Writer's Professional Attitude

I'm almost caught up with reading my saved newsletters from Kim Komando. I was struck by her advice to businesses about what to do when a consumer posted a bad review about the business's product.

Of course, this made me think about a writer's product: a book. There's a never-ending discussion among writers about book reviews with the general opinion being to simply ignore the review whether it's good, bad, or somewhere in between. Never engage in a discussion with the writer of a bad review because it's a no-win situation.

My preferred method is to ignore the negative reviews, but I always try to thank someone who posted a good review. I don't often catch these because I make it a policy to NOT look at reviews. Sometimes I can't help it, as I check one of my book pages, to see comments and stars. That's usually when I'll thank a reviewer, but I don't hunt for reviews.


As an author, you just have to accept that not everyone will like your book. Yes, it still stings when someone posts a bad review. No author ever sets out to write a bad book. We put time, energy, and a piece of heart and soul into every book.

Readers and Writers, Take Heart

For every reader who hates your book, there will be a reader who loves it. Hopefully, more than one reader.

The best thing readers can do is to not take reviews to heart either. I know when a book description interests me, I'll buy it regardless of what reviews say. I've found some wonderful books that way.

The best thing writers can do is to develop an optimistic philosophy about reviews, otherwise you'll seesaw between elation at a five-star review and depression at a 1-star that's so pervasive that it may cripple your writing.

You'll know that you have become a professional writer in attitude, as well as in narrative skills, when you can look at a bad review and shrug. I deliberately hum that old 1970's song from Sly and the Family Stone: Different Strokes for Different Folks.

Takeaway Truth

Different strokes for different folks is really the bottom line on reviews and just about every other subjective area of life: some like it; some don't. Some will be vocal about what they like and don't like; others won't.

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