When you see you have a review, brace yourself before you see it. Even good reviews can bring a negative reaction from you. Prepare yourself before you read them.
Step Away and Cool Off
In reading the bad review, you’ll probably get very defensive. You’ll want to shout and tell that reviewer off. Stop! Step away! Take time to cool off. Reacting to it should be done privately so you don’t put your foot in your mouth and hurt yourself with your readers.
When we respond in the heat of the moment, it never works out well. It’s better to wait until you have your emotions under control. You can be mature and show a lot of class when you respond with emotions in check.
Respond or Not to Respond
Keep in mind that you never have to respond to reviews. Yes, it is a good move to thank the reviewer for their time and their comments. But sometimes responding can be more harmful.
Recently, an author responded to a bad, more like nasty, review. Her response was on the same nasty level as the reviewer. It went viral. She was attacked and lost many fans. Why? Because she lowered herself to the level of the nasty review. It would have been better if she hadn’t responded.
Connecting with readers can be done by responding to a review and thanking the reviewer. Even if it is bad review, thank them and move on. If you can’t be nice in your response, just move on and avoid responding. You’ll be glad you did later.
Learn From It
Typically, you can learn something from every bad review. It could be just how to deal with rejection. Yes, some reviews have nothing of merit within them aside from you needing to learn to be a little tougher skinned. But look deep within a negative review and you’ll find something to improve your writing.
Maybe they said your characters were too flat. Start researching this and learn how you can make your next set of characters much more rounded. Maybe they said your writing was too juvenile. Expand your vocabulary and make your sentences more complex. Work with an editor to help you find that positive seed.