Contrary to what many newbie authors think, all authors even ones on the New York Times Bestseller list get bad reviews. Just because you have a bestselling book doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be others who think your book is well not that great. One of the keys to being a successful author who keeps their readers is in how you handle bad reviews.

Here are five tips for handling bad reviews of your book. As far as I’m concerned, these are iron clad and authors disregard them at their own risk.

1. Wait a day before you respond in any way to a bad review. It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to fire off a super negatively charged e-mail to a reviewer who doesn’t like your book, and saying something you will regret in the morning. Don’t do it, step away from the computer now. Many a newbie author has ruined their writing career and alienated readers by writing a scathing e-mail to a reviewer.

2. Take several deep breaths, in and out, in and out. It will calm your upset and all you to think clearly before responding.

3. Remind yourself that not everyone is going to like your book, and in the case of bad reviews not speaking is the better part of valor.

4. Write a quick thank you e-mail. Tell the reviewer thank you for reviewing my book, and leave it at that. Nothing else needs to be said.

5. Forget about the bad review, bury it, plant a tree on it (virtually of course) and forget it exists. If you don’t promote it, no one else will either. And if you’re very very lucky, no one will ever see it. It will drop further and further into the reviewers’ archives and with luck will never see the light of day again.

That’s it! The more gracious and kind you are to a reviewer that gives your book a bad review, the better you are going to look. And finally, keep in mind some readers buy books that have bad reviews because they want to see what all the excitement is about!

So much for the theory. As for the real-life experience, my experience to be precise, I do have two books that have received very bad reviews. I’m talking about Tasting Leon’s Mark, ReScue Series Book 2, and The Sex, Virtus Saga #1.

About Tasting Leon’s Mark, I know why it didn’t prove to be so hot with the reviewer. It’s a sequel that was released before its prequel Re-Scue, ReScue Series #1! Small wonder the reviewer couldn’t get into the story. Or understand its focus. She was missing the whole first part, which is essential to understand the characters’ relationship and development. So I go a very poor review, but it was my fault for having submitted a book that should’ve never been submitted until its first chapter had been read. If you want to judge for yourself, click here for the reviewer’s opinion, then judge for yourself by reading a long excerpt. Scrolling down to the bottom of the excerpt, you’ll also find my personal note to the reviewer.

As far as The Sex, Virtus Saga #1. I’m still not sure what the problem was. But if you read the review, it’ll be abundantly clear the reviewer had certain expectations about how the saga should evolve, particularly when it came to the characters’ relationship. So, okay, neither of the two male characters falls in love with my heroine. Not in the first book anyway. Which is the first of EIGHT, so it might be fair to assume that, somewhere along the line, this might happen. But not in the first book, where characters are introduced, the world is presented, the plot starts to unfold. And the most important piece of this plot is the intense love between Chris and Duncan, the two male protagonists. Without getting the passionate bond that ties them together, the reader wouldn’t understand any of what follows in the other SEVEN books, so I couldn’t go and throw in another love affair that wouldn’t have been credible in the least. Not at that point. Love has to take its time to grow and build. And that’s exactly what happens between Chris, Duncan and Ylianor. So read the review, then judge for yourself by reading and excerpt. And if you reach the end, you’ll find the answers to all the reviewer’s questions in one brief excerpt!

And yes, regardless of all the rationalizations, I was mad and hurt by both reviews for not having understood my books!

Between the tips and the hard facts, I hope this blog helps authors deal better with bad reviews. But mostly, I hope they never need this advice, which means they have no idea what a bad review is LOL