1-Star Reviews, Emergency Help for Authors

Just got burned with a 1-star review? Here's what to do.

Will this bad review hurt my sales?

Enough about your feelings … these reviews are hitting you in the wallet, right?  Maybe not.

At least they make you seem legit. Some authors are pleased when they receive 3-star, 2-star, and even 1-star reviews, because they give legitimacy to a book. Critical reviews show the book is being honestly reviewed by more than the author’s own fans and family.

Vitriol may help! Some people are attracted to “love it or hate it” type books, so if your negative reviewers are particularly outraged about the rampant unprotected teen sex or lack of organic gardening tips, they may be helping to sell books to your particular niche audience.

However, low-starred, detail-lacking reviews are not great. If you have few reviews, and they’re mostly the “meh” type, it’s not great for your book.

If your average rating drops, you may be screwed in promoting. Some promotion blogs that feature books will not consider books under a certain star rating. There are web sites that sell ad space that may not even take your money if your rating is too low. So, yeah, if this is happening, you can freak out a little. On the other hand, take a good look at other books and note how, over time, with enough reviews, most books settle out at 3.4 on Goodreads or 3.8 or Amazon. Unless you write about orphans and/or use a lot of flowery metaphors on every page, you’re unlikely to keep your rating over 4 for long.

Is there anything you can learn from the review? If you have some blind areas in your writing, and you agree with the critics, you have your work cut out for you. Work harder and smarter on your next book. You are working on another book right now, aren’t you? You’re not sitting back trying to flog that one sad little lonely title you put out, are you? You do know the most successful authors keep writing book after book, right? Ahem.


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This site is for entertainment purposes only and the author assumes no liability for the content. This site does not provide psychological or legal advice.
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