As most of you know, I’m in the act of publishing my debut novel! I’ve had multiple people read it in exchange for a review, and while most were encouraging, I did get a two-star review (disclaimer: I’m not upset with the person who wrote the review. I asked for an honest opinion and that’s what I got. I’m merely using this as an example). And it hurt. It’s hard to realize that your writing isn’t as good as you might think and that not everyone is going to view your novel through the same lens.
I’m a little obsessive when it comes to checking my reviews. I look back often to see if maybe another person shared their thoughts on it. But I think that’s understandable, because while my novel can look “good” when I’m sitting in front of my computer for the 100th time rereading it, that doesn’t mean a fresh pair of eyes looking for a fun, interesting story will find that in my book. Putting your writing out there for people to purchase and critique is risky. You have to be prepared that not everyone is going to love what you write.
And that’s where the title comes into play. Bad reviews suck. No one likes getting them. But it’s not the end of the world. People are too wonderfully different to all like the same things.
So if you’re planning on publishing but you’re nervous about how you’ll be received, first: make sure you’re confident in the work that you, your editor, your beta readers, and more have edited. Second: you have to accept that you’re going to get bad reviews and that not everyone will love your story! It’s just life.
So go for it! Publish that novel, get those good (and bad) reviews, and keep writing!