Guest Post: Adrienne Thompson – How to Handle a Negative Review

Thanks, MJ, for the opportunity to be a guest on your fabulous blog!

Today, I want to talk about something that’s been on the mind of probably every writer who has ever presented his or her work to the public—negative reviews.

No one wants to receive a negative review. Many of us are very sensitive about our work. We put our heart and soul into every page, paragraph, sentence, and word. We work hard. Our pen bleeds straight from our soul. Our books and stories are like children to us. And no one wants someone criticizing their child.

Seriously, who among us has received a negative review that didn’t bother us at least a little? I remember when I received my first negative review—a 2-star assault on one of my dear babies. First I just sat there—shocked. It was unbelievable to me that someone didn’t like my work. My work? How could someone not like my work? How was that possible?

After I read the review over about ten times, I called a friend and told them about it. Being my friend, of course they thought the reviewer was crazy. She agreed with me—how could someone NOT like my work? Were they insane?

Days passed, more favorable reviews were posted, and the sting of the negative review began to fade away. I went on with my life of writing and had nearly forgotten about the negative review when…bam! Another one. Different book—different reviewer. What in the Sam Hill was going on?! Two people didn’t like my work? What was the world coming to?

I read this review and my heart ached and my head hurt and then as with the first one, time healed that wound as well and I went on with my life. I continued to write and market and publish and checking reviews became like a scene from a best-selling thriller. I would close my eyes and wish for a good review when I saw that another one had been posted.

Okay, don’t get me wrong. My good reviews far outweigh the bad ones. My books average from 4.5-4.8 star ratings. All of my books have been Amazon bestsellers. I get glowing emails and messages all of the time. I’ve been nominated for awards and invited to speaking engagements.  But like most things in life, no matter how much positive feedback you receive, the negative just seems to speak louder.

Then one day I had this huge epiphany. I was reading a book that had come highly recommended to me. It has an average 4.6 stars out of a ton of reviews on Amazon. Reviewers use words like excellent and marvelous when describing it. A friend of mine liked it so much that she bought a copy and gave it to me. That’s how good it is. Or how good it’s supposed to be. Well, guess what? I don’t like it. No, I don’t like it at all. Couldn’t even get through two whole chapters. And that’s when it hit me.

The fact that someone doesn’t like or didn’t enjoy a book takes nothing from the writer.

A bunch of people LOVED that book, but I just didn’t like it at all. I just didn’t.

Does that mean the author is not good? No. Does it mean that the book is not good? No. It just means that I didn’t like it—point blank, period. And the same goes for the people who didn’t like my book. Their dislike is not an indictment against me or my writing. They just didn’t like it—point blank, period. Nothing personal. Nothing malicious. Just subjective criticism.

I can’t tell you how freeing that revelation was for me. Lots of people like my work and some people love it. Some don’t. And what do I do with that knowledge? I write on. And so should you.


A woman, her husband, her ex-lover, and the ties that bind them together…

The drama continues in this eagerly awaited and highly demanded sequel to Been So Long. Married for three years, Mona-Lisa and Corey face normal, everyday marital issues. But with a past like theirs, normal can spiral out of control at any second. Will they be able to hold things together or will Mona revert to her old ways?

Purchase links:

Kindle and paperback      Kobo       Nook     Website

me websiteAbout the Author:

Married at sixteen, a mother twice by seventeen, and thrice a mother and divorced by twenty-four, Adrienne Thompson is no stranger to adversity. Not your typical teenage mother, she went on to complete her college degree and to earn her nursing license. She attributes God’s faithfulness as the catalyst for her success in life. Now, having raised two children as a divorced mother, with a third fast approaching adulthood, she is sharing a long hidden talent and passion with the world. Using the lessons that life has so expertly taught her as a guideline (betrayal, abusive relationships, self-esteem issues, witnessing the deteriorating effects of drug abuse), she has created stories that will both entertain and inspire the reader.

Adrienne currently resides in Arkansas with her daughter. Formerly an RN, she now writes and publishes her stories full time.

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