QUIZ: How Negative Reviews Can Influence Your Book Marketing Strategies

by | May 12, 2022 | Getting More Book Reviews

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I get it, bad reviews can be hard. As an author, I understand how disheartening getting a negative review can be and how easy it is to get caught up in it. But instead of focussing on the negative, it’s important to understand all of the positive benefits that can come from reviews and how they can ultimately shape your book marketing strategies.

How you choose to handle book reviews will ultimately impact your success as an author. Not everyone is going to love your stuff, thats just the truth. However, how you learn from criticism shows a lot about how serious you are about your success in this industry.

We created this quiz based on our podcast Minisode: What Your Book Review Process Says About You. 

If you haven’t listened, I highly recommend it!

We talk about how to approach reviews and what you can learn from them- yes, even the bad ones!

I need to mention again, there’s no hard and fast rule or perfect equation for success when it comes to author marketing.

However, we will always be super honest with you, and success takes work. It requires educating yourself, and it requires committing to doing it better going forward.

The beauty with marketing is you get a fresh start with each title you release as you switch up your book marketing strategies!

So don’t be afraid to share your score and anything you learned in the comment section. I assure you you’re in good company because part of learning is making mistakes.

Resources and Free Downloads:

Keep Track of Your Upcoming Your Book Marketing Strategies with our Monthly Book Marketing Planner

How Can I Sell More Books

Infographic: Build Your Author Brand From Scratch With These 5 Questions

10 Common Book Marketing Mistakes: Book Marketing Podcast Episode

Check out KM Weiland’s site, she’s an excellent resource


  1. Robin Bartlett

    I agree authors should not get hung up on a bad review but you don’t tell your audience what they should do.

  2. Kayleen Reusser

    I think an author should not listen to every critical review b/c it may be a troll or someone who really doesn’t put much thought into it– it could be for an assignment, for example. It may be obvious or not. Take it for what it’s worth.

  3. Erica R. Stinson

    I am all for reviews, in any capacity, to learn from. What I will never understand is people that just say they didn’t like a book but not WHY they didn’t like it. Or how Amazon now lets people just leave a star rating with no explanation. Can’t learn from that.

    • BJ Tassin

      Erica, I agree that it is frustrating to get just a rating without at least a simple review to let the reader, if not the author know why they chose that particular rating.
      Good or bad, it helps to know. What one reader may deem less favorable, another may enjoy it for that very reason and Vice versa.
      PS I just clicked on your name and went to your website; Very impressive! Great visuals right right off the bat, with thick colors of your book covers, that appear almost 3-D, floating close enough to reach out and grab! Such fitting effects work perfectly with your theme for mystery books, reeling me in for a closer look at your titles and your well written descriptions.
      Your site is set up well, with clear and easy pay options. Nice!
      As an author myself, my big takeaway from visiting your website (besides getting a new book) was your personal invitation to your visitors to take advantage of those special offers! Your wording was perfect in showing how it’s a win/ win for all involved! Great job! I’m giving you 5 stars! ??????????

      • Penny Sansevieri

        What a great response, thank you BJ!

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Erica hi, I agree with that – the star-only rating is not fair and not a great way to learn. Also, you know it’s easy for someone to just drop a star rating with little to no thought about whether it’s helpful to the reader. Yes, all reviews are personal opinions of a book – and I understand that Amazon wants to be the “Yelp” of purchases, but the “rate this product” doesn’t, in my opinion, help the buyers either. When I look at product reviews, I like to read reviews – and I think most consumers agree, Sadly Amazon seems married to the idea of just “rating” a product.

  4. Anne

    I agree that ALL reviews are important, but less-than-5s are not necessarily a red flag. I received a review where the reader indicated it was not the time period she usually read. So, I took her review as a reflection of her opinion/genre’ preference rather than a reflection of my work.

  5. Russell Brooks

    There are two kinds of negative reviews:

    1) Constructive criticisms and genuine reviews from people who read your book.

    2) Sockpuppet reviews from people intent on tearing you down. Once you can distinguish the two, you can learn from your mistakes.

    However, one of the most important things that an author should know is that just because their book got a poor review or ranking, it does not mean that they wrote a bad book. This may demonstrate that the person who wrote the poor review was not in the author’s target demographic.

  6. sarah

    All Positive are good to go but you if you have some negative genuine review then you must need to work on it and fix the issue so that you can convert into positive reviews, some negative reviews come from your competitor just to de motivate you but you have to stay and calm.

  7. Oliver gee

    Thank you Penny for sharing informative post with us let me add my thoughts.
    Negative and Positive reviews are very helpful which tell us what people likes and dislikes in your products and you can change accordingly.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      I agree, we can absolutely learn from both negative and positive reviews. Though negative reviews are a bit harder to stomach, if they’re productive a savvy author can often takeaway elements to improve!


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