Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?

26 Sep



In a former blog you will find out that you are not alone.  I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. 
Scathing and destructive reviews can be posted for reasons such as:

  • The review is from a competitor (friend)
  • The reviewer is envious to not be able to write her/himself
  • He/she is an all around miserable person

Funny, negative reviews
Bestseller author Rayne Hall blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious. Read her article, sampling some of the stupidities for her highly popular novel Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel).

“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”  “The character of Queen Matilda is not believable”. There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.


What you can do about it:
Let your readers decide if these negative reviews are “helpful”.  Amazon has this rarely used function: “Help other customers find the most helpful reviews” and “Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No.”  Rating the existing book #reviews as “helpful” or “unhelpful” makes a significant impact! Voting for the most helpful reviews, your friends have the power to move them to the head of the line…

There is also another way to boost your book, in order to get more readers and reviews, which we explained in a former blog: ”HIGHLIGHTS” in your book: A great tool in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity.

Thanks to TaylorFulks ‏@TaylorTfulks20 who posted an article by  we learned too that many authors on Goodreads complaint about these review trolls – and have been heard by Goodreads and hopefully soon Amazon. Goodreads published a note about review guidelines and their full policy regarding reviews.


Are Book Reviews really THAT important?
In a poll 70% of book purchasers admitted to buy books after checking the reviews. Surprisingly many did not pay too much attention to 5-star or 1-star reviews, rather more about the number of reviews and the average rating. 5- star could be a good friend and 1-star someone from the competition, right? So what I am doing is to check the “history” of the reviewer. How many books does he review. Just click on the reviewers name and go to their Amazon site to find out more.

In “How to Get Book Reviews – Lots of them”  we explained the importance of social networks in gaining followers, friends and eventually reviewers for your books especially if you are creative.

Through social networks such as Twitter, Goodreads Google+ or Facebook, you can find those readers/reviewers. BTW: one of the advantages for our clients, who book the online seminar or promotion campaigns is that they receive regularly contact addresses to reviewers.

If you visit book blogger sites, check the sidebar, links or blogroll on each site you visit, as they may have links to other reviewer’s blogs. You may check their ranking on Alexa which indicates their traffic – the lower the Alexa number, the better.

There are organizations you can access through the internet which conduct book reviews, for sample:

Don’t forget book networking sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Wattpad etc. Especially the many communities on these sites, often sorted by book genre. This way you can meet and be known by book reviewers, before you even pitch your book to them.

Ask local newspapers and publications to review your book. While it is difficult to get a book review by a major publication or newspaper, your local newspaper might be interested in local authors.

Get more tips here:




If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help:
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Book Reviews


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6 responses to “Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?

  1. angel7090695001

    September 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    A good tip I learned from a webinar was to put good reviews as quotes in the extended description.

  2. DebbyGies (D.G.Kaye)

    September 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Great info as always!

  3. DebbyGies (D.G.Kaye)

    September 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Reblogged this on Cubby's Corner and commented:
    Great post on the review system on Amazon.

  4. Gray Dawster

    September 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I left this on the previous page…

    Unfortunately when one leaves a newly written book open for review it is left at the mercy of critics, and not many of those that offer an opinion are learned individuals, in other words who are they to condemn, or in the same instance give credit?

    Unless a well balanced and fair assessment is offered the book can crash and burn without ever having the merit given to it. I agree about the different genres, and of course those that simply take a free book to read will base it upon their own preference, which is totally wrong. It has to be an independent reader, someone who takes the manuscript for what it is worth, not judge unfairly just because of a theme that perhaps is not understood.

    In these instances where a one star has been offered, it really shouldn’t reflect upon the book in general, being that it has not been fully explored. I think offering the book somewhere else, with a more balanced and just system of reading, and by a wider selection of the public is warranted before feeling that the book has been unsuccessful.

    Have a great weekend…


    • ebooksinternational

      September 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Andro, thanks for your comment. In an ideal world readers should first learn how to write a review, before they hit the keyboard.
      I personally use a lot these “Helpful” buttons on Amazon pages, in order to place (or help to place) the most objective reviews to the top, and to dismiss unfair and useless comments to the back.
      Cheers, Doris


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