Bad Book Reviews and How to Avoid Them - WRITE | PUBLISH | SELL

Jan 11, 2022 | Market

Bad Book Reviews and How to Avoid Them

Bad Book Reviews

No author wants to read bad book reviews. But they happen. The real question is, can you AVOID bad reviews on your book? 

Conventional wisdom says that good books will get good reviews. So using that advice, all you need to do is write a great book. Not exactly easy, sure, but that’s what we all set out to do. 

But the conventional wisdom is wrong – being good is not enough. In today’s world, where millions of books are out there, a click away, and readers are being marketed to from every angle, “just” writing a fantastic book isn’t going to ensure that you get great reviews OR that your book will sell. 

Every author gets bad book reviews. But some bad reviews are avoidable.

There are always going to be those people who don’t like your work – your voice doesn’t click, your story doesn’t grab them. You can’t control that. 

What you can control, though, are the readers who don’t like your book because they were disappointed. They expected one thing but got another. They saw your ad on Amazon describing a twisty thriller and they couldn’t wait to dig into a dark, exciting story…only to find that your book was a sci-fi thriller, a caper set in a distant, high-tech future. This wasn’t at all what they expected when they hit that “BUY NOW” button, and they’re none too happy about it. 

In short: you marketed your book to them, and when they sat down to read, it wasn’t what they expected. 

By ensuring you know exactly WHO your reader is, and making a concerted effort to market to that particular audience, you can make sure that reviews like this are far and few between. 

Indie authors and most first-time authors don’t have big publishing houses with marketing research units behind them, but we still need to do the job of finding and speaking directly to them to ensure that we don’t end up with a slew of lackluster – or worse – reviews on our books.

How can I keep my book marketing on target?

Like I said, bad book reviews happen, no matter how great a book is. So how do you begin the process of positioning your work for success by talking to your true intended audience? How do you make sure your book sales aren’t impacted by negative reviews? 

It’s all about targeting your marketing. I recently sat down with my friend, author Emily Meyer, to talk about marketing her first book. It took feedback from advance readers for her to realize she’d made a crucial mistake in her book’s positioning. We talked about how she figured it out, plus what she did to make the critical marketing change that led to her book taking off! You can listen to our conversation on my podcast right here

Your ideal readers are out there, waiting for your book. Go out and market to them!

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