7 Ways to Manage Your Online Author Reputation 

Ah, February. The month of love. 

Except for one of our authors.

His opinion piece published recently in The Wall Street Journal stirred backlash for its divisive title. It doesn’t matter that the paper chose the title. He’s facing ire in the news, across the internet, and on social media.

It’s impacting his books, too. Within days, a batch of negative book reviews appeared on Amazon. 

This is the power of an online audience – and authors must manage it. More than 90% of people say reviews impact their buying decisions. Unaddressed negative reviews can damage public perception of your brand and undermine your revenue. 


Are you managing your online reputation?

You may not be facing hostility like your fellow author. But if you’ve published a book, you know the vulnerability of printing your ideas for the world. While you celebrate stellar reviews, it’s good to prepare for the possibility of negative comments. 

Here are seven ways to mitigate negative feedback.

#1 Do preemptive work. If you haven’t published your book, you can do six things to attract your target readers and turn away those who aren’t a good fit. This groundwork is especially helpful if your topic is controversial. 

#2 Keep bad reviews in perspective. Remember that bad reviews are not always unfair. Constructive criticism helps you write better books. It proves your online feedback is legitimate and not just from friends. It still bumps up your book’s visibility on Amazon. And remember, getting any reviews is usually a bigger problem than getting a bad review!

#3 Monitor your online reputation. Schedule regular audits of online activity related to you, your business, and your books. In addition to Google searches, you can set up free Google Alerts to notify you when you, your business, or your books are mentioned online. That way, you can respond to both positive and negative issues promptly. Several authors have been alerted to new reviews and possible piracy of their books thanks to their online monitoring.

#4 Report inappropriate feedback. Under each online review, Amazon offers a “Report” button that allows you to flag comments for review. Some reasons for removal listed on the Community Guidelines page include off-topic, disrespectful, or fake feedback. Among the reviews reported to Amazon on behalf of our author, one was reported as disrespectful because it mocked his appearance.

#5 Connect with your target audience. Build trust over time by connecting consistently with your readers. While my author prepares a video response to address the immediate backlash and clarify his position, he can point to decades of reputable content across print and digital platforms that uphold his credibility in his industry. 

#6 Increase positive reviews. The best counterattack for negative book reviews is positive reviews. And the best time is before a public relations crisis. Use these 36 tips to get book reviews so that negative feedback will barely make a dent!

#7 Consider professional management. You may want more help protecting your online reputation. Online reputation management (ORM) companies combine legal and technical know-how to improve public perception and remove harmful content. 


Be prepared for both positive and negative feedback on your published work. Do some pre-publishing groundwork, collect substantial reviews, and respond to comments professionally and proactively. You’ll effectively manage your author reputation online and protect your brand!

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