’re not quite yet. The larger concept this video covers can apply to any critique you get across the writing board.

Whenever you put something out there to anyone, whether it’s an individual, a writing group or a published platform, you’re opening yourself up to critique and maybe even criticism. There’s no way to avoid it.

So let’s say you’ve published a book and you get a one-star review. Your first response is probably going to be one of horror. How could you have gotten a one-star review? What did you do that was so bad? What triggered your reader to like your book so little?

Those questions are all understandable. Even unavoidable. But what you do about your one-star review is completely controllable.

This includes whether or not you follow up on your urge to post about it on one of your Facebook writers groups. Where, for the record, chances are high you won’t get helpful responses in this regard.

I’ve seen it happen too many times, hence the reason I’m making this video. Some unfortunate writer gets a negative reaction to his or her published piece and goes right to asking the writers group, “What should I do? I just got a one-star review!”

Then the sympathetic responses start pouring in.

“Don’t let the negativity in!”

“Some people just can’t be pleased.”

“Forget about them. They don’t matter.”

But here’s a thought. Maybe you should let the negativity in. Maybe it’s not a matter of people being unpleasable. And maybe their opinion does matter.

By proposing those contrary notions, I’m not telling you to give up on writing. Far from it. This is a call to really practice and improve on your craft.

Strong writers continuously critique themselves, both with and without prompting. So while they always strive not to get a one-star review, if they do, they don’t go looking for unhelpful amounts of sympathy.

That’s not to say they automatically accept outside criticism. They consider it, they evaluate it and then they determine whether it’s worth keeping, filing away or discarding.

It’s not always a pleasant process. But it goes a very long way in helping you not get another one-star review going forward.



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