Some would argue that ‘bad reviews’ or negative reviews have no place in the bookish community and only foster feelings of hurt and hatred and negativity as a whole, but in my opinion they are crucial for both authors and readers.
If written in the right way, negative reviews can be helpful for a number of reasons. The best type of negative reviews would be the ones where the reader doesn’t blindly hate on the story or author but gives constructive criticism and tips for improvement. During the initial stages of sending their story to beta readers, sensitivity readers or giving ARC copies to the very first readers, authors need to sit back with an open mind and thoroughly review the negative feedback they get even if it is rather painful. Many a times the feedback may be about some small things that the author can improve on easily but makes a huge difference to the story all in all. And yes, other times like when the author’s writing style is called ‘not captivating enough’ that’s not something they can do much about. Their only choice is to learn a lesson from it and research on these weaknesses pointed out by reviewers so that they can work on and avoid them in future.
Negative reviews can be helpful for other readers too; especially if they come from a fellow reviewer they trust. Depending on the things pointed out in these bad reviews a person gets a sense of what the book is about and whether or not they should read it. Because negative reviews don’t deter as many people as you think they would, infact sometimes people read a book because the negative review they read said that the book was slow-paced and heavy on the romance side which was not what the reader was led to believe, but another reader may want exactly that kind of a book.
And lastly, you cannot stop readers from writing these so called bad reviews. They have a right to freedom and speech and can air their thoughts in whichever way they please. So the only option we all really have is to accept and celebrate them.
Charvi is an introverted book blogger with a flair for writing and unending love for fictional characters. She is a huge psychology enthusiast and loves to paint or go out for a swim. You will usually find her day dreaming about books, plotting stories in her head, blogging away or trying to escape certain death by her stack of unread books.