The Revolutionaries Playbook

Not Everyone Will Like Your Book

Here’s the thing, no matter how good of a book you wrote, with pretty prose, emotionally compelling stories, and life changing information, some people just won’t like it.

Even books like “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, or “Atomic Habits” by James Clear have negative reviews. And if they have negative reviews, your book is bound to get some as well. In fact, a local Utah writer once told me, “My books only feel successful if I have both negative and positive reviews. Because then I know the truth of it!”

Negative reviews and comments will come your way. Some people might feel you left key information out. Others might not like certain stories you have put in. And even more might just not “vibe” with your content. Art is subjective, and literature is no exception.

That is okay.

This will happen! And it’s something I continually warn my clients about. Because it can be hard when you put your blood, sweat, and tears into writing a book—or you pay high ghostwriting fees—decide to self-publish it, then get a few negative reviews. It’s soul crushing even when most of your reviews are positive! Why wouldn’t it be? Whether you’ve written it yourself or hired a professional, you have invested financially, emotionally, and temporally into this book. Naturally, you are bound to take it a little personally when someone says it isn’t good enough.

So, what should you do instead? 

Tips from Influential Authors

First, let’s look at a few authors that have helped to shape our literary world today. Each one of them faced criticisms, and each one had their own way of dealing with them.

Harper Lee, the renowned author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” emphasized the importance of staying true to one’s vision despite criticism. She famously said, “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”

And Virginia Woolf emphasized the importance of resilience and self-belief. She once remarked, “Criticism is not the worst enemy of creativity; self-doubt is.” She understood that if criticisms get in your way, you might never try!

And Stephen King, one of the most prolific authors of our time, consistently has great advice for aspiring writers. He said, “You have to be ready for someone to tell you your baby is ugly. It’s gonna happen, and it’s gonna be painful. But sometimes, they’re right.” The goal is to look inwards and ask yourself if the criticism is coming from a personal place in their mind (which it usually is) or if they have the credentials to critique you and that maybe, you should in fact, try to understand what they are seeing.

Finally, the late Maya Angelou, renowned for her beautiful memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” believed in the power of self-validation. She once said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” This is the biggest part of dealing with criticism! It will come, but the goal is to make sure it doesn’t reduce you.

Trust Your Creative Vision

Only give power to criticisms from people who are in a place where you want to be. If another famous author and speaker in your industry comes up to you and says, “I struggled with this part of your book.” Listen to why with an open ear. And if someone within your industry says the same, keep an open mind when you ask them to explain.

Remember, you do not have to agree with the criticisms sent your way!

But you also don’t have to argue with them. And you don’t have to justify your writing. A simple, “Thank you for sharing your opinion,” is enough. You wrote your book for a specific reason, and it is likely shaped to that specific ideal. The person offering their opinion might not even be your target audience! Either way, what is most important is that you are happy with this work.

Your book is an extension of your creative spirit, a manifestation of your unique voice and vision. It is a labor of love that reflects the countless hours, sleepless nights, and relentless dedication you poured into its creation. While it is natural to seek validation from others, the most crucial validation lies within yourself. It signifies that you have achieved what you set out to accomplish, even if it deviates from societal expectations or literary norms. Your happiness with your book is an affirmation of your creative journey, a celebration of the risks you took, and the courage it took to pour your heart onto the pages.

When readers witness genuine passion and satisfaction exuding from your work, they connect with it on a deeper level. Authenticity has a way of resonating, touching the hearts and minds of those who engage with your words. It’s okay if not everyone likes this authenticity. Taste and preferences vary greatly, and that is the beauty of the creative world. Embrace the fact that your book will evoke diverse reactions. Don’t let it stop you from writing.

Because your book is worth the endeavor.

Need Help Crafting Your Book?

Check out our free guide to “The Secrets Of Outlining Game-Changing Books” here!

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