When you’ve written your book and published it it is a labor of love only to you. And maybe to your close friends and family. Do all your readers care for all the effort you’ve put into it? Probably not. Some readers may not even like your book. But that’s expected and you should deal with it just the way you’d deal with the rave reviews you may end up raking in.
1) Re-post the bad reviews: Pick whatever online/ social media site you’re comfortable with, or the one where you’re active, and post links or short synopses of the bad reviews you get this will show your followers that you’re just as comfortable being pulled down as you are, being hoisted up. Further, this is reassurance even to you that it’s okay for some people to not have identified with your words, and that you can use some of the points they make to refine and re-tune your words should you have a second shot at it.
2) Respond to the bad reviews: Steel yourself up and go ahead and respond to those who didn’t like something about your book without getting on the defensive. Tell them you respect their views, and that it goes to show what a wide range of opinions a single work of words can elicit in its readership. Also, just because you will sound conceited if you defend yourself against them, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be firmly ensconced in your views either. Tell them that your thought process led to those specific ways and words and that you appreciate their time and their effort.
3) Turn the bad reviews around to your advantage: Host a Q and A session on your blog, or website, where you welcome your readers opinions about certain parts of the book that didn’t score with a particular section of people. Explain your point of view, and initiate a healthy debate, not just to make you look good, but also feel good read carefully, make notes, and see how you can tap into the diverse range of comments and weave them in if you’re planning a sequel or another book altogether. In fact, it would be a terrific idea if you announce a giveaway of your book to those who come up with the most creative alternate paths to your story where there was dissent.
Don’t let the brickbats bog you down, pick up, instead, all the fragments of friction, and re-kindle excitement for your book in the hordes of people who have been following your journey as a writer all along. Don’t dare the detractors, just be civil and courteous and grow above and beyond your failures (and successes).