I wish there was a way we could eliminate bad reviews altogether, but there simply isn’t a legitimate option.
And let me say outright, bad reviews suck. It is not fun to get a bad review especially if the reviewer doesn’t even provide a written response as to why they gave the bad review. 🙁
In this industry, people can give you their thoughts on your book publicly. And if it is not the review you prefer, that’s ok. Reading is subjective.
Every reader will have a different preference. We as authors have to accept that someone just might not like our story. Don’t let it get to you.
BUT, what if there was a way to help avoid as many negative reviews as possible? Are your ears perked up now?
It might not be what you’re thinking, but there are some things you can do to help avoid a flood of one-star reviews coming your way.
It all has everything to do with HOW you create your book.
And it starts from the beginning:
This means, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Before you ever start writing, you need to do your research! Read your genre, take notes, read reviews, etc… This part is highly undervalued. If you can do this part right, you will set yourself up for success from the beginning.
Doing research allows you to create a book people actually want to read. In my Self-Publish Program, I provide a research guide members can fill out to help them find the right information for their genre. This information will help you make the right decisions throughout the writing and publishing process. It’s super important!
Next after writing the story, you need to get editors. Get as many as you can afford and make sure you find ones that know what they are doing. Something as simple as grammatical errors can really turn a reader the other way. Don’t give them a reason to NOT like your book. It is worth your time and money to have your book edited the right way.
In my program, I tell my members to test their story BEFORE they ever get it edited. Testing your story is part of YOUR writing process. You should try to test your story with your ideal reader for your book a few times before sending it to an editor. It is important to hear what they have to say about your pacing, character development, what makes sense, what doesn’t etc…
They can give you SO much information on what they connect with, what is easily understood, what makes the book appealing, and what doesn’t. Listen to what they have to say! Even if you don’t like it.
I know how hard it can be to receive criticism on a book that is a piece of your soul, but; it is better to take that criticism now BEFORE the book is published. Negative reviews can leave a lasting impression and cannot be removed. Someone’s feedback given to help you improve your book now won’t tarnish your reputation like a negative review will.
Formatting is so simple and when done right, even averagely so, shouldn’t be noticed. Formatting isn’t something that should draw attention to itself. But when it’s done poorly, it can ruin the readability of a book.
Formatting and cover design can be distracting to the story. If a reader has a hard time focusing on the story at hand because of the way it is presented, you open yourself up to receiving negative reviews. Again, don’t give your reader a reason to NOT like your book.
How to format correctly? Hire a formatter, purchase programs, or format yourself using free resources some Print on Demand companies offer.
These things, if done well, can help diminish the number of negative reviews you may receive. I wish there was a better secret I could provide you to guarantee positive 5-star reviews only. There simply isn’t a magical solution to that, unfortunately.
Best of luck in your publishing endeavors, future authors! If there are any questions you have, contact me. I’d love to help you as best as I can!
Remember, you are the author of your life story. How will you write your next chapter of life?
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Besides being a cookie connoisseur, I am a wife, mom of 2 and author of 7. Through my passion of teaching, I created the Self-Publish Program where I help busy women professionally self-publish the book of their dreams on a budget. Follow for more tips!