In this episode of the Writing Talk Podcast, we’re looking at dealing with negative reviews of our writing.

Plus this week’s writers’ toolbox tip and some listener feedback. There’s also a quick review of my news.

Hope you enjoy listening.

NB: You can support the show by subscribing from the links above. Please also consider sharing the show with your writer friends.

Show Notes


Not much news this week because I’ve been on holiday for a couple of weeks. I hoped to put out an episode while I was away but my portable equipment wasn’t able to record with sufficient quality. Hopefully we’re back on track now and I’m hoping to put out a new episode every week.

Main topic

Negative feedback on your writing can feel hurtful and it can seem personal, but don’t let it damage your confidence.

Let’s see if we can analyse the feedback and turn it to our advantage.

Be prepared to stick to your guns – reviewers are often way off base with their comments.

Negative reviews on Amazon may actually help to signpost your work and help your target audience find you. If someone is in the wrong audience, then you don’t want to attract them anyway.

Are the reviews pointing out factual errors? If so, you could respond with an unemotional and factual response.

Responding to reviews is alway a risk – it may escalate into a spat. Thanking people for their review is often worth doing.

Have you attracted a poor review because your cover, title, and product description have promised a different style of book from the one you delivered? Review your cover and title and description so that you aren’t attracting the wrong audience.

Is your book appearing in search results that will deliver your book to the wrong audience? Check your keyphrases and categories.

Has the reviewer highlighted errors in grammar, formatting, or typos? Did you have a good editor? Correct the errors and respond to the review.

Book review sites can be a mixed blessing. If submitting, check that the reviewer reads your genre and writes reviews that are fair, balanced and objective.

Writing Clinic

On the Facebook group at we had a question for discussion: How much info is too much when a character needs to have special knowledge?

Economy is key here. Drip the info in when it becomes relevant to interesting action or dialogue. Avoid exposition. Don’t too much work for your readers. Leave them with questions. It’s a story not a lecture.

Writers’ Toolbox

Rest! Stop writing and recharge your batteries. Make time for physical exercise – keep your energy levels up and your writing will improve.

That’s it for this week. I hope you found this episode useful, if you have, please share the podcast with your writer friends, e.g. you could post a link in any writing groups you’re a member of. Also, please consider supporting the podcast by subscribing. The show is on itunes, stitcher and youtube, and you can subscribe via the links below:

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Michael Campling

A Podcast on the Craft of Writing by Author Michael Campling

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Thank you very much for listening and for all your support. Until next week, keep writing, keep tapping at the keys, keep scribbling, and above all, keep smiling.