How to Deal With a Bad Review

FYI, I have added a section on social media on the Learn More About… page. I meant to do that on the last post but I didn’t have time.

I got my first bad review this week published on for all to see. (Go ahead, it’s here.) Where can I find a rock to crawl under was my initial thought. I could have probably found that rock but I don’t have time to search for rocks. I’m writing another novel! I could have gotten angry but that’s pretty pointless too. Every reader is entitled to his opinion. So what’s next? How about facing the fact that bad reviews are part of the business.


Amongst the reasons I stopped writing a few years ago was the potential bad reviews of a yet non-existent novel. When I decided to publish Masks, I knew bad reviews would come eventually because you can’t please everybody. Making my dream come true was more important than the inevitable criticism. As writers, we can either empower ourselves by doing what we love or we can let fear and critics overpower us and destroy our passion.


I’m going to let Cage The Elephant give you a clue about the right attitude to adopt.


If I focus on the bad review, then I’m not seeing all the good stuff that’s happened this year.

  • Masks was a National Indie Excellence Awards young adult category finalist.
  • After reviewing a donated copy, the Mississauga Central Library purchased three copies of my book because the senior librarian felt it would appeal to teen readers.
  • One of my co-workers bought Masks for his niece about a month ago and, without any prompting from him, told him she loved the story and was looking forward to reading my next book.
  • Masks: A Novella is selling beyond my expectations.

What more could I want?

How do you deal with bad reviews? I love to hear from you. Leave a comment.


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  1. #1 by patriciasands on July 8, 2011 - 1:49 PM

    As you say, everyone has a right to their opinion. Everyone’s opinion isn’t always right!
    Masks is an excellent story with an important message for teens and adults. Perhaps the reviewer wasn’t listening!

  2. #3 by Elisa Michelle on July 8, 2011 - 1:32 AM

    I’m happy your story and your novella are doing so well! That’s great news. Honestly, I’ve only had to deal with bad reviews on this art site I frequent called deviantART. People can be pretty brutal if they don’t like your work, but I realized 1-it wasn’t anything personal (and if it was then that person was usually a troll) and 2-the less I cared about what they said the happier I was overall.

    Great post.

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on July 11, 2011 - 12:38 AM

      For five years, I worked as a rail traffic controller. Dispatching trains is a high stress safety-sensitive position. While safeguards were in place to minimize errors, one wrong digit or location could mean a train collision. Some days the best thing I could say about that job was “I didn’t kill anybody today.” The experience has stayed with me and has brought me perspective many times in my life. There are far worse things that could happen to me than a bad review.

  1. What Should An Author Blog About? « Masks' Blog

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