Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Do Bad Book Reviews Mean?

The old adage is: “No PR is bad PR.”  You can take that to mean that any type of PR is better than none, just as long as people get to know your name. But what happens when you get a bad book review?

Don’t crap in your pants.  Toughen up. If a reviewer says your book sucks, chalk it up to the reviewer just not liking your book as an individual choice.  If you get a bunch of bad reviews then it means your book may not be loved by all, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad book. If there are just as many positive reviews then it just means your book is either loved or hated – and there is no in between.  You are looking to please some people, not all of them, so who cares if 309 million Americans think you’re a loser with a crappy book – if a million like it you are R-I-C-H!

But if our skin is not thick or your perspective of the world of book reviews is narrow, let me help you put it in perspective:

·         A great review may yield few or no sales. A bad review doesn’t necessarily turn off would-be buyers but it just becomes a non-opportunity to win new fans.

·         It depends on how many reviews you receive, and how many are bad.  If you get 25-30 reviews, some are bound to be a little negative. It’s the law of averages at play.

·         Just how bad are the reviews?  Are they deeply negative or do they only mention some minor shortcomings?

·         Where are these reviews posted?  How big is their readership?  Maybe the biggest mouths have the smallest followings?

·         Even bad reviews have a positive few words that can be pulled for a good quote.  Highlight the good praise and ignore the rest.

The things that count more than reviews are:

·         Sales
·         Impact of your message on others.
·         Your brand.
·         Favorable media coverage from interviews.
·         The fun you had in writing your book.

Pay attention to what’s really important and don’t worry about what any book reviewer says about your book.  Then again, we all want to be loved by everyone and every review is a posting of judgment that can wound or raise our egos. Just stand back and look at the bigger picture and do not let a review take up too much of your time or focus.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

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