Dealing with Bad Reviews: A Blast from the Past

I’ve had a few 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 somethingmore.

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.

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