What if an author gets a bad book review?

Yesterday, I watched as my teenage son waited on the porch of his new girlfriend’s home. He was holding a bouquet of daisies, an early Valentine’s Day gift.

“I’m nervous,” he whispered.

I smiled, proud he was willing to take the risk.

It reminds me of authors. Authors take a risk when they publish their messages for the world. And it doesn’t matter that they’re experts in their fields – most admit to feeling vulnerable.

They often ask, “What if I get a bad review?”

The truth is that real writers get bad reviews. Most authors get three-, four-, and five-star reviews with a smattering of ones and twos. Some of Stephen King’s novels have received up to 500 one- or two-star reviews. But they haven’t stopped him: King has sold more than 350 million copies of his books.

Keep in mind that bad reviews can be helpful. They may sting, but they’re learning opportunities. They prove that your reviews – including the good ones – are legitimate. Plus, sales platforms like Amazon give higher visibility to books with more reviews.

New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown sums it up well: “Courage is telling our story, not being immune to criticism. Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

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