I previously published this post on my own blog but I've added two additional tips based on a twitter follower's suggestion.
MARKETING MONDAY: HOW TO (NOT) RESPOND TO A BAD REVIEW: SIX TIPS (+2)
My first book is out and reviews are now coming in. As an author, you should expect not only the good reviews, but the bad ones. Some people are not going to like your book; no question about it. If you request reviews from readers who post them to blogs or review sites, you run the risk of receiving those low-starred ratings for all the world to see. A scary feeling.
What to do?
Keep a few things in mind.
1. Take a deep breath. You wrote a book! That is an accomplishment.
2. Not everyone will like your book. You can't please everyone. Their opinions are subjective.
3. A bad review doesn't mean sales will cease.
4. Remember the GREAT reviews you've received. Thank you, fans!!!
5. Read the review objectively and try to glean some takeaways (if you want). If there are any, they may aid your writing. If there aren't any, return to number 4.
6. Most importantly: DO NOT RESPOND TO THE REVIEWER. You will incur a backlash that will be hard to get past. The Amazon forums are filled with consumers eager to voice their concerns and your name may end up on the Badly Behaving Authors thread. You are the face of your product. Don't let your attitude ruin your ability to promote.
Have you read the ratings for the best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey? The kindle edition for book one has amassed about 3300 five-star ratings and 2400 one-star ratings, and some of those one-star reviews are brutal--right up front for all to see. Yet, the book is still selling.
Need more convincing? Read here and here.
Extra Tip #1: Don't visit the reviewer's page. Visiting the website will increase the visibility of that website (and subsequently your negative review) on the web.
Extra Tip #2: Don't link to the reviewer's page. We all love to link to another website that features us. Why link to a bad review? Do you want a potential reader's first impression of your work to be an unflattering review?
Finally, someone other than your mother--thanks Mom!--WILL love your book.
Question: Have you received a bad review? How did you handle it and was food involved? ;-)