Lately, there seems to be a surge of reviewers being told what they can and can't post as reviews, and when.
A reviewer can post a review of 1-5 stars, whenever they please. They can have any reason for giving
a book any rating they want. Why? Because it's their opinion, not yours, or mine. It's theirs.
The only thing a review should probably avoid, is attacking the author. Because that's just not cool. But no one takes those reviews seriously anyway.
What you can do:
You message, call, whatever your closest friends and cry
about it. You talk about how stupid that reviewers opinion is, and then
you suck it up buttercup, and get over it.
What you do not want to do, under any circumstances is engage. Let's just make a list of what you don't do shall we?
You do NOT:
Ask(demand) that the reviewer take down their review.
Tell them they shouldn't have left a review, for any reason.
Down vote their review. (They know it's from you!)
Message them directly over facebook and tell them they are wrong, they suck, or whatever.
Harass them in any way, shape, or form.
Send your friends to do any of the above.
What should you do? Simple.
Move on, sweetheart, and go find more readers elsewhere. You don't have to go back to that reviewer in the future.
A reviewer's opinion is not wrong, because it's their opinion, not yours or anyone elses.
getting a book free, because it was an ARC, or a gift, or they won it,
or whatever is not a reason to expect a 5 star review.
I know what you're asking. "But Ali, when should I expect a 5 star review? What does an author have to do to get one for sure?"
My answer is simple. You can expect a 5 star review when you write a book, publish it, and some one posts a 5 star review.
know that's not what you wanted to hear, but hey. That's life. You
aren't perfect, and even if you were, you'd still get a 1 or 2 star
eventually. All authors get one at one time or another.
It sucks. I know. I get it, I really do.
What can you do with the bad reviews? Learn from them.
out what the reader didn't like about your story, was it the fact that
it head hopped? (go back and pick a POV and stick with it.) Or it looked
like you typed it with your feet? (Maybe find a new editor)
your protagonist relatable/likable? Was your villain complex or just a
lame plot device? (develop your characters, ALL of them.)
The list could go on and on. But if you have tried and you just can't find anything to learn, forget
about it. Reread your positive reviews, and then go write your next book!
Even my worst review has taught me something.
It just said the back of the book made it sound better than it was.
that sucks, but I managed to find something to learn from it. (It was
hard with so little explanation) But what it taught me was that I should
learn to write blurbs in my same writing voice, so it doesn't throw
people off, and to make it as clear as possible, without spoilers, but
hopefully so it won't give the wrong impression.
remember kiddies, a low review will NOT ruin your career, it will not
break any chance of your book making it. I can not tell you the number
of times I've heard a reader saying they don't trust a book with all 5
star reviews. Why? Because it looks like you bought them. Some shady
people have been known to do that in the past.
Why? I'm not sure. I'd rather spend that money on advertising, or food, or something fun, like a new camera lens.
It's not the number of stars that helps you, but the number of reviews.
If you're just starting out, that's cool. You might not have thousands of reviews, but as long as you focus on the good, you will be okay.
The best revenge is to just keep at it, keep doing what you love, and share it.