7 Ways to Handle Reviews: Brought to you Buy Tongue & Cheek

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We all want reviews and there’s always the one that makes us regret politely asking that people leave reviews.  Then we go right back to asking for them because they’re part of the life blood of an author.  Reviews are the highs and lows of our adventure, which are becoming harder and harder to come by.  Now, the methods of getting reviews are numerous in amount and range all across the morality spectrum.  Instead of poking fun at how we get them, I’m going to give some T&C tips about reacting properly.  I have to say this is humorous because it’s a topic that people take very seriously.  Been there before and don’t have any plans of revisiting that debate again.

  1. Do NOT publicly react to negative reviews even if they get personal.  If you have loyal readers then they will handle it, but responding in person tends to create a worse situation than before.  Besides, most people will read a review that’s all personal insults and not take it seriously.  Unless you start a flame war with the reviewer and begin threatening their loved ones.  Do I even have to tell you that such a thing is bad form?
  2. Do NOT copy a 5-star review and post it on your blog in an attempt to show people what you think everyone should do.  Post it to say thanks and give the person credit for brightening your day.  Holding one review up as the ideal can cause two problems.  First, you end up insulting anyone else who gave you a positive review.  You know those stars can be changed, right?  Second, now you’ll get a bunch of 5-star reviews that are carbon copies of each other and an email from Amazon that your books are being taken down.  Oops!
  3. Do NOT send pizza to positive reviewers and gefilte fish to negative reviewers.  It can come off as creepy and the second option can be mistaken for an attempt at poisoning, which means the police get involved.  Gets even worse if you don’t warn anyone and leave people wondering how you got their address.  There’s also that issue of the pizza going bad before it arrives since it might be long-distance.  As far as that happening with the gefilte fish, who would really notice?
  4. Do Not tattoo full reviews on your body.  You only have so much space and some can be fairly long.  Not to mention the creepy factor, especially if you post pictures.  Whoever is tattooed on your butt might have some harsh words for you too.
  5. Do be proud of the reviews you earn and take some positive energy from them.  At least the good ones.  Learn from the negative ones and improve.  Wait . . . I don’t think this is a funny one.
  6. Do Not complain to Amazon that somebody gave you a negative review.  This might be out of sight of people and maybe you can find a rationale about how it’s a terrible, unfair thing.  Yet, it won’t get you anywhere other than a possible warning.  On the other hand, you can complain about a positive one and get that wiped out in case you feel like being masochistic.
  7. Do Not write about a review when emotional, which mostly goes for negatives.  You will inevitably say something foolish and find yourself spending more time putting out fires than writing a new book.  Vent to a friend in private, write poetry that you will never share, and whatever else it takes to calm down before touching social media.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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52 Responses to 7 Ways to Handle Reviews: Brought to you Buy Tongue & Cheek

  1. Pingback: Ways to Handle Reviews – The Militant Negro™

  2. Excellent advice, Charles. I have a personal policy which keeps me from commenting publicly about any review. I will reblog it if it is on a post but other than tanking the reviewer no other comments. 😀

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  3. L. Marie says:

    Great advice! We’ve all heard stories of authors who got angry at reviewers and subsequently received one-star reviews from dozens of angry reviewers.

    Another piece of advice that goes with number 7: don’t respond to reviews while drunk.

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  4. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Messrs Tongue & Cheek give great advice 👍😃

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  5. A bad review is better than no review at all.

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  6. N. N. Light says:

    LOL! I totally laughed at this post, Charles. Great tips. I can personally relate to #3 but I thought that was just between us. 😉

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  7. Very helpful insight into reviews. Thanks for the tips

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  8. Tina Frisco says:

    Good advice, Charles. And I might add that pizza and gefilte fish is a nice touch 🙂

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  9. Thanks for this humorous advice, Charles. I think the worst is when someone gives you low stars but no review so you don’t know what they didn’t like. How can you work on it then? Very unhelpful.

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  10. I often wonder if I should star reviews. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I have never paid much attention to the stars, it’s the impression of the book that matters to me.

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  11. Gwen Plano says:

    Great list, Charles. Thank you.

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  12. Being the Fabulous Feline that I am, I never have to worry about negative reviews. (Then again, my fabulousness is confined to short stories on TSRA’s blog only, so I guess…well, never mind. :::Cheshire grin::::) Number 3 tickled ALL my funny bones!

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  13. I respond by liking or starring positive comments on my blog. On Amazon they ask if reviews were helpful. You can say yes on positive reviews. I would be wary of saying no, though.

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  14. Pingback: Writing Links 11/6/17 – Where Genres Collide

  15. Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
    Some wise words from Charles

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  16. “…and begin threatening their loved ones.” Troll-reviewers have loved ones?

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  17. Pingback: Some great advice about how to handle reviews #authors | deborahjay

  18. Reblogged this on M J Mallon Author and commented:
    Tips on handling reviews by Charles Yallowitz

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  19. Great advice shared to my Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook and to my blog. 🙂

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  20. Great advice. Love your sense of humor! 😀

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  21. Like your advice…well, exception being my 5-Star tatoo! Have a great week – AND, I’m honored to be part of the group! ♥

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