It's a fact of life that all of us are different, and we all like and dislike different things. Some of us prefer horror movies, some like drama, some like comedy. Some of us like to live in the city, some prefer the country. Some of us like sweet food, others like hot and spicy.
And the same holds true for books. Some of us like character driven stories, other's like plot driven. Some like romance, other's like literary fiction. Some like love triangles, other's hate them. Some people gobble up books in a series, other's only read standalones.
So it's not surprising, when you think about it, that any given book will have nearly as many bad reviews as good ones.
As I've collected reviews, I've been uplifted by the positive ones. The ones that say they can't wait for the next book encourage me to write it. Those that say they love my characters, or my plot made them think, really make my day.
On the other hand, the ones who don't like my book tend to stick in my head just as much. Sometimes, they get me down, sometimes they even make me wonder why I'm doing this.
But the reality is, that there is no way a single book can please everyone. We can never get complete agreement on what makes a good book, and what makes a bad one, because the opinion varies by the reader's likes and dislikes.
So I'm trying to let the bad reviews roll off my back. I totally respect a readers right to their opinion, and I do consider reviews to see if they have some merit, and if there's anything I can learn from them for the next book. But mostly, I think they're just readers who were looking for a different kind of book.
And I hope they find it! I also hope the people who want to read just the sort of book I write can find mine.
Writers, how do you cope with bad reviews? And readers, how much do good and bad reviews influence your book buying?