I’ve had a couple over the years. Not many because, frankly, I’m not big enough to come to the attention of most reviewers. Still, the question sometimes arises “what do I do when I get a bad review.” The usual advice is to ignore it or even be grateful for a review (a number of writer friends of mine report getting about the same bump in sales from a bad review as they get for a good one).
Still, sometimes that’s not enough and one feels the need to do something more.
Isaac Asimov had a method of dealing with bad reviews.
- Write a clever, witty, rebuttal to the review that discusses the reviewers lack of intelligence and breeding in the most scathing of terms.
- Read over your rebuttal. Chortle over the best bits.
- Share the rebuttal with your significant other. Laugh together over how thoroughly you skewered the reviewer.
- Print it on 100% rag paper. Fold it neatly into thirds.
- Put the rebuttal into a #10 business envelope. Address it to the reviewer. Put a stamp on it.
- Tear it up and throw it away because you’ve gotten all the benefit you’re ever going to get out of it.
I heartily endorse this method.