Articles / On Writing

Quick Tips: Ignore The Haters


I have seen and heard it time and time again: Authors fretting over one bad review. As an editor, seeing one of my authors pull their hair out because of one negative review or comment makes me want to pull my hair out along with them. It’s tough, the world of writing and publishing. An author’s work is out there for the world to see which also means it’s out there for the world to criticize. And believe me, there are readers out there that make it their sole purpose to rip a book to shreds. Unfortunately, it’s all part of the publishing game.

Being a writer means having a thick skin and realizing that not every reader is going to be your reader. There is always going to be someone along the way who will find this and that wrong with your book, and that’s okay. Why? Simply put, you can’t grow as an author is you don’t have someone driving you to be better. Think of negative reviews or comments as fuel for your engine. The more fuel, the more you work to make your writing something that no one can complain about.

What happens if you received some hate for one of your books? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It doesn’t mean your sales will dwindle or that your book is a pile of crap. It just means it’s another person’s opinion. The best thing to do when this does—and it will—happen to you is to move on, learn from it, and don’t look back. If you don’t, you will remain stagnant as a writer. You also have to weigh the positive and negative reviews you received.  If you have a higher ratio of positive and supportive feedback of your books and only a small percentage of the opposite, then relax and don’t over analyze it when a stray bad apple comes along. Like I said, not every reader is your reader.

So when I get frantic texts, emails, and calls from my authors ready to call it quits, I tell them to ignore the haters. It’s not worth their writing time to sulk over negative reviews or jump at the chance to re-write their book because a reader didn’t like a character or plot line.  Writers need to be comfortable in their work to move on and to let go, or risk stifling their creativity.

The next time you get a bad review, just click the little X at the top of your browser screen and walk away for a while. Breathe, have a cup of coffee, smoke if you got ’em, but don’t feed the hate, ignore it. Grow from it, and don’t stop writing.


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